Let me tell you, when I made my first trip abroad two years ago, I wish I would have researched tips on how to travel light when embarking on an international adventure. I was traveling to the Philippines to stay for a month. I ended up island hopping about 6 times by plane and by ferry. I had two large suitcases and a backpack that was loaded up to the point that it was hard to close. I quickly learned “on the fly” how to travel light internationally and here are some helpful tips to lighten the load so you can enjoy your vacation without so much baggage!
Tips To Travel Light While On International Vacations
A pair of jeans, two shorts, 3 shirts, 3 pairs of undergarments, and 3 socks – That’s all you need! Of course, this depends on the climate where you are going so this can vary somewhat. On my first trip I was staying in hotels. Most places I went in the Philippines had a laundry service right there at the hotel. If not, you can ask the reception and they can direct you to a reputable laundry service that will pick up and drop off your clothes for you.
If you plan to stay in one place, book a condo or apartment – Living out of hotels was somewhat tedious, but I had intentions of going to 5 different islands in the Philippines and knew that I wouldn’t be planted in one location for long. However, if you are going to a country and plan to spend the majority of your time in one location, then book a condo through Airnb (Use that link to receive $20 off your next booking!) You will find that renting a condo unit is significantly cheaper then paying for hotels. When you add on the taxi fare and all the added hassle, this is a lifesaver!
Layer up for the plane ride – I have learned that the flight overseas usually tends to be on the chilly side. My first trip overseas I was in flip flops and shorts thinking that I would be more comfortable on the plane. It took me 26 hours (including the layovers) to get to the Philippines and was cold the whole time! Be sure to wear your heaviest shirt (with a light shirt underneath), your jeans and your shoes on the flight. Not only will you be more comfortable if the temperature on the plane is cold, you will also be wearing your clothes that take up the most space in your luggage! If the temp on the plane is too warm you can always take off your outter layer because you read this blog and have a light cotton tee shirt on underneath 😉
Buy your flip flops / t-shirts overseas – You really don’t even need to pack flip flops if you are going on a vacation in a warm weather climate. Flip flops and t-shirt stands are everywhere! Guess what? They are cheap too!
Only bring the accessories that you can’t find elsewhere – If your international travels will keep you abroad for an extended time, you might just want to consider purchasing your accessories while you are there. Guess what? Curling irons, flat irons, hair dryers, etc.. are sold all over the world. You also wouldn’t have to worry about trying to figure out which electricity adapter you have to attach to all of your accessories. Different countries often require different adapters according to their voltage regulations. I fried my electric toothbrush charger after I forgot about using my adapter after switching hotels.
Pack colors that easily match – This may apply especially to the ladies 🙂 When picking out the apparel that you want to bring, leave out the bright green tee that doesn’t match anything else in your suitcase 😉
Purchase a killer backpack – I suggest using a good backpack as your carry on luggage. You will be so happy you have one if your going to a country where you will be on your feet a lot. The countries I have been to, I generally traveled by taxi and was on my feet a lot. When your out shopping it’s nice to have your hands free while touring a city. A backpack with support really saved my back from unnecessary aches and pains. A backpack can also store an amazing amount of items. The backpack that I used (lifesaver) has a special compartment that stores and protects my laptop as well as added compartments on the outside to hold accessories (like a bottle of water for instance). You will enjoy your vacation more if you have your hands aren’t full of your days purchases, water, phone, etc…
Lighten your load as you go – I packed way to much on my first travel abroad. I had a 10 pack of Hanes t-shirts for goodness sakes. A three pack of t-shirts would have been sufficient. After I did my laundry I ended up giving away my t-shirts. I was traveling in a developing country, so I left the (cleaned) cotton tee shirts in the hotel room folded up with a nice message on the nightstand that said “Please take if you wish.” There are many poor people in the Philippines so I’m sure those t-shirts (that had only been worn once or twice) came in handy for a few families.
Limit yourself to 1 suitcase with rollers – Even if you have to purchase a larger suitcase, try to be able to fit all of your things in one suitcase rather than dragging two around. At times you will be tired and cranky. The last thing you need is to be dragging two suitcases with a backpack through airports, into taxi cabs and hotels you enter. One backpack / one suitcase max!
I hope some of these tips may help you. Vacations should be fun! Stress is what you are trying to leave behind. There is no need to bring added stresses to your life. Regardless of whether you are going on a solo travel adventure our with a group of friends, travel as light as you can and you will find that you will be much happier on your adventure. Happy travels! Please Like “Travel Without A Map” on Facebook for more travel tips as well as meeting other international travelers like yourself!