This is mainly in regards to study abroad or long-term stays abroad, however the tips can be applied in all aspects of travelling.
Just because it looks “nice”, “cute”, “hot”, “fashionable”–whatever term you may concoct–do not bring it if it is uncomfortable or you will only be wearing it once. There is no point to taking up space & weight if you will only use it once, even more so if it isn’t even something that you feel good in when you do in fact wear it. Nothing is worse than walking around the city in weather that you may not be used to with clothes that may irritate your skin or shoes that will give you blisters. This applies to clothes, shoes, accessories, and even make-up.
Clothes that you can layer or mix-and-match are you’re best friend.
Trust me. If they are layer-able, then they are usually light-weight, meaning you can bring more of it yet have 3xs the options in the end. Even if you don’t bring more of it, you’ll still have 2xs the options than you would if you were to bring more of items that don’t mix or layer. Tip: Depending on the country you are going to certain emblems, insignias, or styles may be considered inappropriate. Churches or temples–having your shoulders uncovered is rude. Ripped or torn jeans, in excessive amounts, can be sloppy and seen negatively in some countries. If you’re going to an Asian country, girls–waist up, meaning your chest & midriff mainly, are almost always covered or very modestly exposed; while waist down–shorts that barely cover your butt? Acceptable…Nevertheless think about that before you do it. While in the USA it might be common to go to class in sweats and a baggy t-shirt, it isn’t so common in other countries and is seen as rude and sloppy. Do your research about the country you are going to, you might be surprised by what you find.
You may or may not have access to a dryer where you are staying. Most likely you’ll be air-drying your clothes the old fashioned way, so the heavier or thicker the clothes the longer it takes to dry…and Mother Nature isn’t always in the best of moods when you do your laundry. Washing Machines are fairly common but nevertheless, you do not want to be stuck with a huge stain on your favourite shirt or pair of jeans and find out that it won’t come out after only one wash.
Try on your clothes a few times to see how comfortable they are. While they all might be a nice fit, there is always one or two that surpass the others. You most likely have your “go-to” set of clothes, the ones you automatically cling to when searching through your closet. Those are most likely the ones you want to focus on, but nevertheless, try it all on just to double-check. You may find that that one shirt you like gets a little tight/clingy after a few hours of being up and about, or that one pair of jeans gets a little irksome after being in them a few hours, same with shoes–“those” shoes are great for wearing all day if you aren’t walking non-stop but when you’re wearing them around town your feet will kill you.
You do NOT need more than 5 pairs of jeans, and even then it is pushing it!!
Jeans are heavy, bulky, do not dry or wash easily, and are overall a hassle when traveling. You may honestly find that most of your weigh in clothes will come from your jeans. You should be good with 3, and be able to throw one in the wash if you need it again later in the week.
Stuff your shoes!
Socks, underwear, or anything small enough to fit into them. Otherwise, you are simply taking up space & weight with excess air, when you could use it to put other items. Something Fragile? Wrap it up in a sock and stuff it in there as well.
One of the most important tips:
Take everything you think you’re going to pack and cut it in half. You will most likely buy things there, whether it be clothes or other items, so the more space you have when arriving the better. If not, you might have to toss some things out before returning home. Do not let this happen to you.
Your clothes also Magically expand when traveling….they honestly do…You will find out at one point that even without adding in all the new stuff you bought, you will not have the same room or weight as you did before. Whether it be due to air travel, the foreign washing (water/chemicals), or what….I do not know…but they do expand. It has happened to me countless times, and to many other that I know.
What do you think? What are your packing tips?