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what to pack

Lifestyle What to Pack

Guide to Choosing the Perfect Travel Bag

Finding the perfect travel bag can be a challenge. You want your bag to be functional and practical for traveling, but not have to compromise on how stylish it is.

So, for when you need to consider form and function for your perfect travel bag, here are some tips on how to choose a cute handbag for travelling:

Style

When travelling comfort is key- no one wants a bag that keeps slipping out of place or too small to fit everything. Luckily there are many types of travel bags out there so we can opt for a practical bag that is still cute. Some of the best designs for travelling are totes, backpacks, crossbody bags and shoulder bags.

Material

There are many material options for travel bags, such as leather, water-resistant nylon and more. Leather is by far one of the best materials for a travel bag because while beautiful and super durable, it is also slash proof. You can find some gorgeous handmade travel bags online, on websites like Mirta for example, that carries authentic made in Italy leather goods.

Size

The size of a travel bag bag is extremely important because you want to be able to fit what is needed during your travel days, but you don’t want it to be too big that it is uncomfortable to carry. You’ll want your travel essentials such as your phone, wallet, documents and passport, as well as any personal essentials at all times and not have to leave anything behind because your bag is too small!

Security measures

Security measures are an important aspect of your travel bag. Two things you’ll want to consider are RFID and zippers. Many travel bags come with RFID blocking card and passport slots, which make it difficult for your information to be stolen electronically. As for zippers, you’ll want your bag to close well and stay closed well while you’re traveling. Inside zippers also give another layer of safety.

A crossbody travel bag is arguably one of the most secure travel bags because they are less targeted by purse thieves since you wear it across your body and it also makes it easier on travelers because it ensures you are hands-free (though wearing it on your front and placing a hand on it in crowded places is recommended).

Good quality and durability

Traveling isn’t always easy on a handbag, so want to choose a bag that is durable and good quality. That way, it won’t show too much wear and tear after only some use and you can continue to use it for future trips as well. Plus, you want your bag to withstand its use while on your travels and not have to deal with a broken bag.

As long as you choose something you like and that will withstand your travels, a travel bag will be worth the investment as it will last years and many trips to come.

Insider Tips What to Pack

Learn How To Pack Fast and Avoid Stress in 5 Easy Steps

Wherever you go you need to take some stuff with you from home. The length of the journey doesn’t matter, it can be a one-day excursion or a 7-week exploration of China’s amazing wildlife and countryside. But as we all know, packing can be stressful. How do you know you’ve prepared yourself for the journey ahead in the most efficient and best way possible? I’ve been backpacking and traveling my whole adult life so I would love to share some tips on how to pack fast and pretty much stress-free. From having an anti-theft backpack to bringing only travel-sized toiletries these are my top 5 tips.

1. Have multipurpose clothes

Pack a nice dark-colored dress, something that works well for work or a night out. This way you not only save on space but on packing time as well. Roll it and pack it like Pinterest gurus. This works for some casual T-Shirts as well. If they are in a single color without any decal, they can pretty much work with anything. It saves you space and packing time. Get a multi-season jacket, something made out of Merino wool would be great. Trust me, those things can last a long time (mine is 6 years old and counting) and you can take it with you on the way out.

2. Packing shoes

Casual sandals, sneakers and evening shoes are something you would want to bring with you wherever you go. Those 3 types of shoes may be a must-have on a holiday but you have to keep in mind they take up most of your luggage space. Pack the smallest ones and then wear the ones that take up most space on your way out.

3. Packing jewelry

Either wear them on you or have a good anti-theft backpack with you when you’re heading out, there’s no way around it with this one. When you pack them remember to store them in a container lined with tissue so you would avoid scratches.

4. Packing your toiletries

To me, this one was and is most stressful. Although I love to buy and try out new conditioners and shampoos I dislike breaking my usual routine. I like to try out a new product for a few weeks and then see if I’ll use it permanently. But, my hair hates it when I switch shampoos too quickly. Sometimes this is a necessity, as our toiletries can take up a lot of room. We seem to forget that there are stores where we are going and we could get what we need there. But if that seems like a hassle, have a pre-packed toiletries bag with you that you can put in your luggage filled with your essentials.

5. Pack the essentials

Solo traveling is empowering and is becoming more and more frequent, so there are some must-haves that should be a part of our luggage. Pack your passport first! This should be the first thing you put in your luggage and the first thing out. Pack your prescription medication, you never know how the place you’re traveling to has it or will sell it to you. Get a power bank. No matter how much (or little) you use your phone you should always have a backup power bank near you. You can almost always catch wifi somewhere if you need to find a neat place to eat out or just need to update your maps. The easiest thing you can do is just make a checklist a day before you go and put on paper what you need. It is a little old fashioned but it works and will help you pack in an easy and stress-free way.

