It's no fun to pack, especially when you're going on a long trip. Here are our best packing tips for long-term travel & how to get it done quickly & painlessly!
The world is a big place and there are many places to explore. Every year, people leave their homes in pursuit of adventure and excitement. Some travel around the world for months or even years at a time; others may only take a day-long vacation from their daily routine.
Nowadays, the idea of a "long-term trip" has become increasingly popular. Vacations of a week or more are becoming less and less commonplace, with more people choosing to spend several months at a time in different countries around the world. Today's long-term trips can last anywhere from six months to two years!
But these extended vacations come with their own set of challenges--namely packing for them. For most travelers, it can seem like an impossible task: how do you pack everything you need while only using carry-on luggage? How many outfits should you bring? What about the toiletries?
And what if your luggage gets lost or delayed on its way there? Here are 42 tips that will help make your next long-term trip run smoothly--without all the stress.
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The 42 Packing Tips for Long Trips
This is a compilation of all the packing tips that can make your long trips more seamless and less stressful.
It will provide you with a list of necessary items, as well as other important factors to consider when packing for a trip.
1. Consider what type of traveler you are and pack accordingly
Are you a budget backpacker or an opulent traveler? Do you need any clothes or just a few? A good start is to consider the climate where you'll be going and pack for that region - think warm weather in summer, cold weather in winter, etc.
When traveling to a foreign country, it can be easy to forget about small details like customs and culture. Even if you're not aware that certain things are considered taboo in the place you're visiting, there's a good chance that people living there will be. For example, in some countries, wearing short shorts may be considered offensive to the local residents.
Suppose you're planning on going somewhere where you don't know the customs and culture very well, research as much as possible beforehand so you'll know what type of clothes and accessories to pack. By doing this simple prep work before your trip, you'll save yourself from unnecessary embarrassment or trouble.
2. Start packing as soon as you know where you're going
Packing for a trip can be difficult, especially if you don't know what to bring. To avoid packing too much (or too little), start packing as soon as you know where you're going.
This way, you'll have plenty of time to think about what you need and won't have to stress about its at the last minute. In addition, by packing early you'll be able to avoid the temptation of buying new items once you're on your trip.
When packing, be sure to think about the weather conditions at your destination. If you're traveling to a hot country, you'll need to pack light clothes and sunscreen. If you're traveling to a cold country, you'll need to pack heavier clothes and a coat.
Additionally, try to pack versatile items that can be used for multiple purposes. For example, a scarf can be worn as a shawl, headband, or belt. To make packing easier, use a packing list.
3. Make a packing list
This will help you stay organized and make sure that you don't forget anything important. Plus, you can prevent yourself from the nightmare, of overpacking situation.
Start by thinking about the length of your trip and what activities you'll be doing - this will help you determine what clothes and gear you'll need. Then, take into account the climate of the areas you'll be visiting and pack accordingly.
By following these tips, you'll be able to pack quickly and efficiently without forgetting anything important!
4. Bring a high-quality backpack with wheels and a handle
A high-quality backpack with wheels and a handle can be a lifesaver when traveling. This type of backpack allows you to easily transport all of your belongings with you, without having to carry them on your back.
If you're traveling for an extended period of time, or if you're planning on doing a lot of sightseeing, a backpack with wheels is definitely the way to go. Plus, it's much more comfortable than carrying a heavy backpack on your back all day long!
When packing for your trip, be sure to include a high-quality backpack with wheels and a handle. This will make transporting your belongings much easier and more comfortable. If you're traveling for an extended period of time, or if you'll be doing a lot of sightseeing, make sure to include one of these backpacks in your luggage.
5. Pack light!
You don't want to be hauling around a big heavy bag everywhere you go - nobody wants back problems before they even start their journey. Start by putting together a list of "essentials" that you'll want to take with you, then pare down from there until everything fits into one large backpack or suitcase. Make sure that all pieces of luggage are easy to carry for long distances if needed, such as rolling suitcases or duffel bags with wheels.
