Let’s start with this, imagine you are going to take a trip tomorrow. Of course, you are looking forward to having a great trip. Then one day before the trip, you suddenly get stuck in what you should take along for the trip. At that moment, different questions may bounce in your head such as how many clothes should I bring along? Are cosmetics enough for me for the whole trip? Which garments should I take to get convenience thoroughly? Or even worse like I have no idea what things I should pack with? So, if you are in these situations, what are you going to do? To be honest, I used to be that person, who almost got panic about not knowing what I should pack for the trip. However, people say that “practice makes perfect”. I get experienced in packing and listing suitable things to pack on vacations. Now, let me share with you the experiences that I have amassed for years of traveling. In this blog, I’m gonna show you step-by-step my packing tips for travel so you can easily follow, even if you are in an emergency case, to carefully prepare for your trips.

1. A Backpack vs. A Suitcase for the Trip

a man carrying a backpack
a woman pull a suitcase

A packing list for travel starts with choosing a thing to store your stuff. It could be a backpack or a suitcase. However, picking one of them is primarily depending on the nature of your trip. Following their pros and cons, let’s see which one is for you:

CriteriaBackpackSuitcase
Pros– Easily carrying on shoulders to go to different terrains.
– Having different compartments to organize clothes, shoes, bottles, etc.
– Free your hands.
– No frame, more flexible to put items inside.
– Easy to put in the bin of airplanes, buses, and trains.
– Looking cool.
– The suitcase’s frame help folded clothes to be organized easier.
– Your shoulders and hip do not suffer from the weight of stuff carrying with you.
– Looking more luxury when going to places.
– You can even sit in your suitcase.
Cons– Putting too many products loads more weight on your shoulders and hip.
– Taking it on and off regularly is inconvenient.
– Always keeping in mind that you need more space on the back when sitting or being in a crowded place.
– Your clothes will have wrinkles when putting in the backpack, especially with the shirts.
– I hate when the zippers get stuck.
– It’s hard to go to different terrains, especially the mountain.
– You only have one hand free to do things.
– Moving far with a suitcase is hard.
– It’s tough when using a suitcase in a rain.
– You can only fit items within the size of the suitcase.
Suitable Style of Travel– Backpacker/ Budget traveler.
– Adventure/ Active traveler.
– Luxury traveler.
– Cruise traveler.
– Private tour/ travel agent traveler.
– Long-term traveler.

So, which one you found it suitable for packing your belongings?

2. Researching about Places You Are Going to Visit

open Google to search for packing tips for travel

Doing some researches? Hmm, that sounds complicated! Nah, I mean all you need to do is figuring out where you want to visit on the trip. For example, reading the travel blogs or looking for images about your destinations on Google to know a little bit of how they look like in reality. Certainly, this is very helpful for you to choose suitable clothes and related items for the trip. For example, it is dangerous to wear a maxi dress or high heels when you are going to climb a Fansipan mount or go hiking. So, in this case, if you know exactly where you want to visit and have knowledge about its terrain, you will not only bring suitable clothes but you will look great in the pics.

Moreover, framing places of interest you’re gonna visit could help you a little bit in choosing garments that fits its terrain and the view in there. For instance, if you’re traveling to Dalat city where the main terrains are hills and mountains, it is perfect to bring wintry garments that have the colors of brown. I can guarantee that you will take a bunch of nice pictures to post on Instagram, Facebook.

3. How Many Days Will You Take for the Trip?

a woman holding a book and pen with an opening map

The length of the trip will affect a lot on your suitcase’s size. Indeed, estimating the days you spend on the trip, you will calculate the number of clothes you should take. This will definitely help you avoid bringing abundant clothes which might occupy space for other things.

So, how can you estimate the number of garments for the trip? To me, for a short trip which less than 5 days, I would bring 8 clothes with 4 ones for daytimes, 2 for the evenings, and 1 for sleeping. If the trip is longer than 5 days, I would think of washing my clothes or buy new ones as souvenirs. Also, make sure you remember the first step above to bring clothes that are suitable for the destinations and your style.

4. Remember to Check the Weather

a man is checking weather forecast on a device

Like the aviation industry, traveling with the weather like your twins. If you have a knowledge of the weather where you are going to visit, this will help you a lot for taking a relaxing, happy trip. Let me take an example, I did a trip to Hue in June 2019. Unfortunately, it was the rainy season of Hue that I did not know this fact! As a result, I got the wettest trip that I’ve ever had. Every day had rain and it just drizzled, again and again, which made me uncomfortable to visit around.

Learning from the errors, now I always check the weather information of where I will go to within 3 days before the visit. By following this way, I will know which items that I should and shouldn’t bring for the vacation. For example, if I had known Hue would be rainy in June, I would have prepared sandals, raincoats, an umbrella instead of sneakers, and a hat.

