What to pack when traveling

March 10, 2010

By Judy McEuen
Travel Writer
Troy Media

Judy McEuen
Judy McEuen

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Mar. 10, 2010/ – Packing properly for vacation is frustrating. But no matter what kind of suitcases you get¸ how you pack them or even what you pack into them, the best place to start to ease the frustration is with a packing list.

Now, what you put on that list will depend entirely on your destination and your travel style. if you’re going to a tropical country, what you’ll need to pack will be completely different than if you’re going to Antarctica, though it might surprise you that we’d recommend a swimsuit in either case. There are actually hot springs on Deception Island in the Antarctic Peninsula in which you can swim, and who wouldn’t want bragging rights about swimming in Antarctica!

Are you going to be touring cities or going on safari; getting pampered at a spa or visiting a dude ranch? While you can pack light in any of those cases, you will need to adjust your wardrobe.

For women . . . and for men

Of course, it takes some planning to pack for today’s security alerts. But if you can pack everything into your carry-on luggage, you can at least avoid airline baggage fees.

So for the women out there, here’s what you should pack: Some combination of five long- and short-sleeved blouses, depending on the climate of our destination; two pairs of slacks and one skirt for dress up; a light pull-over sweater and an outer sweater; one nightgown, underwear for five days and a swimsuit; two pairs of shoes and three or four pairs of socks.

For the men: Again, some combination of five long- and short-sleeved shirts; two pairs of long pants; shorts if expecting warm weather; pull over sweater; a swim suit; underwear for five days; two pairs of shoes and three or four pairs of socks.

You really don’t need any more clothes than that. Who cares if you wear the same things over and over? You’re on the move so you will never see most of these people again. Wash things out as you travel. Try to find fabrics that drip dry well.

What to pack beyond your clothes? Prescription medications, enough for your trip and a few days extra; deodorant, aspirin, antacids and cold tablets, toothpaste and toothbrushes; shampoo and necessary cosmetics.

Add in sunglasses and sunscreen; a wide brimmed hat if you will be in the sun; and an umbrella in case of rain. And insect repellent if needed.

A travel alarm clock is always useful. A small daypack can give you room to expand once you arrive. Take a camera with plenty of batteries or a charger, maybe binoculars. A curling iron for women, a razor for men and don’t forget adaptors for those funny foreign plugs.

Maybe leave the laptop at home

Think carefully before you carry a lot of electronics, however. If you’re busy touring around, you may not have time to use that laptop computer much anyway, and do you really want to carry it? Check to see if your cell phone even works where you’re going and if it does whether you can afford to use it!

Deciding what to pack really isn’t hard. Most people need to concentrate on what NOT to pack. Make your packing list, then stick with it. If there is something you really do forget to pack you can probably get it there.

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