Advice Pack Perfect What to Pack

Things You Should Always Do Before Packing For A Trip

T-minus 3 days until takeoff! I love countdowns like this. The days leading up to an adventure of a lifetime are some of the most precious… but they also happen to be some of the most hectic and stressful. Whether you’re a last minute packer or a type A organizer – here are some important things you should always do before packing for a trip! 

Consider The Ratio Of Activities You’ll Be Doing

Make a list of all the activities and events you’ll be taking part in during your trip. Go day by day and write it all out. From there, you can see what are the repeated activities you’ll be doing. 

I love being able to see what a majority of my time will be doing, that way I know what to specifically pack for. For example, if I know that 80% of my days will be spent hiking in the outdoors, I won’t load up my suitcases with casual dresses and flip flops. On the other hand, I’ll know that most of my suitcase should be filled with appropriate hiking outerwear. 

Once you have your ratio sorted, creating an appropriately filled suitcase is easier to approach. No more unnecessary outfits! 

Check The Weather

A seemingly obvious step of the process – but one that should never be forgotten! Check the forecast as close as possible to your departure to make sure that you’re up to date on what to expect. Don’t overlook the humidity percentage, either – that could make or break what type of fabrics or layering pieces are needed! 

Create A Color Scheme

Packing clothes that all match seamlessly is one foolproof way to get more bang from your buck! It doesn’t have to be complicated, sometimes easy neutrals are the easiest bet. For example, having greys and blacks tops and pants packed means that you can pair these pieces with more trendy items. The less stress involved in creating cool and comfortable outfits, the better! You can read more about this packing trick (especially for long term trips) here!

Be Mindful Of Customs

As always, do your research and find out what the locals wear. It’s incredible important. Not only does dressing with local traditions and cultural customs in mind show respect… but it also ensures that you aren’t targeted as a tourist. 

Prep Your Flight Outfit & Minimize Your Bulky Items

My best secret – prepping a flight outfit that encompasses bigger, bulkier items! Wearing your boots or sneakers, a jacket and a hat may not be the easiest shoes to pop on and off at security, but it does make your suitcase lighter and freed up for more clothing! 

What are some of the steps you always do before packing for a trip? P.S. check out our guides to packing the perfect suitcase (specifically for different destinations) here!

Outdoors Pack Perfect What to Pack

The Essential Guide To Choosing The Best Backpack For Backpacking

So you’ve booked the flights, worked out your itinerary and got your dorm room booked, but have you considered which bag you’re going to use for backpacking? It’s not as simple as a quick impulse buy, you will be carrying this backpack for a long time, through busy city streets, upstairs in narrow hostels, onboard sleeper trains and to and from every destination you visit. The type of bag you choose will depend on your experience, take it from me, someone whose bag strap broke just as they collected it from the carousel at Bangkok airport, you need to put some thought into it. Not all backpacks were created equal. Here is our essential guide to choosing the best backpack.

What do we need to look for in a backpack?

Backpacks don’t come cheap, so it’s worth investing in one that is going to stay in good condition for a long time. Below we’ve outlined features to look for when choosing the best backpack.

It needs to be water-resistant

Can you imagine, you’re caught in the rain, your pack gets wet and so all your belongings inside? It’s the thing of nightmares, especially when on the road and you have nowhere to dry off your belongings. Make sure you pick a backpack which is made from a water-resistant material, is semi-water resistant or has a waterproof cover you can use to keep your belongings dry. Also make sure it is lightweight and easy to dry, the last thing you want is to be carrying around a damp, bag that makes your clothes smell musty.

Look for multiple compartments

Choose a bag which has multiple compartments. This is handy for when you want to seperate belongings from one another and for when you want to be able to reach important items quickly. Side compartments are also handy for storing shoes and any clothes that you need to wash. Your front top compartment is ideal for important documents such as your passport or ticket. Making sure everything is seperated and in the right place will help you feel in control and also be less time consuming. Choosing the best backpack means finding one that can tow all you need in an easy to use organization system.

Zippers that lock

Check that the backpack has two zippers that you can lock together. This is an essential safety option for when travelling, especially if you will be leaving your bag unattended at a hostel or in the luggage compartment of a bus or train. (Read our safety tips for solo travelers here if you’re concerned about your bag’s security!) When getting a lock for your bag, choose one that is TSA friendly if you are travelling to the USA. This lock will alllow officials to open your backpack if they need to check it, without breaking your lock.

