Packing smartly is more important than ever and it enables you to have the freedom to go everywhere — independently and comfortably.
Limit your baggage and make sure it is lightweight as there may be times when you might have to carry it yourself. Be sure your baggage is clearly labeled. Remove old destination labels and paste your name, address, and tour group (if appropriate) in a prominent place on the outside and inside of each piece of luggage. The outside tag should show only your name and tour group; print your address on the reverse (concealed) side. Enclose a copy of your itinerary in each bag. Keep your luggage locked even when left empty in your room. Someone could use your luggage to cart off your belongings.
Pack and repack articles in the same order each time. During short stays, you can then reach into your bags and find what you want without unpacking everything.
Coordinate your wardrobe around a single color; or tricolor combination, this will automatically eliminate many items of clothing.
Don't pack too much. Lay out everything you'll need for the trip. Now pack half the items and return the balance to your closet. You'll still probably take lots of things you'll never get to use! If you are still not convinced, pack everything and walk around with your bags for a few minutes. If they feel too heavy, take out the unnecessary items.
Use every spare inch of the luggage space. Stuff hosiery into your shoes. Roll up sweaters and underwear to fit into corners. Place heavy items on the bottom. Button shirts and dresses and fold close the the waist and seams.
Don't pack liquids in glass containers; transfer them to plastic ones. Don't take anything fragile or perishable.
Carry medicines in your carry on baggage.
A PACKING CHECK LIST
- A pair of comfortable walking shoes with nonskid soles.
- A small flashlight, extra batteries, and nightlight.
- Bottle opener, corkscrew.
- A knife for room snacks. Don't carry the knife on your person.
- A Face cloth.
- Extra set of luggage keys (not kept with your regular keys).
- Plenty of film (it's cheaper at home).
- A spare set of batteries for your camera.
- A Travel alarm clock.
- A Sewing kit.
- Moist towelettes in packages for quick freshening up en route.
- Nail polish remover pads not bottles.
- Plastic or string bags for shopping and dirty clothes.
- A Diary or logbook to record your trip.
- An Address Book for home and new addresses.
- A Language dictionary and phrase book.
- A Medicine kit, medical records, and prescriptions.
You may be tempted to take three or four lenses, tripods, several camera bodies--don't unless you are a serious photographer. You'll only regret being encumbered. If you carry valuable equipment of foreign manufacture, make sure you register it with the U.S. customs before leaving so that you are not charged duty on it when you return. Take plenty of film and extra camera batteries. If you don't have a film shield bag, don't let your film go through the X-ray machine at airports; hand it to the guard for manual inspection.
Most countries will accept an international driver's license. You can obtain one before you depart at your local office of an automobile agency.