Do you love traveling? Do you get a thrill from active adventures? Do you enjoy the freedom to explore new places and experiences on your own terms? As an adventure seeker, you probably like spontaneity. You also probably know you’ll need to do some planning and organizing to make the most of your travel experience.
To help you overcome those unexpected and sometimes inconvenient surprises that can occur during your travels, we’ve assembled our best travel tips to help get you ready for the thrilling and carefree experience to which you’re so looking forward.
Keep your destination’s requirements in mind by making a list of basic information you’ll want to know about and get updates on ahead of time … things like how much time you’ll need to get to the airport, the weather forecast, where to go to get basic necessities like food, water … and where the nearest hospital or clinic is located.
Decide how much cash you’ll need and what credit cards to take. Bring along important documents like your health insurance card and your passport (if required). Communication is essential. Will your cell phone work where you’re going? Will you have internet access, the ability to send and receive emails or text messages?
Your cell phone can be indispensable, doing triple duty as a communication device, map, and GPS navigator.
Pack snacks. Keep some filling munchies handy to tide you over during those extended flights and other places in your travels where food is limited or not available. Trail mix, granola, fruit, energy or protein bars, and other finger foods that don’t need refrigeration and can store easily in your bags are good selections.
General Packing Tips
The mark of an efficient traveler is having enough room for everything you need. This means conserving space. With a bit of research and consulting with other seasoned travelers in your circle, you’ll come across some nifty gadgets and gear that can lighten your load. Think lightweight and collapsible for clothes, accessories, and gear. Packing organizers can conserve space and also keep you organized, give you easy access to your belongings, and prevent mishaps like lost luggage. Here are a few favorites:
Bags. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the great outdoors, bring a durable, lightweight backpack. If you’re going to be lugging stuff on your back you’ll need your backpack to be as lightweight as possible and able to handle all your necessary gear. On the subject of bags, a good choice is a convertible bag, one that’s multi-purpose. Convertible carry-ons can transform into your backpack and a tote for stuff you pick up along your travels, and a handbag for shopping and dining, visits, and special events.
Compression storage bags and cubes. Condensing clothes into tightly rolled tubes or using compression bags or packing cubes can keep down the wrinkles, save space, and are water and airtight. Compression bags and cubes are great for reducing the amount of space your belongings take up in your suitcase. They keep your items organized, prevent shifting in transit, and can be used to separate dirty clothes from clean ones. They also transfer your items easily into drawers.
Luggage trackers. Keep your luggage from the lost and found department or from losing them forever. GPS luggage tracking devices can pinpoint the location of your errant bag. Some have maps that update every few minutes to give you information on the movement, direction, and physical location of your luggage. Some come equipped to send you a text message alert or ring your cell phone.
Comfort comes first with outerwear and underwear. T-shirts and soft, loose-fitting slacks provide comfort and carefree movement. Layering lightweight tops can also help you make the transition from warm to cool instantly in airplane cabins, various outdoor conditions, and establishments whose indoor temperatures are uncomfortable.
Fabrics. Pay attention to fabrics. You want comfort but easy-care too. Paperweight breathable cotton is a good option for warm weather. Merino wool is soft and warm for cool temperatures. Do keep in mind that natural fabrics can wrinkle more easily.
Functionality. A basic travel clothing rule: Durability and flexibility. Whether you’re climbing a mountain or squeezing your way through crowded streets, your clothes should be able to tough it out.
Don’t forget pockets. The more the better – for handy access to essentials so you don’t have to go rummaging through your handbag, tote, or backpack. Cargo pants are useful for this purpose. They have zippered pockets and many fabrics are designed for tough outdoor sports activities. If you’re still short a pocket or two, strap on a fanny pack.
Another adventure-seeker must-have: comfortable, good quality shoes appropriate for your activities. For hikers, a high-quality hiking boot is essential. If you just bought them, break them in for few times before your trip. You want to be sure they don’t hurt your feet and that you can walk in them blister-free and with ease mile after mile. If your boots are just for walking, look for boots that collapse and pack flat. They’ll be lightweight and will take up less suitcase space.
When you’re off the trail, you’ll also want comfortable, breathable walking shoes. Walking shoes such as sneakers can be bulky and take up a lot of space. Consider soft, lightweight slip-ons that collapse and are small enough to fit into your handbag or pocket. Be on the lookout for water-resistant ones. For warm-weather walking, sandals are great. Choose wisely. Besides being airy, sandals can be rugged and have adjustable straps.
Cell phone charger. An easy item to forget, your cell phone charger is a part of your communication lifeline. The good news is, if you do forget it, you can probably find a replacement at airports, convenience stores, gas stations, and most places where travelers typically pass through.
Headphones. Blocking out the world around you can be a blessing, whether it’s to relax, listen to your favorite tunes or podcasts, or to keep from being annoyed by loud noises like crying babies.
Disposable wipes. Pack moist towelettes and personal wipes. They’ll be times when no paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, or water is available. Disposable antibacterial towelettes can keep germs at bay during air flight and out-of-the-way desolate or primitive areas. Keep them at the ready.
Health and First Aid
Hydration. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid dehydration and heat stroke by drinking water and your favorite Tejava tea. Packing Tejava teabags takes up hardly any space in your bags and you’ll get to sip and enjoy your favorite tea, just like at home. For short excursions, bring along some chilled bottles of Tejava Origins Hojicha Green Tea or Fujian Oolong Tea for a zero-calorie unsweetened delicate-flavored refresher.
Water Bottle. A lightweight bottle that hooks on to your bag is a great way to keep water or tea by your side for those rigorous excursions – and prevents your vital water source from getting left behind. You’ll want a sturdy material that can withstand drops and bumps but not one that gets tiring to lug around. You’ll also want your container to keep hot or cold drinks their proper temperature. For easy walks and trips, consider a collapsible water bottle or one that can be rolled up and stored easily.
Sunscreen. An essential for protection from hours in the hot sun. A sunburn can ruin your trip, keeping you from enjoying every minute of the action. Bring along one that provides the maximum amount of protection from UV rays and is waterproof.
Medications and OTCs. Don’t forget your prescription meds. Also, don’t leave home without packing a pain reliever, insect bite relief, ant-acid, antihistamine, decongestant, anti-nausea, anti-diarrheal, sunburn aid, antibiotic cream, and band-aids. Keep pills labeled and separated with a pill organizer and your other preparations loaded into a first aid kit.
Now you got it covered. Exciting and simple pleasures await the prepared traveler. Enjoy your adventure!