6. Limit yourself to four or five pairs of shoes (one for each day)
That includes your everyday walking pair, workout/sports shoes, formal occasions (such as weddings, funerals, etc.), and a nice evening pair. Do not take more than that unless you are bringing an extra bag. It's also helpful to have a separate bag just for dirty laundry so that it doesn't mix with clean clothes.
7. Lay out everything that you want to pack the night before your departure date
Make sure you have all documents in order and the necessary traveling supplies packed away so there's nothing left to do but grab your bags and head out the door on time! This is great because it prevents last-minute packing which leads to forgetting important things like passports, cell phones, etc.
8. Pack a small daypack for daily use
This is perfect for carrying your essentials like a water bottle, sunscreen, snacks, and a map of the area. This will save you from having to carry your larger backpack around all day when you don't need all of its contents.
9. Make copies of important documents like your passport and driver's license and leave them with someone back home
If anything happens to your documents while you're on your trip, you'll at least have a backup copy. It's also helpful to have digital copies of these documents in case you lose your physical copies.
That way, if anything happens to your original documents or you lose them while on your trip, you'll still have a backup copy.
10. Invest in a good quality lock for your luggage
This will help keep your belongings safe while you're away and can prevent anyone from stealing your things if you need to leave them behind for a period of time. Make sure to also bring a small padlock for use on the hostel or hotel room doors.
11. Bring a power adapter and converter if necessary
Not all countries use the same type of electrical outlet, so it's important to be prepared with the right adapters and converters. You can usually purchase these at most electronics stores before departing.
12. Pack a sturdy and waterproof bag for your valuables
This is perfect for storing your camera, laptop, and other electronics that you don't want to get wet or damaged. You can find many affordable options online or at your local outdoor store.
This is also essential for keeping your passport, money, and other important belongings safe and protected from the elements.
13. Pack clothes for the season and climate of your destination
If you're going to a warm climate, pack light clothes that can easily be layered such as tank tops, t-shirts, shorts, and skirts. If you're going someplace cold, bring heavier clothing like jackets, sweaters and long pants. Be sure to also pack rain gear just in case!
14. Make sure to pack items that will help you stay connected while traveling, like chargers or adapters for your devices
There's nothing worse than being without your cell phone or laptop when you need them the most. When traveling, it's important to be prepared for any situation. This includes bringing along the necessary supplies so you can stay connected and powered up while on the go!
You may also want to pack an extra charger or two if anything happens during your trip that requires more juice than what one plug provides, especially if there are kids involved (you know how they love their gadgets).
All this access to technology will come in handy when we're away from home; don't forget whatsoever items that keep us linked 24/7, like chargers and adapters!!
15. Pack toiletries that are lightweight but still have everything you need
It can be tricky to pack everything you need while trying to keep your luggage weight down. However, there are some essential toiletries that you should never leave home without, like shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
Try packing travel-sized versions of your favorite products or look for products that come in lightweight packaging. You can also leave behind items that you don't need or won't use, like full-sized bottles of toothpaste or deodorant.
One thing to keep in mind when packing toiletries is to make sure that all of the products are TSA-approved and can be carried on the plane with you. This means no liquids over 3.4 ounces per item!
16. Keep all important documents in one place (e.g., passport, driver's license)
It's important to always keep your important documents in one place so that you can easily find them when you need them. This includes your passport, driver's license, and any other documents that are important to you.
By keeping all of your important documents together, you'll minimize the chances of losing or damaging them during the trip!
17. Bring your favorite books or save some movies on your phone to keep boredom at bay on long flights or car rides
Boredom can be the death of any vacation. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help keep yourself entertained. If you're traveling by plane, bring along your favorite books or download some movies to your phone or tablet. This will help keep you occupied during the flight and help pass the time more quickly.
If you're traveling by car, make sure to have a variety of activities planned for the trip. This could include listening to music, playing games, or taking scenic detours along the way. By being prepared ahead of time, you'll help minimize boredom and make sure that your trip is as enjoyable as possible!
18. Leave room for souvenirs!
You'll be tempted to buy something every day, so don't feel guilty about bringing home some new treasures from your travels!
