Become A Pack Savvy Traveler
HOW I PACK FOR TRAVEL
Published By, KAYDEN PHAN
First decide what type of trip you're taking and which pack option is best for you.
Packing for travel can be daunting but I prefer traveling light because it keeps me mobile and makes it easier to navigate, not to mention all the extra baggage fees you’ll save. I've packed too much stuff before and trust me, it’s worth spending extra time cutting out non essentials to have a lighter pack. Below are a few tips that help me keep my packing quick, light, easy and stress free.
Below are top things that help me decide to backpack or to suitcase are where I'm going, how long I'm going and the type of trip I will be taking. If I'm spending a week in a resort with my Vegas girls and hanging out poolside all day, a suitcase is my definite choice. If I'm globe hopping, camping, and moving hostels every few week or so, a backpack seems like an easier option.
I use a backpack if: I use a suitcase if:
-Moving around a lot -Staying in one place for the majority of my trip
-Taking public transit often -Not having to transport luggage around other than to and form the airport
-Going to the airport multiple times -Traveling for a short period of time
-Camping -On a cruise
-Country Hopping -At a resort
-Switching hostels regularly -In a city where I will be doing more shopping
-Traveling for a long period of time
GET A GOOD BACKPACK:
You can get fitted from your local outdoor company. They can measure your back and can help you determine your back and pack size. Some places like REI have weights you can put in packs so you can walk around and really test out the pack. A pack that feels good is important and of good quality is important. A tip to saving money on a pack is to remember your side and search online. Theres also nothing wrong with buying a used pack. You'll be saving money and recycling which are both wins in my book. If you get a pack that is too large it can often be an incentive to pack too much. Around 60 liters is a good size for me although I have a friend that did 10 months around the world in a 48 liter pack.
PICKING A SUITCASE:
Most people forget about the weight of the suitcase when buying one. Don't forget airlines regulate how heavy your bags are. A lighter suitcase is ideal and can end up saving you fees in overweight baggage. I also look for the cases with four wheels because it takes less effort to push. I also look for built in locks on the side incase I need to quickly lock up my stuff.
*LAY EVERYTHING OUT:
Pull out everything you think you will need to bring for your trip. Take into account the climate, weather, and culture when doing this. Once everything is out in front of you, cut it all in half. I’m not joking. Your hair dryer, leave it. You don’t need fifteen shirts or four pairs of shoes. Multi purpose items are key! Make room for necessities first and if you have room you can bring extras. Remember that anything you bring you must carry with you.
WHAT'S IN MY PACK:
-EAR PLUGS and FACEMASK are a necessity for flights, camping and hostel stays. I always keep them in my carry on and it’s really the only way to get a good nights sleep.
-NECK PILLOW- I use one that I blow up to inflate. When the flight is over I deflate it and it tucks back away in a tiny pouch. If the place i'm staying doesn't have a pillow I take it out again and make it multi functional.
-DR. BRONNERS all in one soap for shampoo, body wash, dish soap and laundry detergent which you can purchase at Whole Foods Market or online
-A GOOD SLEEPING BAG is key! Even in hostels I always sleep in my bag for my own sanitary peace of mind and to conserve an extra load of laundry by not using the top sheet or provided blankets.
-SHOWER SANDALS are not something you want to forget... Ever!! Gross nasties are invisible and no one wants to catch a weird food dIsease. I pack light wight multi functional sandals I can wear with a dress, with jeans, to the beach, walking around the town and something that will work in the shower.
-TRAVEL TOWEL. My favorite brand of travel towel is the Pack Towel. It is light weight, quick drying and takes up about the space of a shirt. I get the XL size so that it covers my whole body and have a small one for my face.
-MULTI-COUNTRY CHARGE PORT. I like to have an adapter that fits all countries. I’m often not sure where my next destination will be so it’s good to be covered no matter where I go. Plus I only purchase one instead of one per country. Mine has two USB ports so I can charge multiple things at once.
-PORTABLE BATTERY PACK. You never know when something will die and you'll wish you had extra power.
-SUNGLASSES and SUNSCREEN. Protection from UV Rays is important for your eyes and skin. Getting sunburnt on your trip is never fun and sunscreen prices usually go up significantly in hot countries.
-SCARF. These are universal. I get creative and use scarves as blankets, dresses, wraps, bags, hoods, towels, skirts and pretty much anything under the sun. In a lot of countries it’s nice to have a scarf to throw onto to be able to get into certain temples and religious sites.
-THIN MONEY POUCH. Similar to a fanny pack where you can tuck it under your shit so no one can see it. I use this for my Passport, money or and essentials when I'm in a city where I need to be more attentive with my safety.
-COPIES OF PASSPORT AND ID. Luckily I have never lost either my passport or ID and not sure if a copy is sufficient but a piece of paper is light and small and this makes me a little more prepared just incase.
*REVERSIBLE CLOTHES AND MULTI-PURPOSE ITEMS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND
*I don’t buy souvenirs for friends or family. Why buy something they most likely wont like, use or will just collect dust. If I feel the necessity to get anything I always opt to send a post card. Its cheap, personal and you won’t have to lug it all the way home.
All in all, choosing your luggage is a personal choice but I use this list to help me make my choice and I hope it helps you, to make yours.