The Little General Tips for Overseas Travel (Luggage).

Posted: 24/01/2012 in General Travel Advice
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  • To take a backpack or a suitcase? Often this will be a personal preference but I have only ever travelled with a backpack unless on short trips. I find it easier to get around with, particularly in places that have only stairs and not a lift. As well there are times that a suitcase will simply not be practical.
  • A backpack with a small separate section down the bottom of the pack is handy for carrying your shoes, dirty clothes and toiletries to avoid your clothes getting smelly, dirty and wet. Those using a suitcase without a divider can use a piece of cardboard.
  • When packing your luggage roll your clothes rather than fold them, you will have more space that way.
  • Packing cells are a fantastic way of keeping your luggage sorted and surprisingly they take up very little extra space. You can buy them at most travel shops.
  • You only need 3 pairs of shoes. Sneakers for lots of walking, thongs (flip flops) for shorter amounts of walking, beach etc… and for the ladies a pair of ballerina slippers which can be used both during the day and if you go somewhere a little fancy at night. Wear the sneakers on the flight to save luggage space. Don’t take hiking boots unless you’ll actually be hiking.
  • Think laterally:
    • Some outdoor clothing stores sell reversible polo’s and jumpers if you want variety but need to keep your luggage small.
    • The same stores also sell pants that have zips on the legs to turn them into shorts.
    • For those who are going on long camping trips thermal tops can be versatile. In places such as Africa where the nights may be very cold but the days hot a thermal top can be used as a PJ top overnight but also worn first thing in the morning until it warms up. Polyester will likely make you sweat and will very quickly start to smell. Instead buy a 100% woollen thermal.
    • A nice sarong can be used for the beach, as a wrap when going out in the evening if not too cold and as a shoulder covering (providing its not see through) for any sites you may visit that requires shoulder to be covered.
    • When packing clothes for cold weather consider high performance warm weather gear that dries easily and weighs next to nothing (gore-tex, polypropylene and nycott). This will take up a lot less space than bulky clothes.
  • Ensure you have at least one pair of clothes that cover the shoulders and knees for those visits you make to religious sites otherwise you may not be allowed in.
  • A little black cardigan is the most versatile item of clothing you can take.
  • If you need to take your own towel use a micro fibre one. Not only do they dry quicker but they take up much less space.
  • Don’t waste space with big bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Take travel size ones and buy what you need when you arrive and then as you need it.
  • Rather than washing your hair everyday use a spray on shampoo (available at any hair shop). Goes on like hairspray, wait 2 minutes then brush. Almost as good as if your hairs been washed.
  • A small round hand cream container is a good item to safely store your jewellery in.
  • Use a combination padlock to keep your luggage safe. A key is easier to loose.
  • Are there things that you might only use once or twice and if so is it worth carrying them around for the whole trip? Consider buying them when you need them and then giving them away.  
  • Take a supply of assorted zip lock bags; they will always come in handy.
  • ALWAYS pack your own bag, you need to know what is in there when passing through customs. Pleading ignorance simply will not work.
  • And remember…pack light!
  1. indiaphare says:

    Really good tips – some I’ve learnt through bitter experience, but others were new – thanks!

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