Souvenirs are a big part of any trip and you'll likely be tempted to buy something new every day. Don't feel guilty about it — after all, you're on vacation! Bring along some extra room in your luggage so you can bring home some new treasures from your travels.
This could include items like postcards, magnets, keychains, ornaments, and more. By buying souvenirs throughout your trip, you'll help keep the memories of your trip alive for years to come!
19. Invest in a good quality suitcase that will last many trips
A quality suitcase can be a lifesaver when traveling. It will help keep your belongings organized and safe and it will last for many trips. When shopping for a suitcase, be sure to read reviews from other travelers to get an idea of which brands are the best.
You might also want to consider investing in a hard-shell suitcase instead of a soft-shell one. Hard-shell suitcases offer more protection against bumps and scratches and they're less likely to lose their shape over time.
Whatever type of suitcase you choose, be sure to pick one that is lightweight so that you don't have to worry about excess baggage fees. And make sure that it meets the size requirements of your airline. By investing in a good quality suitcase, you'll be sure to prevent any issues while on your next vacation.
20. If this is your first time traveling long-term, set up a travel blog
Traveling long-term can be an amazing experience, but it can also be difficult to keep track of everything when you're on the go. A great way to organize your thoughts and memories is by setting up a travel blog.
By blogging about your experiences, you'll have a permanent record of everything that you've done and seen while traveling. In addition, blogging can be a great way to connect with other travelers who are interested in the same places as you!
If you're not sure how to get started, there are plenty of online resources that can help guide you through the process. Additionally, many social media platforms offer built-in blog features which make it easy to update about your travels.
No matter what kind of blog you decide to set up, be sure to classify it as a travel blog. This will help attract people who are interested in the same places that you're visiting. If your new friends find your blog interesting, they'll be more likely to share it with their friends!
To get started blogging about your travels, consider using WordPress. This website makes it easy for beginners to set up an attractive and informative blog. Learn how to create your first travel blog here.
21. Roll your clothes instead of folding them to save space
This is a packing hack that many travelers swear by. By rolling your clothes instead of folding them, you'll save space in your luggage and minimize the chances of them becoming wrinkled.
There are a few things to keep in mind when rolling your clothes. First, make sure that everything is neatly folded before rolling it up. You also want to avoid packing heavy items on top of lightweight items, as this can cause them to become wrinkled. And lastly, be sure to roll clothes tightly so that they take up less space.
Try out this packing trick on your next trip and see how much space you save! You may be surprised!
22. Wear your bulkiest items on the plane or during car travel
This is another packing hack that can come in handy. By wearing your bulkiest items during travel, you'll free up space in your luggage for other items. This could include items like heavy jackets, boots, and scarves. We have some tips and examples that you can benefit from in both of these situations.
On a plane, you could wear your heaviest items over your everyday clothes. This includes items like heavy jackets, boots, and scarves. By wearing these on the plane instead of packing them in your bag, you'll have more space for other items when it comes time to stow the luggage.
During car travel, bulky sweaters can serve as a pillow or blanket! In this case, use them as an extra layer during the flight or while traveling so that you don't have to pack another item. Not only will this help save room in your bag, but it'll also keep you insulated from the elements!
23. Bring snacks and water to avoid paying high prices at airports or rest stops
Being on the road can be tough, especially if you have an empty stomach. By bringing food with you on your travels, you'll have some snacks at your disposal that won't break the bank. This is a simple way to save money while traveling without sacrificing convenience!
When packing your food and drinks, remember to pack items that are easy to transport and don't take up a lot of space in your luggage. For example, stick to fruits and sandwiches made from bread or tortillas instead of items like fruit pies or cakes which will create more mess. In addition, it's important to bring containers for liquids so they stay spill-free when being transported.
24. Keep essential toiletry items in 3-ounce containers when flying so they comply with TSA regulations
Essential toiletry items can take up a lot of space in your carry-on if you don't have the right bag or containers for them. By keeping them in 3-ounce containers, they'll comply with TSA regulations and fit conveniently into your luggage without taking up too much space.
