Exploring the world is an experience that many of us dream of, but each destination has its own issues and concerns that should be known before heading off. One of the most important aspects of preparing for world travel is packing. There is a science involved in packing for world travel, and choosing the right items and packing the right way can help make the trip of a lifetime that much easier. Here are some tips for packing in the essential items and avoiding the unnecessary.

Plan Ahead

The old adage of ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’ applies to packing. It’s important to create a packing list that includes the essentials and start planning early. Keep track of the days of the trip, the climate of the destination, and the activities planned. Check the airline restrictions for weight and luggage sizes. Make sure to plan for any special items for trips to rural areas or hikes in the mountains.

Choose Lightweight and Functional Gear

When choosing what items to take on a trip, travelers should focus on items that serve multiple purposes. It’s important to choose lightweight and compact items when packing for world travel. Multiple use items can be useful, such as a scarf that can double as a blanket. Items that can pack easily include a water bottle, multi-use spork, travel clothesline, and a pair of travel pants.

Make Use of a Systematic Approach

A systematic approach to packing can help to make sure that everything fits and nothing is left behind. Start with the clothes, including choosing items that are multi-purpose. Then focus on tech items, choosing only those items that can be used throughout the trip. Don’t forget the chargers, cords, and plugs. Choose a toiletry bag and fill it with essential items. The last items to be added should be the items that provide the most comfort, such as a travel pillow or light snacks.

Consider the Kind of Travel

The type of travel should be a factor when creating a packing list. If the destination involves a lengthy flight then compression bags are recommended for clothing. Cushions and earplugs can help make the flight more comfortable. Consider the environment of the destination and the duration of the trip. When visiting a rural area, the list should include toilet paper, anti-bacterial wipes and handsanitizer, and a first aid kit. Is the trip for one week or for two months? That affects the number of items that should be brought.

Choose the Right Luggage

Choosing the right luggage can make a huge difference on any trip and it is essential if traveling to multiple destinations. Consider a rolling suitcase that can hold a decent amount of belongings, has a good handle, and comes with great reviews. If checking luggage, make sure to provide a secure lock. If going to remote areas and need a backpack choose one with sturdy straps and a waist belt. It’s best to have a waterproof bag to keep items dry.

Pack Comfort Items

It is important to pack items that will make the trip more enjoyable. Packing a book can provide hours of entertainment. Some travelers like to pack a cozy blanket, a favorite pillow from home, noise cancelling earbuds, a camera and charger, and sunglasses. Pack cards and copy the scans of important documents such as the driver’s license and passport, to keep on a file via email.

What Not to Pack

Just as important as packing the right things is leaving behind unnecessary items. Don’t pack items that can be found at the destination, such as guidebooks and snacks. Don’t bring too many clothes that will only end up tucked away in the luggage most of the time. Don’t underestimate the weight of items, including electronics and liquids. Another important tip is to leave jewelry and expensive items behind.

Maintain Hygiene

Traveling in an unfamiliar environment can sometimes be challenging. It is essential to maintain hygiene while on the road. Take a supply of face masks, toilet paper and antibacterial wipes. Find ways to stay clean, even if a hot shower is not available, such as carrying a shower wipes or a scent-free, travel size soap and a towel. Keep essential medications such as pain relief and diarrhea relief.

Essential Packing List

Packing for world travel can be a daunting task but with the right objectives it can be done. Here is a brief list of must-have items for world travelers:

• Lightweight suitcase, backpack, or duffel bag
• Multiple clothing items that are lightweight and breathable, and multi-purpose
• Toiletry items such as a tooth brush, tooth paste, soap and towel
• Shoes, sandals, and socks
• Travel pillow, blanket, and ear plugs
• Items for hygiene, such as toilet paper and wipes
• Travel documents, such as passport and health insurance cards
• Chargers, cords, and plugs for electronics, as well as a camera and charger
• Multipurpose spork, water bottle, and plastic bags
• Essential medications and first aid kit

Preparing for a trip around the world can be overwhelming and it’s important to plan ahead and remain organized while packing. Choose items that are light and functional, and consider the environment and duration of the trip. Make sure to pack items for comfort, but leave behind valuables, jewelry and unnecessary items. Bring a supply of toiletries, items for hygiene and health, and travel documents. By following these tips travelers can enjoy a safe and comfortable journey.