Packing Tips

In these texts, Amy suggests packing strategies for low-budget international travel.

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I’ve done quite a bit of international traveling.  I’ve usually traveled with just a backpack.  I’ve gone, done some traveling in Europe and Southeast Asia. I’ve been throughout Australia and a little bit in South America.  I’ve also done quite a bit of traveling here in the United States, but – so I think I’ve become sort of an expert on how you need to pack in order to travel light and as a backpacker.

Um, as a low-budget backpacker traveler, you’re not really, um, traveling with the luxury of having someone carry your luggage, uh, to transportation or to the door of your hotel. You need to have everything on your back and you have to carry it around. So, you really need to be very wise about how you’re gonna put your stuff together  ‘cause it, you’re gonna have to carry it the whole time. My philosophy is that you pack the same, regardless of how long you’re gonna be traveling for. If you’re going to be away for two nights, or you’re going to be away for two months, you pack pretty much the same way. Um, my suggestion is that you have one pair of shorts, one pair of long pants, two shirts, maybe, um, a jacket for rain, and a jacket for warmth. And other than that, you really don’t need any other clothes. Um, essentially, you can re-wear those clothes after they get washed and cleaned, and, you know, that’s it. You don’t really need a lot.

Um, the other things that I think are really important, that most people really don’t think about,  but when you’ve been traveling as much as I have, you realize the importance of…really there are two things that I’d say I’d never leave home without, and they are: a bandana –  Now, a bandana has more uses than you could ever imagine. Not just to wipe your mouth or use as a napkin, but you can use it as a wash cloth,  you can use it to tie your hair up, you can use it if you’ve, you know, if you’ve just hurt yourself.  You can use it to wipe things up. You can use it… All kinds of things.  They’re really great, great….It’s a great tool.

The other thing I recommend, especially in Southeast Asia where there are a lot of two cycle engines and really loud vehicles and thin walls in the hotels and hostels, are earplugs. Now, these are times when I wish I was deaf, because it is just so loud in places. And it is really difficult to get all that stimulation and having ear plugs to put in your ears if you’re on a bus or if you’re just walking down the street or if you just want to get some sleep…Um, it really provides a sense of peace.

So, those are the two things I recommend you certainly not leave home without. And they’re really small and easy to carry with you. The other thing, which I think most people pretty much know about, but is something I couldn’t plan a trip without, is a Lonely Planet guide book. Lonely Planet Guide Books have everything in them for the budget traveler.  And, um, I learned that on my first trip abroad to Europe, that, uh, the Lonely Planet just proved invaluable for me, and have used it on all of my travels since.

So, with all of those, all of that advice, the clothes, the earplugs, the bandana, the guide book, you should be ready for a trip.