7 Must-Know Travel and Packing Tips for Adventure Travel
Packing for any trip is a bit stressful for most of us, but packing for an international trip or an adventure vacation can be overwhelming. What do you bring? How much should you pack? What luggage do you need?
With the right planning packing you can pack easier, lighter, and still bring everything you need for your trip. Packing smart for adventure travel can actually improve your vacation experience before you leave the house and all the way to the end of your trip. Here are our top seven tips to help you pack smart.
1. Keep your Important Documents, Cash and Cards Safe
Documents like IDs, passports, plane tickets, credit cards and cash and your itinerary are some of the most important items you bring with you on any trip. Protect your documents by keeping all of them together and secure while you travel. Get a document wallet or travel pouch, like Sea to Summit's Travelling Neck Wallet so your documents are always on you.
Once you get to a hotel, keep your travel documents in a secure location - a hotel-provided save is an excellent option. When your out and about, don't carry items you need every day (like cash or credit cards) in your back pocket. That's an invite for every pickpocket you pass - and in tourist cities, they are out there! Pick up a money belt to prevent theft and save yourself a ton of trouble.
2. Choose your Primary Luggage
No matter your destination, choose luggage that is lightweight, has enough room for all your essential gear, and is versatile enough for multiple trips. Most importantly, buy luggage for its quality. Traveling with a suitcase that has a broken zipper, handle or wheel can turn a good trip into a bad one in a hurry. There are several different types of luggage styles to choose from depending on where and how you travel.
Lightweight, simple duffel bags can hold a lot of gear and are super durable. Look for a duffel with adjustable straps that can be configured as a handle, sling, or even a packpack.
If you're highly mobile, walk long distances, or simply want to pack light, a travel pack is a good choice of luggage. They are basically backpacks made for travel, with shoulder straps, possibly lunbar straps, and multiple pockets for smaller items. Perfect for hands-free travelling.
Great for regular travel, airports, and hotels, wheeled luggage can roll right along with you. If you're on rough terrain, simply pick it up like a regular bag.
3. Bring a good Carry-on or Day Pack
Frequent travelers travel with carry-on whenever they can to avoid baggage fees, reduce check-in times, and save time at airports. Although you are more limited on space (see Pack Less, Not More below), a good day pack will allow for extra freedom in-transit while reducing weight, time and effort.
On extended trips where you need larger luggage, bring your day pack along to use as an everyday bag! They are perfect for carrying just the items you need that day, while leaving most of your belongings back at your lodging.
4. Organize & Compartmentalize
Most adventure travel have a lot of varied activities, and that means quite a lot of gear, clothing and accessories to bring. Keeping it all organized can be a challenge. Simplify your packing by using packing organizers to divide your items by type, use, or even by day so most of your items stay nice and neat as you dig through your luggage.
Spend less time unpacking and re-packing your suitcase when you only need a few items at a time. Choosing the right organizers, sacks and bags can also mean that you can fit more in your bag.
5. Pack Less, Not More
How many times have you returned from a trip to unpack only to realize that you never wore half of the shirts in your luggage? Overpacking is common on local trips, but it's a "no-no" for adventure travel enthusiasts. Before stuffing your entire wardrobe into your bag, as "Do I really need another pair of jeans?" Consider how you can cut down on how much you pack before you go. Will you have access to a laundry facility or services? How often will you really change clothes (yes, lots of adventure travellers wear the same clothes multiple days in a row)? Cutting down on your travel wardrobe can significantly cut the weight you carry and reduce hassle on the road.
6. Don't Forget the Toiletries
Toiletries are one area where you want to pack everything that you need for your trip - don't assume your destination will provide toiletries. You may not even have the opportunity to purchase toiletry items in some locations. Check for any requirements, like eco-friendly products or biodegradable items before you leave. Look for these items well before your departure - you will get exactly what you need and end up spending less.
In addition to soap, shampoo, deoderant, toothpaste - all the usual toiletries - think through what else you may need for your trip. Will you be hiking in the sun or lounging on a beach? Grab some sunscreen. Spending time outdoors? Don't forget the insect repellant. Even small items like lip balm can prevent small irritants that can add up to serious discomfort.
Pack all your toiletries in ziplock bags or waterproof kits to prevent any spills from ruining the rest of your luggage.
7. Bring Power Adapters & Chargers
Especially for international travellers, converters and power adapters can be a lifesaver. Research what the local power outlet type at your destination and pack accordingly. Then enjoy your cell phone, camera, and other electronics as much as you want during your trip.