To keep things organized while traveling, keep all your essential toiletry items together in a Tupperware container. This way, you won't have to search through multiple bags just to find one item!
Additionally, remember to pack more than one container if you're bringing different liquids like shampoo and face wash since each liquid has its own volume restrictions.
25. Keep travel-sized deodorant sticks in Ziploc bags to avoid them spilling in your luggage
Deodorant sticks can be a real hassle when traveling. Not only do they take up a lot of space, but they're also prone to spilling if they're not properly packed. By keeping them in Ziploc bags, you'll prevent them from spilling into your luggage and make them easy to transport
When packing your deodorant sticks, be sure to place each one in its own bag. This will help keep them organized and easy to find. In addition, it's a good idea to pack an extra bag or two just in case one of the deodorant sticks leaks.
26. Bring together the documents that you already copy, just in case you lose them while away
Being on the road can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be scary if you lose your important documents. To avoid being stranded without identification, make copies of everything!
To keep all of your documents together, pack them in a folder or envelope. Then, use a stapler to bind the edges so that nothing will get lost. In addition to your important documents like your passport and driver's license, consider packing other items like hotel vouchers just in case they're necessary for travel.
When traveling internationally, it's especially important to have multiple copies of your documents on hand since you don't want to risk losing them while abroad! When making copies of these important documents, be sure to use a color printer since black and white copies won't be acceptable by border security.
27. If you're prone to allergies, pack your medications and an EpiPen if necessary
Being on the road can sometimes trigger allergies or exacerbate existing ones. If you're prone to allergies, it's important to pack your medications in order to avoid discomfort during your travels.
Additionally, if you have an EpiPen prescription, be sure to bring it with you when traveling! An EpiPen is a medical device that fires a shot of adrenaline in case of a life-threatening allergic reaction
To maximize space when packing your medications, consider purchasing pill organizers which are specially designed for carrying pills. These containers will make it easy for you to pack all of your allergy medications into one bag. In addition, they'll help keep them organized so that you won't have to fumble through multiple bags just looking for one medication.
28. Bring toiletries that are lightweight but still have everything you need
For all-inclusive resorts and vacation packages, you won't need to worry about bringing along your own toiletries. However, if you're visiting a country where the English language is not spoken like Mexico or France. In that case, it might be tougher for you to find what you need at the local pharmacy.
Additionally, those traveling by plane will only be allowed liquids under 100 ml (3 fl oz) in their carry-on luggage. To make things easier on yourself, bring along travel-size versions of everything that you'll need, like shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, bug spray, face wash, moisturizer, lotion, toothpaste and brush, dental floss, q-tips, and cotton pads.
To save space in your bag when packing travel-size toiletries, purchase a toiletry bag that folds up and or squeezes down. If you're traveling with a partner, consider sharing toiletries to save even more space. By being prepared and packing smart, you'll have everything you need without taking up too much valuable luggage space.
29. If traveling with a partner, consider sharing toiletries and suitcases to save space and weight
When traveling with a partner, it might be tempting to split up the packing process by each packing one suitcase. However, this can cause some major problems later on if you're not organized.
To avoid losing time and ending up frustrated or missing your flight, consider sharing suitcases instead of each person bringing one along. If you plan on sharing suitcases, it's best to label them with both names so that there is no confusion as to whose belongs to who at baggage claim.
30. Label everything! This will help you avoid losing any of your belongings while on vacation
One of the biggest fears travelers have is losing their belongings while on vacation. This can be a major headache, especially if you're abroad and don't know the language. To help avoid this, label everything in your luggage with your name and contact information. This could include your phone number, email address, or home address.
If you lose something while on vacation, having this information will make it much easier to track it down. And it's always a good idea to keep a copy of this information with you as well, just in case. By taking these simple steps, you'll help minimize the chances of losing anything while on vacation!
31. Pack a power strip for charging multiple devices simultaneously
If you're traveling with multiple devices, such as a phone, laptop, or tablet, you'll likely want to charge them all at once. To make this process easier, pack a power strip. This will allow you to plug in all of your devices at once and charge them without having to worry about outlets.