Additionally, the weather could be the main factor for the consideration of your next travel destination if you haven’t planned one. To many destinations, they will have particular months that appropriate for traveling and some are not good for taking a visit. Let’s take traveling to Vietnam as an example, if you want to visit Phu Quoc island, you should go from the end of October to April. Whereas, the best time for going to Nha Trang is from Feb to Apr and avoiding Oct to Dec. If you go to Phu Quoc in September, you probably have to stay at the hotel the whole day since Phu Quoc enters the stormy season at that moment.

How You can Check the Weather Forecast

So, here is how I search for the weather and temperature whenever the trips are coming. You can go to Google then type ‘temperature at <destination>’. Besides that, I believe there is already the app “Weather” installed on your phone, surely you can use that for the weather forecast.

5. Basic Things You Should Take When Packing

This would be the most important part of the packing tips for travel. Probably a very well-prepared travel kit will make your trip more enjoyable and experienced. Nevertheless, you should take care of your comfort and convenience during the trip. Hence, the priority is packing common items for your basic needs throughout the journey.

5.1. Clothes and Accessories

two girls are folding clothes to put in a luggage

As talked about in the first section, clothes and accessories are needed things in your suitcase. My tip for this is that you should bring a couple of simple, easy-to-mix items such as a t-shirt, skirt, pants, or shorts. On top of that, they should have the color equivalent to the main basic tourist attractions have. This will help you take tons of nice pictures.

With accessories, you should choose items that can mix with any suits you bring. The best choice for shoes is always 1 pair of sneakers, and 1 pair of sandals for going out in the evenings.

As said in section 2, the number of clothes carried should depend on the length of your trip. Yet, it’s all about the comfort and enjoyment of your trip so you shouldn’t pack your suitcase too heavy. Indeed, consider washing your clothes or buying new ones if possible.

5.2. Body Care Products and Makeups

With body care products, I suggest bringing a mini set of shampoo, condition, a few makeup tools, and remover instead of big bottles which can make your suitcase heavier. To buy mini-set, you could find them in convenience stores such as Daiso, Miniso, or Amazon. Last but not least, don’t forget to use a toiletry bag to well-organize your stuff in a bag or luggage.

5.3. Electric Devices

With portable devices such as smartphones, chargers, earphones/headphones, cameras, etc. you should read the policy of bringing these electric devices before a flight. With a power bank, it is compulsory to leave them in the carry-on luggage so please remember this to avoid problems when you get on a plane. In addition, if you want to bring any of the items underwater, such as a smartphone or camera for photography, remember to bring along waterproof cases to avoid devices get wet.

5.4. Exchanged Money

There are many places that don’t accept cards or have ATMs. Furthermore, using cards overseas may suffer exchange and transaction fees that affect your budget for the trip. Therefore, exchanged money is one of the must–considering things for those who want to visit foreign countries. Exchanging money now is an easy service to find at the airport or appointed places.

5.5. Medicine

preparing travel medicine following packing tips
Using a pill case to organize your medicine.

For someone who might not know, medicine is not allowed to buy, like normal goods, in a couple of countries if you can’t show the prescription to the pharmacy stores. Therefore, my recommendation is that you could stock some medicine in case you are in trouble with situations like food poisoned or headache, etc.

5.6. Personal Documents

Yes, the most important things for the trip. Don’t ever put yourself in a situation that you forget to bring your passport when coming to the airport. If you are an absent-minded person like me, gathering all of the important papers into a pocket would really help!

After all, enjoy packing, and have a great trip!


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pinterest board of 5 valuable packing tips for travel
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29 COMMENTS

  1. I like to use a backpack instead of a suitcase whenever I can. I find them to be easier to pack and easier to move around. Although, sometimes you have to use one or the other.

    • Me too. I always choose backpack for short – time travel because it is convenient to carry and suitcase for long travels

  2. Bookmarking this article. Right now, our travel plans have taken the back seat, until such time that everyone in my family has been fully vaccinated and travel restrictions have been lifted. Your tips are so spot on!

  3. These are some really nice ideas. I must work on researching about places before the visit as I always regret afterwards. Thanks for reminding me.

    • Yah, you should =)) And you know what, I have learnt this experience after choosing wrong outfits for a couple of visits. What a pity! haha

  4. This is a good and complete list of tips to helps us as we all get back in the swing of traveling again.

    I have never been able to get enough stuff into a backpack when I travel. Obviousyly, I am an overpacker LOL. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Oh yes…how I wish somebody had told me about exchanging my money on my first trip to Tanzania! I wouldn’t have faced reggae the way I did (hihi)… Thanks for sharing.

  6. Being that I am on vacation currently, I wish I had found your article just a few days earlier. Great tips!

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