When travelling one of the biggest hurdles, and most asked questions during preparation is, “what should I pack?”
Of course this answer is determined by countless factors such as where you are going, for how long, how is the weather at that time of year, what are you going for? Business? Holiday? Or adventure? It can become quite a daunting task trying to figure out what should go and what should stay. Two things end up being the result, you over pack, leaving you no room to carry anything back and maybe have an embarrassing encounter at the airport where you are forced to return some things, or you under pack, leaving behind some simple but valuable necessities. We have come up with a list of a few essentials that will make sure you never go wrong.
1. Check List
The first thing I would advise you to do maybe two weeks in advance is to sit down and write a checklist. Search the place that you are travelling to, the weather conditions, and so on. Know what you need to get then get started.
2. Travel Purse
This is definitely the most important item to have with you at all times. In it you can keep your flight ticket, details, Identification, Yellow fever card, Passport, Taxi number for when you arrive, Invitation Letter and any other important document that has any connection to your travel arrangements.
3. Toiletry Bag
This may seem like an obvious one but it is very easy to forget the simplest things when you try to overcomplicate matters, and the necessities are the basics. Yes it may be easy to buy a toothbrush if you don’t have one when you land, depending on your travel destination, but you never know what can happen in between. You might be delayed at an airport somewhere all night and need your face wash and toothbrush in an unexpected emergency to keep some semblance of your dignity. It’s smart to carry it in your hand luggage for these reasons.
A small first Aid kit may prove very useful later, especially if you are travelling with kids. Prescribed medicine should definitely not be forgotten and it’s recommended to carry the subscription as well to avoid miscommunication at customs. Other things that should not be forgotten if possible are malaria pills depending on the destination, insect repellant, sunscreen if you are going to a very hot place, seasickness, heartburn, and migraine medicine depending on which of those you are more prone to suffer from. An antihistamine and paracetamol may also come in handy in case of allergies or colds.
5. Travel Clothing
This is what takes up most of the space in our bag but it is possible to travel light and to survive with only what is needed and not necessarily your whole wardrobe. This is one of those things that depend on where you are travelling to but there are a few things you can never go wrong with.
• Black and grey neutral colors can be worn over and accessorized in different ways so it does not even seem like you are repeating clothes, and they are less susceptible to dirt.
• A pair of comfortable walking shoes
• A bathing suit, and light skirt as well as two short sleeved shirts. A warm cardigan or jacket, so that you are prepared for both extremes in weather.
• A pair of comfortable jeans, and/or shorts
• At least three tank tops/ vests
• Accessories! When travelling light accessories are every girl’s best friend because they are light and easy to pack. Also they help change up your look a little each day. Even if you’ve worn the same pants twice in a row nobody will notice because your scarf is different, and your jewelry and your whole outlook appearance.
When it comes to packing your clothes, pack clothing using the time-honoured “roll” technique. Lay two or three items on top of one another, smooth to flatten, and roll them up like you would a sleeping bag to save space and prevent wrinkles.
Last but not least pack a travel journal and a camera. You do not want to have a whole adventure without it being recorded anywhere but in your mind. The pictures you take on your trip, and the events you journal down that take place may be more valuable than anything else you bring back home with you. Of course if you are travelling with children you will need a few more things. We have a few tips here.
Great, now check off all the necessities on your checklist, and you are ready to travel!
Shingai is an upcoming writer with a passion for words and expression through writing. She lived in Zimbabwe as a child and has traveled to over ten countries. She craves adventure and hopes to be an inspirational writer. She is currently pursuing a degree in English Literature with a minor in Psychology at Daystar University.