Whether you travel for two nights or two months, the agony of what to pack is something that everyone experiences. Long term international travel brings some extra considerations that you may not always think about. Here are 6 things that we think about while packing for our long term adventures.
The most obvious consideration for your travels is the climate of your destination(s). With limited space and several temperate zones to be considered, we utilize lots of layered clothes that can work in warm and cold weather. Bulky items get the air squeezed out of them. Don’t forget your extremities! Hands and feet will often be the quickest reason to bail on a fun day in the cold so be sure not to forget gloves, hats and proper footwear. A second pair of active shoes is also a must in case one gets wet.
Many airlines are charging for extra bags and overweight bags these days. On more than one occasion, we’ve found ourselves madly moving items from bag to bag at the ticket counter to avoid fees ($150 in some cases!). It’s much easier to step on the scale before you head to the airport. Unfortunately, before your return flight you’ll see how much weight you gained on your tasty trip. Another trick is to wear some of your heavier items (boots/
It's always important to respect the local culture. Especially for ladies, international travel requires extra considerations for culturally appropriate attire.
Mostly, this means covering shoulders and knees (skirt) while scarves are also good to have as a head covering. Men should make sure have a pair of pants on hand as well. Even if you aren’t going to the middle or far east, holy sites like mosques, temples and churches will often require this kind of dress.sweatshirts) on the plane to both disguise your weight gain and make your suit case lighter!
The modern family rolls with a small armada of devices, chargers, and gadgets to even the most rugged destination. While we always encourage you to unplug as much as possible, electronics are a necessity for many (even bloggers).
Make sure you have the correct plug-ins for international travel and understand how much you may be paying in overseas roaming fees. We organize our many things in a compartmented case to ensure that nothing gets left behind. That said, devices are heavy so weigh the trade offs carefully (get it?).
Clean Clothes Conundrum
For longer trips, you need to consider the availability of washers/dryers along your travel route. Depending on your personal cleaning habits, it might not be that big of a deal. We don’t judge. Consider the types of activities you’ll be doing too. Lounge jeans tend to be more rewearable than paintball jeans. Most every city has a cleaners, but that can be expensive. Who wants to take a chunk of their limited vacation time for laundry?
If you’re super nomadic like we tend to be, unpacking and repacking can quickly become your nemesis. Consider rolling your clothes into outfits for convenient access in your luggage. Separate compartments or a bag for dirty clothes helps keep things fresh and easy to find. Don’t forget about TSA checks too. The list of items that ‘the man’ wants to inspect in your carry-on is ever changing so check ahead and have those things easy to reach when heading to the airport. Lately, they've been very suspicious of our trail mix and other food items.