In just a few short hours, I will be leaving for the UK again! If you aren’t aware, I am in a long distance relationship with my Fiancé Tom. Since travel is a bit easier now that the Pandemic is (very) slowly fading, I have been able to go back and forth to England quite regularly. Tom just experienced his first trip to the US, and after three months we are heading back to his home together. Traveling has always been a big passion of mine, and I am grateful that I have been able to do it all my life.
Obviously, getting into a long distance relationship means that traveling is going to happen more frequently, so after a lot of practice, I feel much more confident when packing for trips. Today I will be sharing how I like to pack for an extended trip. Packing can already be a pretty overwhelming experience, but for the most part, I really enjoy it! I love choosing which outfits to bring, and of course, going on a trip is very exciting too! I will be sharing some tips and advice that I have learned over the years in relation to packing for a trip. This blog post will mostly relate to flying, however these tips can work for any form of travel! There will also be two parts, so be sure to click the link at the end of this post to continue reading.
- Check to see what documents you need
Before traveling to another country, you need to do all of the research you can! Tom and I know this all too well, especially since we began our long distance relationship during a pandemic when paperwork, testing AND quarantining was required. Thankfully, now we just have to fill out a couple forms and we are good to go! If you are not vaccinated, you may be required to do more than this, so keep that in mind. You may also want to do some research on how long you can stay in the country you are traveling to. For example, I can only stay in the Uk for 6 months, and Tom can only stay in the US for 3. Plan your trip accordingly, and try to avoid staying around that limit, it may cause complications if you plan to visit again. Keep all of these important papers together. I like to bring a folder with me, so I can keep these things there, and the folder can easily fit in my backpack.
- Check with your airline for baggage allowance
If you are new to flying, or you need a light reminder, always check with your airline to see what baggage is allowed. Typically, you can have a checked bag, a carry-on, and a personal item. Your checked bag will be taken at the airport and sent to your final destination, and your carry-on is typically a slightly smaller bag that can be taken with you to your seat and stored in the overhead compartment. Your personal item can be a backpack, a purse, a duffle bag etc. and can usually fit right under the seat in front of you. of course, you don’t NEED each of these. try to pack light and avoid having to pay for a checked bag. If you really want to bring a checked bag, try to avoid bringing a carry-on. I always recommend having a personal item so you can easily access things you’ll need while in the air, and also valuables will be on your person at all times. Remember that the size and weight of your bags matters, so double check with your airline to know what to bring.
- Check the weather before packing
Be sure to check the weather before you travel so you can get a better idea of what you’ll want to wear. If you’re staying for a longer period of time and you can’t be 100% sure of the weather, do some research. I always like to google: weather in (location) in (month(s)). For example, before my upcoming trip, I would search: Weather in England in February and March.
- Pre-plan your activities and excursions
Before you pack for any trip, think about what you’ll be doing a lot of. If you’re doing a lot of sightseeing, bring comfortable sneakers. If you’re going hiking or taking part in a lot of outdoor activities, bring some sturdy hiking boots. If you’ll be relaxing by the beach 99% of the time, some nice sandals will work perfectly. For this trip, I plan to bring my hiking boots, a pair of comfortable athletic sneakers, pointed-toe ankle boots, and everyday boots. If you are trying to pack light, try to find shoes that can be worn for multiple occasions.
- Know what goes in a checked bag
While every airline and airport is different, one thing is for sure: anything sharp should not go with you on the plane. The same is true for full sized liquids. When I travel, I always like to have razors, tweezers, scissors, etc. with me. When I pack my bags, I always know that these items need to go in my checked bag. If you don’t want to check your bag, you may have to wait until you arrive at your destination to buy these things. It’s better to be safe and to make your airport/flying experience as easy and stress-free as possible.
- Use a backpack or carry on suitcase rather than a duffle or tote bag
If you plan to bring a personal item or carry on bag, don’t let it be a duffle or tote bag. I have tried traveling with these things and let’s just say it was painful. It doesn’t make sense to bring these items because they only go over one shoulder. It is very common to find yourself rushing to your gate, and some airports are HUGE. You may find yourself walking for around 15-20 minutes just to get to your gate. Trust me, you want that to be a comfortable walk (or run). I understand wanting to look stylish when traveling, but I think that you can do this while still being practical. Last fall, before my second trip to England, I bought this beautiful backpack on Amazon! I love how stylish it looks, and it has many compartments and SO much room! This comes in quite a few different colors and color combinations, but I just adore the back and gray combo. There is a space for my laptop, my toiletries, my jewelry, and my water bottle with room to spare! This backpack is also very nice quality, and I love using it for travel. I recommend bringing a backpack rather than a duffle or tote because once it is on your back, you don’t have to worry as much about it. The weight will be evenly distributed rather than bringing your one shoulder down, and it also won’t fall down as you’re making your way through the airport.
- Lay out all of the items you want to bring
My first step every time I travel. I do this a week or so before traveling because I just love planning these things out ahead of time. Plus, it will help you to feel more confident and WAY less stressed! It is much better to know and plan out what you’ll wear while away rather than throwing a bunch of random pieces into your suitcase and hoping for the best.
- Pack neutrals
I am outspoken about wearing neutrals lately! If you haven’t heard me say it already, neutrals will never let you down. By packing neutral colored clothing, you will be able to pair every item in multiple ways, leaving you with many, many outfit options to choose from! On the other hand, if you only pack vibrant clothing with bold and crazy patterns, it will be much harder to style your outfits. Unless you are in love with wearing a lot of color, my best tip is to keep it simple. Bring classic pieces that you can style in many different ways.
Part two of this blog post is linked here! See you all there.