After successfully traveling through Europe for 5 weeks, I like to think of myself as somewhat of a pro when it comes to packing for a long trip.
It can be a bit intimidating packing for a trip that you haven’t taken yet, but hopefully with this list, your trip preparations can seem a lot less daunting!
If you have any long trip essentials to add to the list, let me know- I’m always looking for other tips and tricks!
1. Most important piece of advice (at least in my opinion) – Wear good shoes!
Now, I am one of those girls who often chooses fashion over comfort – if they are beautiful, I’m getting them! Who cares if I’m hobbling all the way home afterwards– but when traveling (read: walking for miles and miles), comfort is mandatory. While sneakers are always a must, I am not one to wear them with my dresses or skirts. I bought these walking sandals, and no joke, I wore them almost every day while I was away (You can see me wearing them here). They are so comfy and even though they are a bit different to my usual sandal choice, at least I got to wear sandals instead of sneakers with my cuter outfits. So ladies (and gentlemen), trust me– suck it up and choose comfort over fashion when traveling. Your feet will thank you!
2. Camera, and a water bottle, and a wallet, and your phone, and a map and some lip gloss… oh my! When I travel, I try to bring only the basics – but lets face it, there are a lot of them! I bought a cross body travel safe bag for Europe, and it was one of the best pre-trip purchases that I made (You can see me wearing it here).
A cross body bag is essential when traveling because it deters thieves away- it is much easier to rip off a bag from a women’s shoulder than lifting it off her body. This bag has locking zips, a roomy interior with compartments and also has pockets on the outside for a water bottle and an umbrella.
3. Buying a water bottle from a vendor everyday (or multiple times a day) can be expensive. So, how can we cut down this expense without dehydrating?
Bring your own water bottle and purchase large bottles of water from grocery stores. Grocery stores sell liters of water for very cheap- buy water from the store and split it amongst your group or leave the leftovers in the hotel room for another day.
4. The thought of paying foreign transaction fees every time I want to purchase something or getting an awful exchange rate while abroad is something that I am not willing to suffer through. I took out a Charles Schwab checking account just for traveling. You pay no foreign transaction fees wherever you are, are reimbursed for any ATM fees and your exchange rate is the VISA rate. No more fees, no more searching for a specific bank, no more carrying a frighteningly large amount of foreign cash– with the ease of spending, now the trick is to not spend too much!
5. And last but not least….drum roll please… a Microfiber Travel Towel! OK, not sold?
Going to the beach? For a picnic? Walking in the rain (Not usually planned, but it does happen)? Hiking? Sleeping in a hostel? In a hotel with small towels? Well, if you are doing any of those things, you will absolutely need a towel. The best part about the travel towel — its light, its small and it dries incredibly fast.
So there are some of my essentials for long trips. Have any that you can’t leave home without when preparing for a big trip?