Always double check on the airline and country you are travelling to, as some will require you to unlock your back for flying. However, for day to day travelling whilst backpacking and leaving your bag unattended in a luggage storage room, a lock is a must.

Don’t go for a backpack with an external metal frame

Forget the image you have in your head of backpackers with a bag on a metal frame. Just don’t go there. Not only will this be incredibly uncomfortable, it will take up much needed space and will be much heavier than a bag with an internal frame. Trust me, using a backpack with an internal frame will much easier on your back and your bank balance as you won’t have to fork out for excess luggage payments.

Make sure it’s padded

The last thing you want is for unpadded belts and shoulder straps digging into you whilst you carry your backpack. Opt for padding that ensures your hips are protected and the weight is evenly distrbuted. This should prevent any rubbing or pressure on your hips. Also make sure the hip belt can be easily adjusted to suit your body shape and that you can tighten it for added support if you need to.

Choose a backpack with padded shoulder straps to make carrying your bag put less pressure on your shoulders and lower back. The weight needs to be evenly distributed to ensure that your back and shoulders feel supported so make sure that your padded straps can be adjusted to fit your size and that the pads are comfortable and not stiff and chaffing.

Choose a padded back

Don’t forget to make sure that your backpack has a padded back. Your back will thank you for this. By having a bag with a padded back it will help distribute the weight evenly and will help take the pressure off your back. If possible look for a contoured back with a curve, this will allow airflow and will stop your back from getting sweaty. Consider how comfortable the back feels against you and if you could stick the next few weeks or months having it dig into you.

What size should I go for?

The size of your backpack should always match the size of your body, if your backpack is too big, it will be hard to carry. If it is too small you won’t be able to bring all of your kit and the weight won’t be balanced correctly. Choosing the right backpack means finding one that will fit your belongings with a bit of extra room just in case. Don’t feel compelled to buy a 70L backpack to fit a variety of outfits in, it will not only be too heavy and uncomfortable but you will regret this choice!

If you need to get a backpack that can be used as carryon luggage this is something to take into consideration as the bigger the bag, the more chance you’ll have to put it in the hold. Also, remember that if you want to take it as a carry on you cannot bring liquids more than 100ml on board.​​​​​​​ Choosing the best backpack for your journey will take time, prepare to try a variety of bags but remember that this backpack will serve you for a long time and is not something you should buy on an impulse. If you want to avoid an uncomfortable, painful backpacking experience, follow our guide and double check all of these points before making a purchase. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself for it when you’re carrying your bag through a busy street in warm temperatures.​​​​​​​

Written by Sarah McCann, Blog Editor at MyBaggage.com a luggage delivery service operating all around the world.

Advice Pack Perfect

Packing Tips For A Cold Weather Trip

Any avid traveler will tell you that packing for a cold weather trip can be challenging, especially because the clothes you need are much more heavier and bulkier. To strike the balance between packing too much and not freezing, you can follow this checklist!

Choose Good Base Layers

 

Your choice of base layers is important because it’s your first line of protection against the cold. Base layers help trap heat. Popular fabrics include merino wool, bamboo extracts, synthetic fiber, and cotton. Merino wool is the most ideal, but it can be quite expensive. Pack at least two to three base layers, depending on your length of stay. You also need to bring a few short-sleeved wool shirts and at least two pairs of liner socks.

Don’t Take Your PJs For Granted

Just because you’re going somewhere cold doesn’t mean you can’t wear pajamas. In fact, it makes them even more essential. You need to make sure that you pack clothing that will keep you warm throughout the night—especially if you’re on an adventure holiday where you could be sleeping in a tent or log cabin where there’s little to no heating. 

Opt For Lightweight Jacket

Instead of bringing a fleece, take a lightweight down jacket with you instead. Columbia Women’s Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket is highly recommended as it’s versatile, light, and good for backpacking. It’s a great mid layer for when you’re going skiing and it has a beautiful crossover appeal, too.

Go For Cargo Or Hiking Pants

 

When it comes to your choice of pants, cargo is the best, but hiking pants will also work great, especially if you’re off on a winter adventure. Make sure you get ones that are warm, breathable, and light.  super stretchy, lightweight, and doesn’t absorb moisture, perfect for summer treks in cold places like Iceland. Denim pants are a great choice, too, if you want something that could double as casual wear.

 

 


What are your classic cold-weather items you always pack?

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