I am preparing once again to pull out my passport and travel to a new country. Packing has not always been my favorite activity, but after traveling the world for 11 months and packing and re-packing my backpack over and over, I have picked up a few tricks. If you are interested in the packing blog I wrote for the World Race or specific to longer trips, you can check that out here!
As I am thinking about packing to go to Guatemala in a few weeks, here are a few things I absolutely will be taking with me!
Packing Cubes: These are a game changer. Packing cubes are an amazing way to stay organized and save space when you are packing. I used them on the World Race and now I use them even when I am going away for the weekend. My favorites are from Eagle Creek. I highly recommend!
Solid shampoo: I had heard mixed reviews about this before I left for the World Race so I opted instead on just buying travel sized shampoo and refilling it every few weeks. I HATED this. I was spending tons of money just buying shampoo every month and I could not pack a full-sized bottle in my bag because of the weight. I finally picked up a bar of solid shampoo from the LUSH store in Japan and that shampoo was all I needed for the next SIX MONTHS! The only down side to this solid shampoo bar is you have to let it dry before you pack it. I would leave my little travel tin open for a few hours after washing my hair so it could dry and I never had any problems with it falling apart. And because this stuff is all natural I only put conditioner in my hair about once a week. If I had running water that is, sometimes it was more like once a month.
Key rings: Pick pockets are real, whether you are in Eastern Europe or New York City, the danger to loose your stuff exists. When I was obsessing over packing blogs before my year around the world, I came across a blog where someone mentioned using key rings to connect their backpack zippers to keep pickpockets away. I wish I could remember who it was to give them credit because this works! It can be a bit of a pain to constantly hook and unhook your bag zippers from a key ring, but when you are walking through a large crowd, you can have piece of mind that no one is taking stuff out of your backpack without your knowledge.
A sturdy watch: I bought a watch for the World Race from an outdoor store and it lasted me over a year. I loved it and I hardly ever took it off. It had two time options so I could always keep one time set to the time at home which was great for knowing when to Skype family. I went to Boston this past weekend and I realized how much I missed traveling with a watch. I hated having to pull my cell phone out to see the time, especially if I was running across the airport with a cup of coffee in hand, trying to catch my flight!
A light weight scarf: I love traveling with a scarf! If you get a light weight one, they don’t take up much room and they are incredibly versatile. I always get cold on airplanes so a scarf can be an extra blanket, or you can roll it up and use it as a pillow. I have even used it as a blanket in some warmer places where a heavier blanket would have been too much. It is also a great way to spice up your outfit when you did not pack a lot of clothes.
So there you have it, just a few things I have been thinking about while preparing to go to Guatemala in a few weeks. I hope some of these suggestions have been helpful!
What are some things you can’t live without when traveling?