There's nothing more exciting than preparing for a big trip. Whether you're travelling around the world or traversing a continent, you'll need to think about what you will take you. Packing for travelling is different to packing for a holiday, as you'll be away for longer and probably be a lot more active. The last thing you'd want is to book a hiking trip in the jungle and realise you didn't bring the right shoes or to end up in the middle of monsoon season without a raincoat.
Check The Weather!
It might sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people forget to check the weather or season of the places they're visiting. I was travelling from the U.S.A to Colombia in June and it was warm in both countries, I forgot to check the weather in the rest of Latin America though! I didn't realise it was actually heading into the winter; so once I got to Peru it was freezing at night. I had no coat or jumpers so I had to waste money on buying winter clothes.
Pack For All Seasons
If you don't have a plan of where exactly you're going or how long you'll be away, then pack for all seasons. Take a jumper and a scarf but don't pack too many heavy winter clothes as you can layer instead. You may not need a coat but it's always wise to take a waterproof jacket. Even if you're not planning on a beach destination, it's always worth packing a swimsuit, who knows you might end up hiking to a waterfall.
Take Travel Sized Toiletries
Large shampoo bottles and shower gels take up space and weigh a lot too. You're better off buying small reusable bottles and filling them up. This way you can keep refilling them through the trip. Always carry a small hand sanitiser or wet wipes too, trust me you'll have at least one situation where they come in handy.
Don't Over pack Your Luggage
No matter where you're travelling too there's probably a chance that you'll do some shopping. That's why it's best not to over pack, leave some space for your gifts, souvenirs and new clothes.
Pack Your Clothes In Bags
When your travelling extensively it can be a nightmare to find your things in your luggage, as it's so hard to stay organised. The best way to stop yourself from losing things is by separating your clothes into bags. For example, pants can go in one bag, tops and t-shirts in another. You should still fold them but this way you know exactly where everything is and you won't spend half an hour trying to dig out your favourite blouse.
Always Pack Valuables And Medication In Your Carry On
If there's anything you literally can't live without such as medications, you should always remind yourself to pack them in your carry on in case of an emergency. On a trip to Vietnam I packed my favourite bag in my luggage, when I got it out the next day I realised it had been badly damaged since somebody had put their suitcase on top of mine. That's why it's best to carry your prized possessions with you!
Take all the essentials
Make a list of things that would be useful in different situations or places that you're travelling to. Do you need bug spray or malaria tablets? There are some things that are always come in handy, pack two phone chargers, and a few travel adapters. You'll definitely end up losing things so it's always good to have backups. Below are some other useful items to take for long trips.
-Painkillers and a first aid kit
-Sewing kit- trust me it will come in handy
Take Clothes That You Can Layer
Pack clothes that you can mix and match and layer. When you go on holiday you probably plan multiple outfits for each day. When travelling, you probably won't have as much use for evening dresses and stilettos. Pack vests, t-shirts and one smart jacket and a pair of pants. This way you can dress anything up.
Packing is an art, it takes time and practice. For my first few trips, I would always forget things or over pack and have to buy a new suitcase. I remember being sick and having to buy overpriced paracetamol that I could have taken with me! That's why it's best to prepare so your'e not caught out!