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Since the beginning of 2020, travel has been restricted in various ways all around the world. Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has put vacation plans to the back of many of our lives, while people stayed home and kept safe. It has been, for some people, over two years since they took a trip within their own country or abroad. For many, this is quite different!
As the pandemic has worn on, the restrictions have slowly lifted throughout the world. In some places, travel is completely unrestricted and back to normal. In others, you still have to consider various travel rules. Either way, travel is back on!
The issue is, everybody is so out of practice. It’s probably been a long time since you went through an airport, jumped on a train, or boarded a ferry. Before that even comes, though, you probably haven’t packed a suitcase for a long time! Sure, packing is packing, but can you forget how to pack efficiently? Definitely. This handy guide will walk you through getting back into traveling and making sure you have some top packing tips that every traveler should know.
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The Joy of Travel
Before you get into the packing and travel tips - let’s focus on why it’s so great to get out there again. For many people, travel is the spice of life. There’s something special about exploring the world, finding somewhere new, and seeking adventure. It doesn’t matter where you’re going, there’s something to experience everywhere.
Travel can be the time you make new, lifelong, forever friends. It can be the time that you make new memories that last a lifetime. Travel brings new people, new cultures, new foods, and all sorts of other wonderful new experiences into your life. So, whether you’re looking for a 6-month round-the-world adventure or a long weekend in the countryside, there’s never been a better time to get back out there and see the sights.
Think About Where You’re Going
Of course, before you start to pack and look at the top tips for packing, you should be thinking about where you’re going. For example, if you’re heading up the mountains for a skiing holiday, your pack is going to be rather different from someone who’s packing for a beach holiday.
Have in mind what you’re going to be doing when you get to your chosen destination. If you’re an explorer and planning lots of long walks, make sure you’ve got the right and most comfortable shoes for such a trip. If you’re planning on doing nothing but lounging by a swimming pool, make sure you’re digging out all your favorite beachwear! These considerations come long before you start actually packing your bags.
Above, holidays such as skiing trips were briefly touched upon. It goes without saying that if your vacation revolves around an activity like skiing or watersports, you’ll need to be considering what equipment you’re packing, alongside your clothes. Often, people opt to hire sporting equipment at their chosen destination. Sometimes, though, that’s not possible. You may feel you need to take your own gear with you - and that’s fine!
Let’s take watersports as an example. The professional watersports team over at WaterSportsWhiz.com lists a huge amount of kayaking and boarding equipment, along with some tips on how to travel with such gear. Obviously, you’re not going to be able to take a kayak on many flights - or if you do, it’s not going to be cheap! They do share, however, how to travel light with a kayak and all the essentials for a road trip.
Top Packing Tips:
So, regardless of where you’re going and how you’re traveling, you still probably require some packing trips - especially if you haven’t been away in a while or not! Watersports or not, below you’ll find the 7 top packing tips for your suitcase and general packing. Let’s get packing!
1. Roll it Up!
You may have stumbled upon this tip before, or perhaps you already do this one anyway; it’s quite the popular tip. Either way, it’s worth addressing, as this trick is used by travelers of all kinds, from backpackers to business travelers. Rolling clothes is a huge space saver.
The benefit of rolling your clothes is two-fold - no pun intended. Firstly, the amount of space taken by a rolled-up shirt, jumper, or pair of trousers is far less than the equivalent item would use when folded. You can roll clothes far tighter than you can fold them, leaving you more room to pack more in.
Secondly, it’s better for your clothes. Folding items and then packing them in tightly together can quite obviously lead to deep creases and wrinkles in them. Rolling clothes neatly and tightly is far less likely to cause creases - win-win!
2. Research Baggage Policies
This tip is important no matter how you travel - always know how much you can carry on flights, trains, or boats. Airlines, especially, have such varied baggage policies that it’s very hard to keep up. But, if you make sure you’re aware of these policies long in advance, then you are less likely to have an unwelcome financial surprise at an airport.
This is important for all kinds of luggage. If you go back to specialist items like sports gear or musical instruments, you need to check which airlines will carry them and for what cost. With your checked luggage, you need to be aware of weight limits. And, for your carry-on luggage, you need to be aware of both weight and restricted items - more on this later.
3. Have a List
When it comes to packing your suitcase, space-saving tips are excellent. However, even with all the packing aids and rolled clothes in the world, you can still somehow manage to forget an important item. To avoid this, write a list!
Start writing your list the minute you book your travels. Get excited about where you are going and think about what clothing, essentials, and other bits you might need. The longer you have to write your list, the less likely you are to forget something in a panic.
4. Follow the 3-1-1 Liquid Rule
Back to hand luggage now, and the all-important 3-1-1 rule. This rule relates to what liquids you can take onto an aircraft in your carry-on luggage and pretty much applies everywhere in the world.
All liquids brought on board must be less than 3.4fl oz or 100ml, and must all fit into 1 quart-sized resealable bag. So all your toothpaste, perfumes, or anything else you want to take on board must fit these rules. Of course, prescription medications and some other liquids are exempt.
5. Consider Packing Aids
When you are trying to stuff three weeks’ worth of clothing into one 25kg bag, things can get a little stressful. This is especially apparent if you are packing for multiple events and need suits, dresses, shoes, or other formal attire. How are you going to fit this all in?
This is where packing aids come in handy, the most popular of which is the vacuum-sealed bag. In these bags, you can stuff your rolled or pressed clothing, then suck out all of the air. This technique allows you to fit all your clothing into even tighter packing spaces than rolling alone does.
6. Wash on the Road
Whether you’re on vacation, on business, or on tour, there will almost certainly be laundry facilities available. This may not sound like a packing tip is coming - but there is! Why pack three weeks’ worth of clothing when you could pack half of that and wash your clothes on your trip?
Sure, doing laundry on vacation doesn’t sound that dreamy. But, in many resorts, your clothing can be washed for you for a bargain price. In others, there are washer dryers for just a few dollars. Pop your washing in the machine and forget about it for three hours, returning to find ready-to-wear clothing for your afternoon or evening. The money you will save in excess baggage fees and the stress you will relieve from not having to stuff your suitcase until it explodes will be totally worth it.
7. Pack Coordinated Items Together
Finally, a tip that will help you once you are out on your travels. Often, it’s a scramble to dig out the right jeans and shirt to wear to dinner or the right suit for a meeting.
This can be avoided by packing your coordinated items together. You spot your black jeans and your white tee is rolled up inside. You spot your formal skirt and your work shirt is rolled neatly inside - see where this is going? A time-saving and panic-reducing tip.
These tips will help you not only see the world in style - wearing and reusing all your favorite clothes - but will also help you see the world in a stress-free manner. If you’re getting back to traveling in 2022 and beyond, consider using some of these top tips to make your travels that little bit easier. Plus, you’ll probably save some money along the way too.
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