Packing for a long trip is something that I have perfected. Learn from my experience, less is more. The purpose of this post is to tell you how I pack for a trip when I am going overseas.
Why I know how to pack my suitcase?
I would say I am an experienced traveler. I am an American that has lived or traveled to about 3 dozen countries, have a couple of passports and speak a handful of languages. I now live in Poland. It is not that I am anyone special. I am not. I just love to travel and have a sense of adventure. And yes I am married and have a family and a job. How do I do it? I make it work some how and my family does not seem to mind. They go along as we are a team. Am I rich? No, or at least not yet. You can travel the world on a shoe string if you really want to.
What I pack when I pack for a long trip
When I started to travel my packing was based on how much I could put into two suitcases. I remember when I traveled to Russia I even jammed a protein bar with 34 grams of protein for every day I would be there, if I could not get enough to eat. Boy I was a rookie.
This is what I pack for anything over two weeks. Lets say I could even move to the country I am traveling to if I had to.
- Electrical adapter as modern laptops only need the prong head not a full converter.
- Copy of all travel documents and credit cards etc. or you can just write the information down on one sheet.
- About 500 dollars cash and about 50 dollars in the local currency. I also use a bank machine and have not had a problem on the five continents I have traveled to.
- seven pairs of underwear, that t-short, boxers and socks.
- one bathing suit – I do not bring gym clothes anymore as when you are travelling you do enough walking and can do push ups and sit ups in your under wear if you really want to in your room.
- two pairs of jeans, one of which I wear. You can replace this with one pair of shorts if you are going somewhere warm.
- Digital Camera
- Vitamins. I think something like the Vitamin shoppe daily 3 is good. Before the trip I take about two weeks worth of probiotic. I have only taken antibiotics in my once in my whole life and I really did not need it, I wanted to try it. I use probiotic and in emergencies I eat a couple of bulbs of garlic. I would take it, just never needed it, thank God.
- Sunblock SPF 50+ for my face
- One bar of natural soap from Whole Foods, something that will last and I can use for my hair and body and it strong but natural. Since I cleaned up my diet I have not needed deordorant. Really.
- Dental Floss and tooth-brush and natural tooth paste, nail clippers. If your a woman you need a couple of girly things.
- One pair of high quality running or hiking shoes, I wear this and do not take a second pair. I would rather spend a few hundred dollars on the best pair and use it all the time then two pairs of discount shoes.
- A couple of climbing shirts. These are shirts that breath in summer and keep you warm in winter.
- A real map, not twenty print outs from Google maps or a GPS. Keep it simple a map.
- Good hat for protection from the sun. And sun glasses if your glasses do not have UV protection.
- I can not think of anything else
What I do not bring when traveling
- Anything you have back home you can buy in your traveling country and at a fraction of the price in many cases so do not worry.
- Cell phone. Do not need it, I have Skype on my laptop and can call the world. What about in emergencies? No such thing. It is easier to deal with people face to face than try to talk on a cell phone. If you are travelling to meet people, such as if you are single, then OK. But I do not like to be plugged in on vacation.
- Dress clothes. Jeans and a nice shirt, if you are a man or woman does fine. You can substitute one pair of jeans for a pair of khakis
- Creams and lotions and beauty stuff that fills my bathroom back home. I think it is good to take a break from your normal routine, even if its three months.
- Razor, I just do not shave on vacation, its more fun.
- Books – well maybe one good one, but I prefer to see and experience more than read.
- Travel guides. A lot are pure junk written by people who sometimes have not been there or at least in years. I live in Krakow and I read reviews on restaurants that do not make sense. When you get there it is a lot more fun to use your wits and brains and figure out and explore by yourself. You can read up on it when you get back home to fill in the gaps.
How do you pack for a trip? What does your checklist consist of? Do you think this is packing light? With the above mentioned I can live away from the USA indefinitely. In fact when I came to Poland for my vacation, that is all I had and I have been here for years.