This month, my summer got off to an amazing start with a week-long adventure to the Arctic. It was the trip of a lifetime, and the breath of fresh air that I needed! I returned home with a happy heart and a camera full of memories. Keep an eye on my blog next month for all of my photos and a recap of the trip. But first, let’s take a look at how I prepared for the trip behind the scenes. These packing tips, tricks, and products will save you tons of headaches as you get ready for your own summer travels!
Check Your Passport
When I am getting ready for any trip, the very first thing that I do is check my passport to make sure it isn’t going to expire within 6 months of my travel time. There’s nothing more disappointing than building up your excitement for a trip, only to get to the airport and realize that your passport has expired. Don’t let it expire while you are still on your trip either, as you may experience complications getting back home.
Prepare Your Luggage
Once you’ve confirmed that your passport is still valid, it’s time to start packing. Make sure that all of the essentials will fit in your luggage before you add any extra items. It’s important to stay healthy and hydrated while you are traveling, so I always make sure to include a water bottle as one of my essential items. Yeti is my go-to brand.
It’s a little easier to get around when you pack light, but every trip is different. Don’t be hard on yourself if you decide you need several bags! Just remember that the more room you have in your suitcase, the more room you’ll fill, and you may end up packing things you don’t really need. No matter what size luggage you end up using, you definitely shouldn’t fill your suitcase to the brim, because then you won’t be able to pick things up on your travels without purchasing an additional bag.
Packing cubes are an absolute essential for organized packing and travel. Never take another trip without them. Trust me. As you can see from my video above, I use them for every trip – and I wouldn’t pack any other way. This set of packing cubes has a compression feature, meaning that you can get more in them using much less space! All the sizes you could need are included in this set. Plus it comes in a ton of colors to suit your style.
Don’t forget to bring a laundry bag, too! I recommend something like this zippered laundry pouch that will easily fit in your suitcase and any wet or stinky clothes separated from what you still plan to wear. I also suggest bringing some extra plastic bags, in case of spills or wet clothes. Although I am not typically a fan of using plastic, it makes sense for convenience when traveling. Plastic bags are lightweight and won’t take up much space in your luggage.
Take Travel-Size Toiletries
To make packing easier, I recommend keeping your travel-size toiletries ready and stocked. That way, you only need to replenish items when they are almost empty. I like to use samples whenever possible, especially for shorter trips. I do not recommend including full-sized products on your packing list. Keep in mind that toiletries may spill during travel, so using smaller bottles will make clean up easier. Airlines usually have a limit for liquids in carry-on luggage anyway.
Bonus tip: If you always have your travel-sized toiletries in a TSA-approved clear travel container like this one, they can go through security when you’re traveling with only a carry-on! Plus, the rotating hook makes it easy to hang up in the bathroom for easy access and increased counter space.
Account for Devices
If you plan to stay connected and plugged in during your trip, you should also account for your devices. This can include cell phones, headphones, laptops, cameras, electric razors, and hair appliances. Determine the power requirements for your travel destination before the trip, as overseas travel requires an international adapter for your devices to work properly. Some countries may have different headphone inputs, too, so do your research ahead of time to make sure you’re prepared.
No matter where I am going, I always take this multi-plug night light on every trip. It comes in handy when power outlets are few and far between, or when you need to power multiple devices simultaneously. I especially love having this when I travel with my family, as it allows us to get ready at the same time in small, shared quarters.
Choose Your Camera
You should certainly account for essential devices, like your cell phone, but before you gather up your camera and equipment, consider what type of trip you are taking. What kind of camera do you realistically want and need?
If you plan to do a lot of walking, you may not want to carry a camera bag around all day. Perhaps your iPhone takes sufficient photos to capture the memories of your trip. Depending on your destination, it might be a good idea to have a waterproof case to protect your phone. I used this dry bag and lanyard on my recent trip, and it worked perfectly.
However, if you do decide to bring a camera, make sure you are prepared to carry it on. Checking a camera is the fastest way to lose it or damage it, and you don’t want to start your trip out with that tragedy! This camera bag backpack is a spacious and convenient way to keep your camera protected while you travel. Don’t forget your accessories! These may include a rain cover, extra batteries, lenses, or additional memory cards. I always make sure to bring eyewear retainers, too, so that I can easily take my sunglasses on and off without losing or breaking them whenever I want to snap a photo.
Speaking of items that should always be packed in your carry on… Please make sure to keep all necessary medication on your person during travel. Unfortunately, checked bags go missing all the time. You can probably get through a trip without your extra undies, but your medicines are necessities! I always have my handy pill organizer with me in my carry on.
With these packing tips, you’ll be packing like a pro in no time! They will help you be more organized during your travels, which means that you will also be less stressed and better able to focus on being in the moment. However, I know that there is often a lot of non-packing prep that goes into planning for a trip as well.
If you would prefer to take packing off your plate, reach out to us for a free consultation! We would be happy to help you get organized for your next adventure.