Like everyone else, Captain Ulysses dreads the chore of packing before going on a trip! So to make it easier, he has made a list of essentials not to forget! And because he’s nice despite his gruff side, he decided to share it with other travelers who, like him, don’t like to pack!
What to pack when going on a trip? Here are the essentials not to forget!
What clothes to pack in your suitcase?
Wondering what clothes to pack for a sunny vacation?
If you’re headed to a hot destination, make sure you pack plenty of t-shirts, shorts, tank tops, and dresses in your suitcase.
To protect yourself from the sun, it’s essential to bring a hat or cap. You may also want to consider taking a small shawl to cover your shoulders during the hottest part of the day. A sarong will also do the trick, and it can double as a beach towel – it’s lightweight and won’t take up much space in your suitcase.
And speaking of the beach, don’t forget to pack your swimsuits if you plan on taking a dip!
When it comes to footwear, a pair of sandals or espadrilles, and a pair of sneakers are essential. Depending on your itinerary, you may also want to consider packing a pair of flip-flops and hiking shoes.
If you’re headed to a humid country, don’t forget your raincoat. Just because it’s hot doesn’t mean it won’t rain!
And finally, remember that the plane and air conditioning can be chilly, even in a hot destination. Be sure to pack at least one sweater and a pair of pants to stay comfortable.
Wondering what clothes to pack to a cold destination?
If you’re planning on going to a cold destination, be sure to pack a supply of sweaters and pants. Depending on your destination, you may even want to bring thermal underwear (long underwear, leggings, etc.) like these.
Captain Ulysses is a fan of lightweight puffer jackets, which can be worn on their own or under a coat. Some models even come with a small pouch that takes up little space in your suitcase – very practical for traveling.
When it comes to shoes, it all depends on your destination. Bringing a good pair of sneakers and hiking shoes is always useful.
Don’t forget to pack a hat, scarf, and gloves. And of course, remember to bring your coat!
It may seem obvious, but one can never be too careful: be sure to pack enough underwear and socks.
And if you wear them, don’t forget to pack your pajamas.
What to pack in your toiletry bag?
When it comes to your toiletry bag, don’t forget the essentials: toothbrush and toothpaste.
Also remember to pack: your comb/hairbrush, deodorant, makeup, makeup remover, moisturizer, razor/hair removal cream, cotton swabs, nail clippers, tweezers, menstrual products…
Don’t forget to pack sunscreen (and optionally after-sun lotion) as well as hand sanitizer.
Take a few packs of tissues… and toilet paper… it’s not very glamorous, but it can save you from some awkward moments!
And if you’re traveling for more than 10 days, it may be useful to bring something to do laundry by hand, even if it’s just to wash a few pairs of underwear!
What to pack in your first aid kit?
Let’s start with the essentials: band-aids, antiseptic, pain relievers like paracetamol/ibuprofen, antihistamines, arnica, insect repellent (and, by the way, there are organic alternatives like this one), ointment for insect bites… and anti-diarrheal medication (unfortunately, one can never be too careful with traveler’s diarrhea).
You may also want to bring along a venom extractor, especially if you’re traveling to a country where you might encounter snakes, spiders, scorpions, and other lovely insects.
Other essentials not to forget when packing for your trip
If you’re traveling abroad, make sure to bring your passport or identity card. Note that a driver’s license is not a valid form of identification. However, you’ll need to bring it with you if you plan on driving.
Also, don’t forget to bring your visa if required for your destination.
Captain Ulysses recommends making copies and/or taking photos of your identification documents and visas. Unfortunately, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and this will come in handy if you happen to lose or misplace your documents.
Lastly, if you’re traveling to a country with a different currency, be sure to bring your money if you’ve exchanged it in advance. You can also bring some euros/pounds/dollars in cash to exchange on-site in case you can’t withdraw money. And, of course, don’t forget to bring your credit card!
Remember to pack your phone and charger. If you have a camera, don’t forget to bring it as well, along with its charger (Captain Ulysses uses a Panasonic DMC-DX80 camera with a 14-140 lens). Bringing a portable battery (like this one, for example) can also be useful.
Depending on your destination, you may need to bring an adapter for electrical outlets. Universal models are available and can be used in any country you visit (you can find them here).
Books & Guides
If you’ve purchased a travel guide, don’t forget to bring it with you! Additionally, if you’re traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language, it may be useful to invest in a small portable dictionary.
To relax (and pass the time if you’re taking a plane or train!), be sure to bring some reading material. If you’re hesitant to pack books because of their weight in your suitcase, why not consider a Kindle? Captain Ulysses has tried and approved.
And if you want to keep a written record of your adventures, you can also bring a small notebook and a pen.
Other Odds and Ends
Be sure to pack your sunglasses and possibly some small wipes to clean them.
If you’re heading to the beach, don’t forget your mask and snorkel (this model, by the way, is very practical).
To combat the heat or, conversely, the cold, a spray bottle or hand warmers can come in handy! If you’re particularly sensitive to the heat, portable fans are also available.
When traveling, an inflatable pillow, eye mask, and earplugs can help make your journey more comfortable.
Also, remember to bring a laundry bag to keep dirty clothes from mixing with clean ones in your suitcase.
Captain Ulysses is also a fan of the sleeping bag liner: this equivalent of a sleeping bag made of lightweight fabric is perfect for traveling to hot countries. If you plan on hiking, a real sleeping bag may also be necessary.
What type of luggage to choose?
When it comes to traveling, the right luggage is just as important as its contents.
If you’re staying in one place, Captain Ulysses recommends a suitcase for organized packing.
However, if you’re on the move and exploring, a backpack is more maneuverable and practical, even if it can easily become disorganized.