Whether you’re going backpacking for the next 10 months or you’re heading to a new destination, packing can be a thankless task. No matter how many times you’ve traveled or how used you are to changeable weather, you’ll always find that you’ve forgotten something.
So, to help you make light work of your packing, here are our top 10 essentials:
1. Walking shoes
Travel often means you’re going to do A LOT of walking, so it’s imperative you have comfortable walking shoes. We’re not just talking about comfy flats you wear to the shops at the weekend but shoes you can walk for hours in without getting blisters or sore feet.
2. Basic T-shirts
These are great for throwing on underneath jumpers, cardigans and other pullovers, allowing you to layer up so you’re prepared for differing temperatures. Opt for ones in black and white and you’ll find they go with anything.
3. Puffer jacket
Even if you’re heading somewhere warm, there’s no guarantee there won’t be any showers – nor can you predict the weather when you come home. These lightweight jackets are a traveler’s best friend because they don’t take up too much room in your suitcase and they aren’t too warm if you do need to wear them.
4. Leggings and/or jeans
As staple pieces in your everyday wardrobe, these are a must-haves when you’re off on an adventure. Perfect for teaming with whatever dresses and tops you’ve got with you, they’ll keep you comfy and looking tip-top.
When you’re exploring new areas outdoors, sunglasses are essential, especially if the sun is going to be blazing down on you each and every day. Not only will they help stop you squinting but they also help protect your eyes – and keep you looking cool.
6. Maxi dresses and skirts
These offer a cooler alternative to jeans and leggings and are perfect for dressing up or down. What’s more, they still keep everything covered up, which is often important if you’re traveling to countries that have strict dress codes.
7. A watch and jewelry
Having a watch is particularly useful if you’re heading into busy tourist areas where pickpockets are rife. You can quickly check the time without having to get your expensive smartphone out of the safety of your bag or pocket all the time. Equally, if you wear jewelry, taking a few key pieces is great but try not to bring too much attention to yourself with expensive items.
8. Cardigans and jumpers
Other items of clothing that are perfect for adding layers to your outfit, jumpers and cardigans are handy to have on standby as and when you need them. Even if you’re heading somewhere particularly hot, temperatures can still dip at night and having a cardigan to throw over your shoulders will help take that chill away.
9. A few dressy pieces
It’s always good to have at least one ‘going out’ item packed, just in case you get invited out unexpectedly for a fancy dinner or to a party. That said, you may feel as though the aforementioned maxi dress is more than enough.
Finally, no traveler is complete without a trusty pair of shorts – you can’t go wrong with denim. Just check with the local culture/fashion to see if shorts are something that are worn in the country you’re traveling to, otherwise, you may stand out like a sore thumb.