How can I Travel More?

Here are some basic tips

  • Even if you are checking one main bag, be sure to take one change of clothing and all your important items (documents, prescriptions, etc.) with you in a carry-on bag in case your checked luggage is delayed or lost.
  • Most youth hostels have laundry rooms and most hotels have laundry services.
  • If you must carry more clothing, try to pack things that are disposable or cheap to replace. This can apply to underwear, T-shirts, jeans, etc.
  • Bring one set of basics for each day of travel: underwear, socks, etc. If the trip is more than 5-7 days, then plan on washing clothes.
  • An alternative to packing extra clothing wearing the layered look. For example, you could wear a sweater with a shirt underneath. This is a good idea anyway, since it helps you cope with unexpected weather changes.
  • If the trip is longer than a few days, you may consider doing what certain travel writers do: take only the essentials with you on the plane and ship everything else to your final destination (if possible). Buy insurance to cover any damage your stuff may incur when it is shipped.
  • If you are bringing a purse, try to fit it in your larger bag. That way, you’ll have less stuff to lug around.
  • Wear clothing with pockets whenever possible so that your essentials (ID, passport, credit card, money, hotel key) are on your person at all times.
  • Make 2 photocopies of the front and back of your credit cards, travelers checks, passport and ID. Leave one at home with someone you can call, and keep one in a secure place at your destination. That way if anything gets stolen you will have the information when reporting it. If you have access to a scanner, you can scan everything and email it to yourself or store it securely online. A digital camera works pretty well as a ‘scanner.’
  • Keep money in several different places (your pants pocket, your jacket, two different places in your purse and/or main bag), so you won’t lose everything in the event of a robbery.
  • If you don’t own clothing with pockets, you don’t need a new wardrobe. Get a money belt or pouch. These items can be hidden underneath your clothes. Under the sole of your shoe is a good place to keep larger bills.
  • Consider fast-wicking (drying) expedition clothing. These clothes are designed for frequent washing, high durability, and are rated by “zones”for specific climates.
  • An empty compactable duffel bag can be attached to your main bag and can be used if you find yourself in need of more than one bag.
  • To prevent shampoo bottles from leaking, take a good size piece of plastic (like a piece of trash bag or sandwich bag) unscrew the lid off of the shampoo, cover the hole and then screw the lid back on. Make sure the plastic is sticking out around all sides of the lid.
  • With clothes that you aren’t concerned about wrinkling (T-Shirts, Jeans, Underwear, etc.), you can minimize the space in the bag by rolling them up rather than folding them.
  • Using a PDA to read books will save space and weight even when taking the charger into account – and you can download new books at any internet cafe (or WiFi hotspot with the right hardware). Be sure to pick one with good battery life and screen.
  • If you are going for a longer trip or holiday, consider buying a local wardrobe once you have arrived at your destination – not only will you travel much lighter, you’ll end up not looking like a tourist!
  • Consider mailing some items ahead – pick light-weight, bulky items to mail.
  • Pick neutral colors so your outfits are easier to match.
  • Wear hand-washable travel underwear such as Ex-Officio Boxer-Briefs (not a shameless plug, they’re just the best), which are extremely breathable, keep you comfortable, and air-dry within hours.
  • Keep a list of hostels available to you. Sure they may get crowded but they are cheap lodgings in the event you can find nothing else.
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