Hey guys, welcome to the second week of Trender Across the Pond! I can’t believe it has already been a week since my first post. When this publishes, I’ll be less than a week from leaving to go to Dublin (5 days away, to be exact).
This week, I want to talk about some of my best tips for traveling, including what you really don’t need to pack and how to make the most of limited space, and I’ll even share some of my own packing/traveling goofs.
What Not To Pack
Whether you’re going for 3 days or 3 months, there are most certainly things that, while it may be tempting to do so, you definitely should not pack. Although you may think you need them, I promise you don’t. (Disclaimer: these are tips for when you’re traveling abroad; feel free to pack these items if you’re traveling within the US!)
- Hair Dryer/Flat Iron/Any Hair Appliance
Now, I know it is SO tempting to take your favorite hair dryer or flat iron with you, but it is truly not worth it. Not only does it take up extra space in your suitcase, there’s also a really good chance the voltage conversion in the country your staying in will result in disaster. A great example of this was on my most recent trip to Europe, when a girl in my group packed a hair dryer. Even though she had the correct plug converter, the hair dryer still fried completely, leaving both it and the outlet inoperable. If you’re going on a short trip, I suggest hair products that will help keep your hair tame without the need for heat. If you’re going for an extended trip, you can buy cheap appliances in your host country that will work correctly in the outlets.
- High Heels
Unless the trip your going on absolutely requires them, don’t pack high heels. They take up a huge amount of room in your suitcase and you probably will opt out of wearing them if you do a lot of walking tours, even if you want to look cute for a night out. On shorter trips, your feet are already going to be sore from all the walking you’ll be doing, so I suggest going for a dressy flat in place of the heel. While it may not make your outfit what you wanted, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
- Every electronic imaginable
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t pack your electronics, but definitely don’t bring your cell phone AND your iPad AND your laptop. If you’re on a shorter trip, chances are you won’t get time to use them all, and laptops are heavy and awkward to cart through airport security. While I would say you should ideally only need your cell phone, my go-to is to take both my cell and my iPad. That way, I can use the iPad to FaceTime friends and family back home without using a tiny screen.
What You Need To Pack
Here are a few essentials to pack when you are going abroad that can be absolute life-savers in emergencies and different situations.
- Photo copies of important documents/cards
I cannot stress enough how important it is to bring at least two copies of everything that is important- credit card, photo ID, passport, insurance card, birth certificate, and the like. If there is ever an emergency where you lose the original of any of these items, the photocopy can safe you a lot of time and worry. I recommend keeping one copy on your person- so in your wallet or bag that you carry on yourself- and the other in your suitcase. I will say, from experience, it is an absolute nightmare to lose your passport, and having those photocopies can save you lots of time. Thankfully in my situation my passport was found before I needed to go to the embassy for a reissued copy, but not all situations are as fortunate.
- Extra underwear
If you think you’ve packed enough underwear, you’re wrong. I always, always, always recommend taking more than what you think is necessary for a trip; going for 10 days? Pack at least 15 pairs. You never know what could happen. You could end up sitting in something, or you could wind up in the middle of a storm soaking wet and needing to change all your clothes. Or, like me, you could accidentally fall into a lake when messing around on a barge and get completely soaked from the waist down. It isn’t worth the risk of not packing them, and they take up very little room. This is a must.
- Converters for the country you’re going to
This is one of the most important things you need to pack, especially if you want your electronics to work while abroad. If you don’t need anything that plugs in, you’re good to go and don’t need these. But, if you’re like the 98 percent of the population that thrives on some kind of electronic connection with the outside world, this is extremely important. Double, triple, quadruple check that the converters you have are for your host country; one of the worst things is to get there and realize you don’t have the correct converter and have to search tourist shops looking for overpriced solutions.
Stay tuned for next week, where I’ll bring out some of my best nervous flyer tips and tricks!