People have been traveling to places long before any of us were born. The most celebrated minds in history have also visited abroad for some reason or the other; knowledge, curiosity, trade, and more. All these explorers relied on some form of packing structure. Travellers still look for comfort, utility, maximisation of space, and lightweight travel bags.
Today, we have to worry about electronics and technological items according to weather and climate. High-quality cameras, mobiles, tablets, laptops, and hand-held devices are as important as packing dry and clean clothes. Many of the things people still carry today are very familiar to grandparents, parents, and earlier generations of travellers before us. If you ask your grandmother for a tip or two about travel essentials and how to pack light, you would be surprised by the tips and tricks you get!
We have made up a list of the travel essentials we feel everyone requires based on the bags that you need. This list should help you organise easily and carry all the essentials.
Always select luggage that is lightweight, durable, and versatile. Avoid main luggage bags that look like they might damage too quickly or where you might be stranded with a broken zipper, broken handle or strap, and a missing wheel. Pack all your heavy and bulky things into your main luggage. All your clothes, heavy toiletries, hiking shoes, boots, large books, stationery, and so on. The trick is to pack all your heavier items into a large bag that is easy to carry around, so you don’t have to carry everything heavy on you. Storage, size, and mobility are essential while traveling.
Use thin bags made of jute or paper to organise all your clothes and other items. Roll or compress your clothing and toiletries to fit them into smaller space. Sweaters, jackets, blankets, pillows, and thick pants can be shortened to save space while traveling.
What you should carry in your main luggage:
- Sweaters/ jackets/ rainwear
- Five extra t-shirts than what you would originally carry (for emergencies in rain/snow/sand/sweat)
- Long sleeved clothing to protect you from sunburn and dehydration
- Socks/ gloves/ mitts
- Passport copies/ Visa copies
- Copies of hotel bookings
- Copies of all prescription medicines and Doctor’s recommendations for alternative medication
- Travel and medical insurance copies
- Umbrellas (for sun or rain)
- Sunglasses/ reading glasses with cases
- Scarves/ hats/ bandanas/ gloves
- Footwear – sandals/boots/sneakers/running shoes/ slippers/party shoes (pack these in plastic bags without any dirt on the soles)
- Chargers of all electronic items you want to carry with extra batteries
- Travel pillows/eye masks/ ear plugs
- Locks for all luggage and bags/ cable ties
Toiletries should be carried in smaller sizes to save on space. Ensure that all toiletries are in plastic bags or sealed tightly to avoid spills. Carry toothbrush, toothpaste, combs, hair ties, safety razors, shaving foam, nail clippers, tweezers, scissors, shampoo and conditioner, sunscreen with minimum SPF 15, moisturiser, hygiene products, contact lens solutions with the case, prescription medication, makeup remover, earbuds, and cotton swabs.
If you’re traveling internationally, check the vaccinations required for that country before you visit. Get all your vaccines in advance and carry proof of documentation for health professionals at Customs.
Carry prescription medicines with the original note from the doctor. Apart from these, carry painkillers (such as Dihydrocodeine), flu medicines, laxatives, medicine for stomach aches, diarrhoea, flu, cold and cough, and motion sickness. If you have a breathing condition, carry your inhalers and altitude medicines. Apart from these, essentials are eye drops, multivitamins, thermometer, sunburn cream, sleeping medications, and hand sanitisers.
Your carry-on bag should always be with you. In your carry-on bag, keep headphones, mobiles, laptops, cameras, adapters, extra batteries, sunglasses with case, an additional t-shirt, socks, and a torchlight for emergencies. Keep your passport and maps with you as added precautions. If you are going sightseeing, carry copies of your passport and visas along with medical insurance. Always maintain space for your wallet, credit and debit cards, spare cash, foreign currency, and water bottles. For additional security, a money pouch, undercover bra, neck wallet, bag lock, or leg lock should suffice.
Wherever you go, ensure to carry some books, stock your music player or phone with music, and keep your online viewing subscriptions active. Use this checklist to pack in a neat and organized manner so that you can travel worry-free. Remember to respect foreign customs and traditions and make the most of your trip!