Traveling Without Breaking Your Back
Packing for a long vacation can be a tricky thing; especially if you’re someone that has a lot of necessities. Things such as clothes, hair dryers, and electronics, take up a lot of space and if you’re lacking on space it’s hard to know what to eliminate and what is an absolute must-have. I’m no expert; but words of advice on what to keep and what you won’t miss (too much) are always a helping hand.
Dealing with the Fact That You’ll Be a Dirtball
Depending on how long your trip will be depends on how dirty your lifestyle will have to be during that time. Some people can stand not showering for a few days, whereas some people must shower every day. If you’re the type that MUST shower, bring the shower essentials; small bottles of shampoo and conditioner are easier to pack as they are easier to dispose.
Also, camper’s soap is a great investment during travel. It’s easily found at sporting good stores, and it is used to clean anything from your clothes to your body. Camper’s soap eliminates the hassle of finding many different kinds of soap for your different needs. Don’t forget the great invention of Febreze during your trip to keep your clothes smelling better than you might be. A full size deodorant may be in order if you’re going to cut back on showering.
Nowadays, almost anything can be found in travel sizes in stores like Target or Walmart. They have everything from mini toothbrushes to mini hair straightners. However, if you’re traveling with a few dollars in your pocket, consider cutting your toothbrush in half instead of spending that extra dollar on a tiny toothbrush meant for a baby. Remember, wherever you go there will be convenience stores all around you; unless you’re going into the wilderness.
Baggage Becomes Baggage after Awhile
The type of baggage you bring with on your trip can make an experience go from good to bad real quick if it’s not the right type. If you’re spending most of your trip in one place and taking a plane, those rolling baggages are just about perfect for your trip. However, if you’re traveling from place to place, those things with wheels just become a hassle. The tiny plastic wheels aren’t meant for dirt or gravel roads, and the people around you won’t agree with them either. I suggest a backpack that supports your back but isn’t bigger than your body.
Good posture is important while traveling, especially if you’re going to be walking a lot. So work on your posture for awhile before you leave. That way when you are carrying bags that are quite heavy you won’t strain your back as much as if you would have bad posture.
Packing So Your Bags Weigh Less Than You
Clothing is the toughest thing to pack for a long trip. If you aren’t traveling for long, you have no worries. However, if you’re traveling for weeks, or even months, how do you pack all of that in one little bag?
•Pack like-colored clothes. This way you don’t have to worry about not matching and it also makes doing laundry easier.
•Bring two pairs of jeans, light colored and dark colored, and one pair of khakis. Khaki’s are nice to have if you need to dress up but can’t fit a dress or dress pants in your bag. Also consider a pair of shorts if you’re going somewhere warmer.
•Depending on the weather, bring four or five shirts, long sleeved and short sleeved. Consider bringing ones that aren’t your favorite; this way you can buy a few shirts when you’re there that you’ll want to bring home and you can just throw away the ones you weren’t too fond of.
•Bring a weeks’ worth of socks and underwear. You can wash these in sinks with some soap, so even less than a weeks’ worth would save even more space. Ladies won’t need that many bras. It’s not bad to wear a bra a couple days in a row, so bring three or four bras and wash after a couple of uses.
•Don’t forget a source of music, such as an iPod or MP3 player. That way you can block out those crying babies on the plane or those annoying people. However, don’t keep the headphones stuck in your ears all the time; listen to things going on around you. You never know what you might be missing.
•Leave your computer at home. There are going to be places all around where they have local computers to get on the internet. Bringing your computer will just make you miss out on a good time, and it’s just another thing to worry about as it could get lost or stolen.
•Forget the hairdryer. You can use your towel to dry your hair; it might take more time, but imagine your hairdryer and then imagine all the space you’ll have room for to bring home those souvenirs.
While traveling, it’s nice not worrying about theft, losing something, or having something get broken. Electronics always run the risk of stressing you out. You can live without them for awhile and maybe you’ll experience something new; you don’t need to be texting all the time or listening to the latest hip hop song.
By Katie Schroepfer