Power strips are small and compact, so you won't have to worry about taking up valuable luggage space. If possible, consider packing a power strip with multiple USB ports, as this will allow you to charge more than one device at once. By taking these simple steps before you leave on your trip, you'll save time and energy later!
32. Plan your outfit ahead of time so you don't reach for dirty or wrinkled clothing
When you arrive at your destination, the last thing you want to do is be digging through dirty or wrinkled clothing trying to find something suitable for a social event. To avoid this situation, plan ahead and pack outfits that coordinate with each other in one suitcase. When you arrive, simply grab an outfit from your suitcase and go!
By taking these simple steps before your trip, you'll ensure that all your clothes are freshly laundered and ready to wear--no ironing required. You'll also save time looking for matching accessories or buying new ones once you get there. And best of all, these little tricks will give you more space for souvenirs on the way home!
33. Pack an empty water bottle for inflight refills or cleaning teeth
When traveling by plane, it's next to impossible to bring liquids over 100 ml (3 fl oz) through the security checkpoint unless they're in their original containers. This is where an empty water bottle can come in handy. Not only does it mean that you won't have to buy water once you're through security, but you can also use it to clean your teeth or take a quick drink on the plane.
Just be sure that your bottle is empty before going through security, as TSA agents will not allow any liquids in your luggage unless they're in a sealed container. And if you're traveling to a country where tap water isn't safe to drink, be sure to pack a few bottles of water as well. By taking these simple steps, you'll make your travel experience much easier!
34. You should also bring along any medications that you may need for the duration of your trip
Pack at least 2 weeks’ worth of any medications that you take regularly. If you're traveling outside the US, it's also a good idea to carry an additional supply in case your luggage is lost or delayed for some reason.
By taking these simple steps before your trip, you'll save time and energy later! Make sure to keep all medications in their original packaging and clear of expiry dates. And be sure to mention them to a doctor if you visit a new country, as the same medication may exist under a different name there.
35. Pack your sunscreen and insect repellent!
When traveling, it's important to pack sunscreen and insect repellents. Also, be sure that your sunblock is water- or sweatproof, as you'll be exposed to a lot of moisture while on the beach!
Not only will this help protect you against sunburns, but it can also prevent wrinkles from forming so early in life. To save space when packing these products, simply pack travel sizes in small containers. If the travel size isn't enough for your entire trip, consider buying refills before leaving home--most pharmacies carry them.
The last thing you want is to get a sunburn or mosquito bite while on vacation. So, make sure these items are easily accessible in your bag so you can apply them as needed.
36. If you're going to be doing a lot of laundries while on the road, pack some detergent and fabric softener
Laundry can be a major pain while on the road. By packing some detergent and fabric softener, you'll be able to take care of your laundry needs without having to search for a laundromat.
There are a few things to keep in mind when packing laundry detergent and fabric softeners. First, make sure that the containers are small and easy to transport. You don't want them taking up a lot of space in your luggage.
Additionally, it's important to pack items that are specific to the type of fabric you'll be washing. For example, if you're traveling with clothes made from delicate fabrics, be sure to pack a gentle detergent and fabric softener.
37. Pack snacks that won't spoil easily
When you're on the go, it's important to have snacks with you that won't spoil easily. This way, you'll always have something to eat no matter where you are. Here are some great snacks to pack that won't spoil easily:
Fresh fruit: Fresh fruit is a great snack to pack because it doesn't spoil easily and it's also a healthy option. Choose fruits like apples, grapes, or oranges that can last for a few days without spoiling.
Jerky: Jerky is another great option for a portable snack. It doesn't spoil easily and it's also high in protein. Look for brands of jerky that don't contain too much sodium or sugar.
Trail mix: Take a bag of trail mix with you, it's a great, filling snack that you can eat without worrying about it going bad. To make sure your trail mix doesn't spoil easily, choose fruits or candy bars that are individually packed and don't come in large packages.
