When you are going on a long trip, it can be very difficult to decide what to pack and what to leave behind. You may want to pack enough that you will be well prepared for any eventuality, but at the same time, it’s best to avoid numerous back-breaking bags. Packing the wrong items can detract from the fun of your trip. Here are some tips for what to pack and what to leave behind when you are leaving for a long trip.
When in doubt, leave it out
This is an important tip to follow when you are leaving for a long trip. You might have one extra outfit that would be nice to have along, but you might not feel sure you’ll need it on the trip. In this event, it’s usually best to leave it behind and make room for something else in your bag. Stick to the necessities as much as possible, and choose items that are multipurpose, such as shirts you can wear with sleeves rolled up. Remember, if you pack things you aren’t sure you’ll need, you may actually run out of room for the things that are truly necessary for the trip – and you definitely won’t have room for souvenirs!
Prepare for extremes of weather
While you may expect warm, comfortable temperatures, you never know when you might face an unusually chilly night, a lot of wind, or a steady downpour of rain. To avoid “poor-preparation misery,” pack with such possibilities in mind, and make sure you have enough clothing to layer if you need to. For example, you may need to dress in layers so that you can stay warm on a chilly morning and then remove unnecessary clothing as the day warms up. Think a couple of extra t-shirts, a sweater or two, a thin raincoat that is easy to fold and store, and a small umbrella.
Choose the right shoes
Don’t overlook the importance of the right shoes when you are trying to pack well for a long trip. For example, you may do well to pack and wear comfortable shoes that will allow you to do a lot of walking and standing without unnecessary pain. Break them in before you travel, and take care in choosing comfortable socks that absorb moisture, and allow your feet to breathe as well. If you will need fancy shoes for nights out on the town, try to choose a pair that is neutral in color, so you can wear them on more than one occasion.
Wash and wear
Opt for clothing that is wash and wear as much as possible. If your clothing requires little care, you’ll be more carefree on your trip. Likewise, you may get away with packing less, as you can use your hotel’s laundry facilities to wash your clothing or even hand-wash some things. It’s also a good idea to choose pieces that won’t require a lot of preparation when looking nice is important. For instance, you may be able to find a skirt, shirt or pants that don’t wrinkle easily and roll them up for packing. This way, you have something nice to wear without worrying about ironing.
Also, don’t forget about what you’re packing in – choose a lightweight suitcase or backpack, so you’re not adding too much weight to your overall luggage. That way you’ll have extra weight allowance in case you need to pick up some additional items on your trip.
How do you plan and pack for a long trip? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.
Image source: flickr (jetalone)