Know how to pack your bags for a trip abroad
Packing one’s bags, while a pleasant moment for some – perfect for daydreaming about their upcoming destination – can be downright miserable for others when trying to make sure they did not forget anything and have everything they will need once there. Here are some of our tips on how to pack your bags!
LEARN ABOUT YOUR DESTINATION’S CLIMATE!
Are you headed to Copacabana? Our first tip would obviously be to check your host country… Are you staying on the banks of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, or a neighborhood to the south of Rio, in Brazil?
You will understand that your wardrobe depends on your destination, but be careful about preconceived notions! If you think you are going to warm South America, you might be surprised by how many cities are located in high altitude where parkas are the norm! Indeed, most of the world’s highest elevated cities are located in Latin America like La Paz, Bogota, Arequipa or Sucre, and temperatures can oscillate between 8 and 16 degrees.
THE LIST OF ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR STAY:
5 pants/shorts/dresses; 7 tops; 3 sweaters; 1 warm jacket; 1 formal attire; 1 light backpack; 3 pairs of shoes: walking, sandals, dressy; 1 pair of pajamas; 7 undergarments; 1 bathing suit; 1 bath towel; 1 waterproof jacket, if necessary, like a raincoat.
REMEMBER TO BRING A BASIC PHARMACY KIT
Maybe you are heading to a destination where you do not speak the language. In case of minor health problems it may be difficult to easily find someone to advise you, or a pharmacy that sells the same medications as those you are used to.
Pack a small, but efficient pharmacy kit:
A disinfectant for wounds; aspirin and Paracetamol in case of pain; bug spray for insects; diarrhea medicine like Smecta; a cream for soothing burns; tiger balm in case of muscular pain; water purifying tablets in case there is any doubt about whether or not the water is “potable”; a good sunscreen and a few condoms to make sure you have everything covered.
Bring your prescriptions
It is important to bring your prescriptions indicating the name of the molecule present in the prescribed medication. This may be of use in two situations: if someone checks your bags and the customs officers or security asks you about your medication, but also if you need to go to a pharmacy to buy your medication. In the latter case, the name of the medication will certainly be different than the one you know in your home country, but the name of the molecule is international, and will make it possible for your pharmacist to provide you with the right treatment.
EFFICIENTLY PREPARE YOUR TOILETRY BAG
Our advice: only take what you need! Forget about your 12 different tropical-smelling hand creams and your 4 hairbrushes.
You will need:
• Liquid or solid soap (ideally for body + hair)
• Toothpaste and a toothbrush!
• Deodorant (not aerosol in order to avoid being delayed for your flight!)
• A comb and/or hairbrush
• A hydrating lotion
• A small makeup kit (if necessary) without forgetting makeup remover and a few cotton pads
• A few pads and tampons (for our female readers!)
WHEN TECHNOLOGY GETS INVOLVED!
You are certainly going to take electronic devices with you: remember to take the charger for each device as well, and make sure you find out about the plugs used in your host country. You will most likely need an adaptor.
• Pack a casual outfit, a pair of sandals and a few undergarments in your carry-on luggage… A little birdie told us that some companies have a tendency of misplacing luggage!
• Take a small notebook with you. You will be able to write down your thoughts, contacts and will be delighted to read it upon your return!
• A belt pouch where you can keep a few bills and a copy of your passport. It can be discretely placed under your clothing and will not attract unwanted attention!
• A small plastic watertight bag, for your boat trips or any other activity near water. Your smartphone will thank you for it!