When you’re traveling abroad, there’s always so much to remember, and it seems there’s still something forgotten. Of course, writing a travel pack list should be a no-brainer, but hopefully, this article will help you know what essentials to pack, and give you other useful tips to consider when planning your travels.

Location, location, location

When planning what to pack, it is always important to remember the place you’re going to. There is no use packing shorts if you’re visiting the Antarctic. Similarly, there’s no point packing thermals if you’re visiting Egypt. So, the location should always be considered first. Next, check what the weather forecast is meant to be like during your stay — if your trip isn’t for a while yet, you should wait until the week before so that it’s as accurate as possible. Of course, the weather may not be 100% spot-on, but it will certainly give you guidance as to what essentials to pack.

When considering location and weather together, it’s essential to be aware that a lot of countries have seasons of extreme weather. Japan, for example, has a typhoon season from July-October, with it being especially bad during August and September. Either avoid traveling then or pack accordingly.

Rules and laws

Weather isn’t the only thing to consider when going abroad. Each country has its own set of rules, regulations, and customs that tourists must adhere to. In some countries, breaking these can have serious or dangerous consequences. Some countries are stricter than others, and you should carefully research the country before going. Be mindful that the clothing you pack must be appropriate to the customs. Some of the rules may be a little surprising or unusual, so doing research before will save you getting hassled or surprised if you slip up.

So, what to pack?

Here are some things to consider putting on your travel pack list:  

  • Lightweight clothing that can be layered: Even if you’re visiting a warmer climate, having clothes you can layer is useful.
  • A waterproof jacket or coat: Even if it’s meant to be sunny, packing a lightweight, foldable, showerproof jacket is a good idea.
  • Sunglasses (Why not add some extra protection so you can really take in those views?)
  • Shoes: Check the dress codes of the country before packing shoes — high heels may not be allowed. But otherwise, you may want to pack a nice pair of dress-up shoes, alongside comfortable, everyday shoes. Don’t pack shoes you need to break in!
  • Toiletries: toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, SPF (you need SPF regardless of whether a country is sunny or not), aftersun (if going to a hot country), skincare, deodorant,  makeup remover. For more space in your luggage, be sure to remember to pack travel-friendly sizes.
  • Makeup (you usually wear makeup)
  • Underwear, bras, socks: Pretty standard, really. Maybe just consider whether you need your thermals or not…
  • Hat: If it’s cold, this will keep you warmer. If it’s hot, this will protect your scalp from burning and will also help keep you cooler.
  • Sleepwear
  • Weather-appropriate clothing: Pack what you think is appropriate and what you are comfortable with.

Final tips to remember

Some other things to take into account are:

  • Flashy jewelry: flashy jewelry will draw attention, and may make you stand out even more as a tourist. This can lead to safety issues, so it might be best to keep at home.
  • Money: Keep your money in several different places. If you’re unlucky enough to get mugged, having your money in different locations will save the horror of having no money.
  • Passport and tickets: Keep these safe! Some tourists choose to keep these documents with them at all times and have them in a pouch that is put around their neck and hidden under clothes. It’s also a great idea to make copies of your passport and license.
  • Know your embassy: This will be priceless if you’re unlucky enough to get into trouble or there’s an emergency (such as a natural disaster). Jot down the number and address of your country’s embassy.
  • Medication: Each country has different regulations regarding medication. Check that your medication is allowed into the country and whether there are restrictions on the quantity. Not doing so can result in serious trouble.

Have fun and happy travels!