Today’s travelers seem to be loaded down with larger suitcases, more clothes and more gadgets than ever before. Most of it is unnecessary, remains in the suitcase unused and makes for an irritating luggage debacle when moving from place to place.
What you require depends on the type of traveling that you are doing, the weather and the length of your stay. A general, strange truth is the longer your trip, the less your luggage!
Try to avoid packing a vast array of clothing that you don’t use. Large amounts of luggage make for problems at customs, in airplanes and on buses. It will also make you a target for thieves and pickpockets.
Keep hand luggage down to a minimum. Restrict yourself to valuables that you should not put in the hold: a set of clean underwear, your notebook, portable pc or ipad, a book and a toothbrush. Leave behind jewelry and expensive personal items.
If you are traveling for business, chances are you will be staying in a hotel that offers a laundry service. Make use of it. Unless you are in the business of clothing and fashion, nobody will even notice that you are wearing the same clothes over again. Choose your outfits wisely so that you can mix the same items differently and make sure they can all be worn together.
If you are traveling to a single destination then you can take as large a suitcase as you like, filled with an array of apparel that you think you may need. However, bear in mind that you will probably wish to make some purchases on your holiday, so rather go with a half empty suitcase and return with a full one, than risk being overweight. Airlines have strict luggage policies. Fines for overweight luggage are steep; often costing more than your luggage is worth.
If you are traveling for any length of time, visiting many places on a tight budget, then only take that which you can carry. You will be carting your luggage up and down stairs, on and off trains, busses and ferries. You can always purchase small items of clothing along the way like t-shirts, shorts and costumes. Rather take too few of these items and pick them up as you go along. Use a sarong or kikoi instead of towel. It is lightweight, dries quickly and can double as a sheet and an item of clothing. Remember, upon your return after traveling for a long time, it is very likely that you will discard all your traveling clothes.
Pack practical clothing for your destination. Check the weather. If you are going to a warm climate, don’t take too many heavy clothes. Wear a light sweater on the plane which will be all you require for the rest of your holiday. If you are traveling in winter, opt for a large coat to keep you warm.
In most countries you can purchase anything that you may need: batteries, books, clothing, medical supplies etc. However, if you are traveling off the beaten track, it is advisable take a small medical kit with you. Ask your doctor of pharmacist to put together a kit for you but be sure to look at border regulations to see what substances you cannot take into a country. For example, you may wish to take a broad spectrum antibiotic with you if you are traveling through Africa, but some countries may not allow you to bring it across their borders.
Remember, travel light. Leave all those weighty possessions behind and free up your luggage for all those wonderful mementoes that you will want to purchase.
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