Don’t stress too much about packing. You will forget something, but you can always make do and buy things as you go if need be. However, just in case you’re horribly unorganised and/or stressing out, here are some of our tips for what to, and what not to, pack for your overseas adventure.
When you travel, you’re going to have a lot of crap. Accordingly, you will need to decide how you will slug said crap around for weeks/months at a time.
Suitcase or backpack? Well, if it holds your shit, it holds your shit. It more depends on where you’re going and personal preference. Personally, I normally like to chill out and wheel my stuff rather than slogging it around on my back. For most parts of the world a suitcase works fine (I don’t know why these ‘suitcase haters’ worry about cobblestone streets? Yeah, my bag rattles around a bit… What a nightmare!). That being said, if you’re going to be trekking though the African desert, a backpack is probably better suited.
Still can’t make up your mind? Por qué no los dos! Just buy yourself one of the suitcases that turns into a backpack if need be; best of both worlds!
Along with a main bag, you should also bring a smaller daypack, purse, or money belt to carry things around on a day-to-day basis.
You can probably get away with forgetting a lot of the stuff on this list, but try quite hard not to forget these:
Debit or credit card
Another form of ID (e.g. a driver’s license) so you don’t have to carry your passport around after too many tequilas
Student ID or similar if applicable (discounts!)
Scanned copies of all important documents
The type and quantity of clothing much depends on a certain number of factors: where you’re travelling, how long for and how dirty you're comfortable looking. If you’re going somewhere more conservative, ladies and gents, go easy on the crop tops and booty shorts. Sure, they take up less space in your bag/pack but it’s probably better to avoid angering the locals.
A rough guide:
1 pair of pants/jeans
2 pair of shorts/shirts
1 pair of nicer paints/dress (if you plan on going out or gettin’ fancy)
2 jumpers/jacket (depending on how cold it will be)
Comfortable walking shoes/runners
Flip-flops or sandals
Dressier shoes (again if planning on going out)
Underwear/socks - Bring everything you own! Clean socks/jocks are worth their weight in gold.
Sun dresses - they’re like tops and bottoms for half the space!
Scarf - girls may need one from time to time if checking out temples/churches etc.
Gloves - if going somewhere particularly chilly
Bonus tip: if you’re going on a long trip, avoid taking white clothing; that shit ain’t gonna last.
Despite your best efforts, you’re probably going to be in a constant state of dirty during your trip. Accordingly, there are some items you should bring to avoid being outcast by society:
Toothbrush and toothpaste (if your dentist asks, you definitely flossed, too)
Body wash, shampoo and conditioner
A towel - even if its only a little one
If you're blind - contacts (bring spares), contact lens solution, lens case, glasses
Make-up and make-up remover
Tweezers, nail clippers
Hair ties, clips, etc.
‘Time of the month’ supplies
Only bring what you really need. While you don’t want to walk around looking like a pickpocket’s wet dream, you can bring the gadgets as long as you stay cautious of where you leave them.
Phone (with the TRAFARI app downloaded on it obviously!)
Laptop or tablet
Adapters: Be sure to read up on what kind of travel adapter your country needs. If you’re Eurotripping, note that northern and southern Europe use different adapters.
If you travel long enough you will get sick. So bring medicine. It doesn’t take up much space, and you’re not going to want to go to a pharmacy when you’re curled up in the fetal position in your hostel bathroom. Be sure to take out an advance on any prescription medicine that you need to take and be sure to bring a copy of your prescription as well. For everything else, make sure to pick these up before you go:
Condoms - come prepared (no pun intended) and avoid getting an unexpected travel souvenir nine months later.
Things that are optional, but that you may really want at some point during your trip, include:
Clothes washing stuff - if you go to an outdoors store, they sell little paper things that dissolve in water and make your clothes smell nice - get them!
Final bits of advice:
Less is more!!!! Leave room for things; you will no doubt buy things over there.
If your bag it too heavy for you to lift above your waist, take shit out.