International Travel Tips for Globetrotters Part I: How to Pack

by Nancy S. Wang

Introduction: Why I Travel

Travelling internationally has given me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Part of the experience is swapping unique travel stories and tips with fellow independent globetrotters whom I encounter along the way.

Travelling enlightens me, and brings perspective into my microcosmic life. It has taught me the meaning of humility while I embark on my fascinating, yet at times hair-raising, adventures. I have endured many fiascoes and adventures in life’s university at its rawest form, anticipating heart-wrenching, adrenaline-pumping excitement from my fear of the unknown each and every time I board an airplane.

The following are travel tips compiled from my true-life experiences, which I share with you, my fellow travellers and friends, to alleviate pain, heartache and hardship, and to make your own travels a much more pleasurable and rewarding experience. Happy travelling to all!

How to Pack

  • Stack your clothes in piles on your bed/sofa. After assessing your inventory, remove half of what you think you need because the truth of the matter is, you really don’t need it. Unless you are going on a formal cruise or business trip, leave your suits, evening gowns and dress shoes at home. Keep your wardrobe simple, casual and versatile. Bring Woolite, and wash clothes either in your hotel room or at a local Laundromat.
  • In order to avoid excess creasing or wrinkling, roll your clothes instead of folding them. Another alternative is to wrap clothing in tissue paper or in plastic laundry bags.
  • Save space by stuffing socks in shoes. Utilize all pockets in clothing and compartments in your luggage.
  • Do not pack valuables in suitcases/backpacks. In fact, valuables should be left at home.
  • Travelling light is key. Stick with one carry-on and one piece of check-in luggage, preferably with wheels. You will ultimately save on skycap tips and taxi fares. In European countries, taxi drivers charge for every piece of luggage.
  • Mark suitcases with a color ribbon or sticker.
  • Pack underwear and an extra set of clothing in your carry-on. Just in case your luggage is lost, you will have an additional outfit on hand.
  • For trips less than two weeks in length, purchase toiletries such as shampoo, saline solution and toothpaste in sample-size containers.
  • If travelling as a twosome, pack half your belongings in your suitcase, and the other half in your travel companion’s suitcase. If your luggage doesn’t arrive on time, you will still have some of your belongings until the airline tracks down your lost article. Sometimes this may take a day or two, especially if you fly on connecting flights and/or are travelling internationally.
Next: What to Pack & Airport Tips »

All International Travel Tips for Globetrotters Articles:
How to Pack
What to Pack & Airport Tips
In-Flight Activities & Customs/Immigration
Jetlag Tips & Destination Planning
Money Matters & Personal Safety