Embrace Adventure: How to Pack Smart for Long-Term Trips

July 19, 2023 | Elmhurst, IL, USA

Updated 5-30-24

Packing for Long-Term Travel: Lessons Learned

Rethinking Long-Term Travel Packing

A few months ago, my packing strategy for long-term travel was straightforward: a detailed checklist of essentials. However, after extensive research and personal experience, I’ve realized the importance of a more flexible approach. Let’s dive into the practicalities of packing smart for an extended trip.

Airline Restrictions: Know the Rules

When flying from Chicago to Turkey, I can bring two checked bags and a carry-on. This seems generous until you face stricter rules in countries like Thailand or Vietnam. Here, airlines allow one checked bag (approx. 22” x 15” x 9”) and one carry-on, both with strict weight limits. No oversize or overweight fees—if it doesn’t meet the requirements, it doesn’t get on the plane.

Smart Packing Tips

Prioritize Replaceable Items

The easiest items to replace are shoes and clothes. These can be bought almost anywhere, making it more practical to purchase them as needed rather than overpacking.

Buy As You Go

I spent $200 on hiking boots, anticipating their need six weeks into my trip. In hindsight, buying boots locally would have saved space and weight, allowing me to pack lighter walking shoes for the initial journey.

Pack Versatile Clothing

Choose neutral, lightweight, and layerable clothes that serve multiple purposes. This saves space and adapts to various climates and activities.

Invest in Quality Gear

Items like a good travel backpack are worth the investment. They enhance comfort and organization, making your journey smoother.

Embrace Flexibility

Packing for a long-term trip requires adaptability. Focus on versatile, replaceable items and understand airline restrictions. Stay tuned for more tips on travel essentials in future posts.

Until then, enjoy the journey!

Joseph O’Brien

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