Cheese sticks: Cheese sticks are another healthy snack option because they're high in calcium and protein. Make sure the cheese sticks you bring with you don't have any rinds or added ingredients that will go bad quickly.
Granola bars and fruit are great options because they don't need to be refrigerated.
You can also opt for a thermos filled with hot cocoa or tea. These drinks will keep your body warm when it's cold outside.
Don't forget the utensils—a plastic knife, spoon, and fork take up minimal space in your bag but can be useful if you're bringing sandwiches or other foods that require cutting/eating/digging through layers.
38. Bring an envelope of rubber bands in case your luggage gets stuck in transit
Rubber bands are a traveler's best friend, especially if your luggage gets stuck in transit. Not only can they secure clothing and prevent wrinkles, but you can also use them to attach things like your hotel keycard or room number to the outside of your bag!
The last thing you want is to get lost trying to find your hotel while carrying everything you need for the next week. Don't forget to bring at least 2 rolls of rubber bands with you--one for each suitcase. You never know when an extra band will come in handy!
If your luggage is delayed or gets lost, then this simple fix will help keep it closed until it reaches its final destination. Simply put a few rubber bands over the zippers so the bag stays securely closed--and remember to remove them before using the suitcase again!
This is also a great way to distinguish your luggage from someone else's if you check in with an airline. Just be sure that they're not overstretched, as this can cause damage to the luggage or make them unusable later!
39. Bring a power adapter for your devices
It's important to bring a power adapter for your devices when you're traveling. This way, you'll be able to charge your devices even if there aren't any outlets available. There are a few different types of adapters, so make sure you bring the right one for your devices. If you're not sure which type of adapter to bring, ask a salesperson at the electronics store or do some research online.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not all countries use the same type of outlet. Make sure you know what type of outlet is used in the country you're visiting so you can buy the correct adapter. You don't want to end up with a bunch of chargers that you can't use!
When packing for your trip, be sure to include a power adapter for your devices. This way, you'll never have to worry about your devices running out of juice.
This is an important tip that many people forget when they're packing for a trip. By bringing a power adapter, you'll make sure that your devices always stay charged. Make sure to do some research online or at the electronics store to find the right adapter for your devices before you leave on your trip.
41. Purchase travel insurance!
One of the most important things you can do when traveling is purchase travel insurance. This will protect you in case something unexpected happens during your trip. For example, if you get sick or injured while you're away from home, travel insurance will help pay for your medical expenses.
Travel insurance also covers lost or stolen baggage, trip cancellations, and other unexpected events. Make sure to compare different travel insurance policies to find the one that's best for you. There are a lot of different options out there, so take the time to find the policy that fits your needs.
In short, travel insurance protects you from theft or accidents that happen during your trip--and it can even cover emergency medical expenses! It's important to purchase travel insurance before leaving home so that if anything does go wrong, you'll be protected by the policy's terms and conditions. You can buy travel insurance from most major credit cards, or you can get a standalone policy.
40. Bring a photocopy of your passport and all other documents
It's always a good idea to bring a photocopy of your passport and other important documents with you when you're traveling. That way, if you lose your passport or something else happens to your documents, you'll have a copy to show to the authorities. You can either keep the photocopies in your bag or in a safe place at your hotel.
Make sure to also bring a photocopy of your credit card and driver's license. If something happens and you need to cancel your credit cards or order a new driver's license, having copies of these documents will make the process a lot easier.
When packing for your trip, be sure to include a copy (or two) of your passport and other important documents. This way, you'll always have a backup if something happens to your original documents.
To protect against fire or water damage, simply make a photocopy before you leave home. Then place it in a small plastic sleeve for protection and pack it in your luggage with any other important papers that you may need while on vacation.
42. Finally, always be prepared for the unexpected
No matter how well you plan your trip, there's always a chance that something will go wrong. That's why it's important to always be prepared for the unexpected. This includes bringing along extra money in case of an emergency, packing a change of clothes in case you get wet or dirty, and having a list of local contacts handy in case you need help while away from home.
By following all of these tips, you'll be well on your way to having a stress-free and enjoyable vacation!