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Life changes

What do you really need to pack when travelling

Whether you’re jetting off for a week’s holiday or for 3 months of backpacking, it can be tricky to know what to take with you. If you’re getting away from the cold British winter this year, get prepared by reading this blog on what you need to pack for your travels.

Travel documents

You can’t get far without your passport, so this should be at the top of your list along with any travel tickets. Make sure you have cash with you and your debit card or a travel card for payments and withdrawing more cash while you’re out there. Important information should also be printed out or saved, like travel insurance documents and emergency contact details.

The essentials:
  • Passport
  • Boarding pass/ticket
  • Cash
  • Bank/travel card
  • Insurance documents
  • Emergency contact details

Clothes

Obviously you need clothes…but knowing what to take and how much of it can be hard. If you’re travelling for a long period, then the weather is likely to change while you’re out there, so you may need to pack for a couple of seasons. Check the weather forecast to help you decide how many layers to pack and whether you’ll need your thermals or your shorts. Try to keep it down to the essentials and wash clothes while you’re out there to save on space (travel wash comes in handy!). A towel comes in handy too in case they’re not provided in hostels, etc.

The essentials:
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas
  • Vests and t-shirts
  • Jumpers
  • Jeans
  • Waterproof jacket

Toiletries

Again, you should pack the essentials and then buy anything else you need out there. It’s a good idea to take travel-sized bottles with you – they don’t take up too much weight and are allowed in your hand luggage. Then you can buy larger bottles of toiletries out there. Depending on where you’re staying, things like shampoo and shower gel may be provided for free.

The essentials:
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shower gel/soap
  • Face wipes
  • Lip balm

First aid kit

Carrying some basic first aid supplies and medications can be a lifesaver when you’re travelling abroad. You can buy basic first aid kits to take with you, pre-packed with all the essentials. Make sure you have enough medication for any existing conditions. Painkillers and supplies for things like indigestion and diarrhoea are always handy for just in case (in case the food doesn’t agree with you!).

The essentials:
  • Plasters
  • Dressing
  • Bandages
  • Antiseptic wipes/gel/cream
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Painkillers
  • Antihistamines

Entertainment

Will you have a lot of downtime on your trip? If you have to spend the night in an airport, have a long train journey, or are stuck in the hostel for a day because of bad weather, you should be able to keep yourself entertained. E-readers are lightweight and more efficient than taking lots of books with you. A pack of cards can also be good for solo games or with people you meet along the way. If you’re working while you travel, you may also you’re your laptop. Make sure you have the necessary chargers for your phone and any other devices you take with you. A battery pack is also recommended for when you can’t access a power point.

The essentials:
  • Mobile Phone
  • E-reader
  • Tablet
  • Laptop
  • Headphones
  • Pack of cards
  • Travel board games
  • Chargers

Luggage

You’re probably travelling with a large suitcase or backpack. As well as this, it’s a good idea to have a smaller backpack or handbag for when you’re out and about and don’t have to carry everything around with you. Padlocks are needed if you’re staying in a hostel – most have lockers for you to leave your stuff in. You can even use padlocks to secure your light backpack as pickpockets are known to target tourist hotspots.

The essentials:
  • Your main luggage – suitcase or backpack
  • Hand luggage – handbag or smaller backpack
  • Compact bag for during the day
  • Document wallet for passport, money, etc.

Make sure your home is prepared for your travels, too. This is important if you’re away for a while as your home could become a target. Have mail redirected or held so that it doesn’t pile up in your letterbox. Keep your valuables secure in a safe place in your home or with a storage company like bySTORED. Setting up timed lights can create the illusion that your home is occupied.

You don’t want to waste money on bills while you’re away, so make sure everything else is switched off and unplugged if necessary. Consume, throw away, or donate any food that isn’t going to last.

If you’re going full nomad and moving out of your permanent home to go travelling, then bySTORED is a great solution for storing some of your possessions. This way, you don’t have to get rid of things or carry everything with you.

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