Tips for Packing

During the past six months, I’ve visited a dozen different countries. I offer the following as my essential items for traveling, i.e., those things that I “don’t leave home without.” I’m not including my passport on this list, since I really cannot leave home without it.

Note that I travel with only one (1) backpack that I easily can store in an overhead bin. I wear/take only one pair of quality walking shoes (not sneakers). In cool weather, I take an easy-on, easy-off upper layer (sweater or jacket).

I can re-wear pants and sometimes shirts (if isn’t too hot), but I make sure I have fresh underwear, handkerchiefs, and socks for each day. Even if the trip lasts longer, I think in terms of 4-5 day cycles; I must wash–if only by hand–at the end of each cycle.

The most important thing to remember is less is more! Travel light!

Don’t Forget!

  1. hard copies of tickets and reservations
  2. hard copy of name, address, and directions to hotel(s)
  3. bottle of water and a snack (water after airport security)
  4. handkerchief and/or washcloth plus pocket packs of wet wipes and kleenex
  5. ear plugs, sleeping pills, and night mask
  6. $20-30 in the local currency and a mental shortcut or cheat sheet for quick conversion
  7. plus pocket coins worth appr. 50 cents each for bathrooms
  8. camera with USB connector
  9. small laptop with universal adapter
  10. smaller wallet for daily, walkabout use (I use a large passport wallet for trips and border crossing.)

Toiletries are personal but, for me, I just need a toothbrush, floss, comb, razor, travel-size toothpaste and deodorant, all of which can fit in a small baggie. I never travel with shampoo or shaving cream. (Note: roll-on deodorants may be questioned or tossed at airport security.) I put all my medicines in one bottle, selecting the one (original) bottle most likely to be questioned.

When I arrive at my destination, I buy a map and umbrella (if necessary) and use the ATM for best conversion rates.

About David McTier

Professor of Theatre Department of Theatre & Musical Theatre Sam Houston State University