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Packing Tips for International Travelers

When Traveling Abroad, It Is Important to Pack Smart and Light. CrossContinental.org Recently Released Some Informative Packing Tips for Volunteer Abroad and Intern Abroad Travelers.

Part of one’s volunteer abroad experience includes packing well for the trip. Depending on one’s length of stay and the luggage restrictions that airlines impose, a person will need to consider their packing options carefully. Cross-Continental Solutions has recently released some useful packing tips for volunteer abroad and intern abroad travelers.

In general, traveling light is key when going abroad regardless of the length of stay.  People usually tend to over pack, so when deciding what to bring or not to bring, one should err on the “not to bring” side as much as possible. Traveling heavy can be physically exhausting, and bringing too much stuff can complicate and clutter a traveler’s mind. Therefore, it’s a good idea to simplify one’s experience by streamlining packing.

The following are some essential travel items to keep in mind:

  • An electrical adapter may be required as electrical outlets in foreign lands are not universal. This item is a must if one’s planning on bringing any of their consumer electronics abroad.
  • A camera for cataloging the trip. (If there is no laptop present, make sure to bring enough memory cards to store all the photos.)
  • A small and light laptop may be handy to have for many travelers although it is not absolutely necessary.
  • Sun-screen is recommended for tropical destinations.
  • Some emergency cash, approximately USD$200, is recommended along with a debit card for ATM cash withdraws.
  • A flashlight with batteries may be a good idea in case of possible power outages.
  • A travel-sized first aid kit and a Swiss Army knife are advisable for emergency situations.
  • Bring a journal to record one’s experiences and thoughts while abroad.
  • Consider bringing a money belt or lanyard to keep important papers, money, and such, especially in countries with a pick pocketing problem.
  • A sleeping bag is advisable if weekend trips and hostel stays are expected.
  • Bring at least one nice set of clothing for formal occasions.
  • Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes as long excursions should be expected.
  • Try to pack clothes that do not need special care (no ironing needed, can dry while hanging, wrinkle free, and stain resistant).
  • If prescription medicines are needed, gather enough for the entire length of stay. Not all medicines will be available in many locations
  • Some small gifts may be brought if space allows and customs deem appropriate.

Recommendations for Carry-On Luggage:

Travelers should place all valuables, including passport, travel documents, debit/credit cards, camera, laptop, chargers, adapters, medications, a change of clothing, and necessary travel-sized toiletries, into a piece of carry-on luggage; this will provide travelers with a safety buffer should anything happen to their checked luggage. Mid-sized back-packs make ideal carry-on luggage as they can be easily carried in daily travels abroad.

Keep in mind that big quantities of creams and lotions, such as sun-screen or shampoos, may only be packed in one’s checked luggage since airlines limit the amount of liquids allowed in carry-on baggage for security purposes. Also, sharp objects such as knifes are not allowed in carry-on baggage.

If any expensive items (such as jewelry) need to be taken on the trip, always place these in the carry-on luggage since airlines will not take responsibility for such items if lost or stolen from checked luggage.

Tips for Packing Light:

  • Try to save space, rolling clothes rather than folding allows for tighter packing and will enable one to fit more into their bag or suitcase.
  • Bring travel-sized toiletries rather than full size shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants, and such to save on space.
  • It may make sense for travelers to buy certain items upon arrival rather than bringing everything from home. However, keep in mind that certain items may be very hard or more expensive to obtain in some countries, such as a particular brand of face-wash,  sun-screen, and electronics. On the other hand, other items may be cheaper to obtain abroad, such as an ordinary bar of soap, mosquito netting, bed sheets, and so forth.

Keep in mind the unique nature of one’s specific volunteer abroad experience; some of the packing tips may not apply based on the duration, location, and purpose of the trip. Before packing, it is recommended that one does some research about the host community and their climate. Take these general suggestions from other adventurers abroad, take into account one’s own needs and tendencies, pack like a pro, and have a wonderful trip participating in international internships and volunteer abroad programs!

About Cross-Continental Solutions:

Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable international programs that ensure an exceptional cross-cultural experience for those who wish to make a difference. There are volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. International internships are very popular among college students looking for school credit. Covering a wide range of needs, opportunities are available in areas such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental, Micro-financing, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Explore the options or plan a life-changing trip at http://www.CrossContinental.org.