Tomorrow, this home-dweller's going to America for three solid weeks! While I'm excited to see loads of new things, I forgot how tricky packing for a big trip can be! The last large trip I did was when I went to Australia three years ago on exchange.
A few years ago, I wrote this post about preparing for a day trip, and I really enjoyed writing it! Thus, I decided to write another one about packing for a larger trip.
1. Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead
- Book Early!
- I can't stress this point enough - as far as transport and hotels go, the earlier, the better. Not only do you have a guarantee of having a place to sleep at night and places together on the plane, but also you'll probably have lower prices! Plus it makes it a million times easier to...
- Figure out who and what you want to see
- Do you have old friends in the place you are visiting? Family? Do you want to see the chocolate museum you've heard of once in class? Check to see how close/far you are from these things and see if you can make a day around it! Vacations are meant for experiencing other places than home. If you go far, it's all the more reason to go see things you want!
- What's on your bucket list?
- Bucket lists are the ultimate to-do list. One of the things you wish to do in life. In my top ten is going out to a remote part of California to look at the Milky Way! Bucket list things should be something you make special time to do, and that you should do everything to not miss out on.
2. Week before
- Print/Download all of the tickets
- Just do it. Doing that last minute is a nightmare, especially because technology can smell fear and just knows when you're in a rush.
- Double-check all reservations
- Nothing worse than thinking you're leaving on a Tuesday but you're actually leaving that Monday. It happens, just check that you know what you're doing, and that all reservations still stand!
- Start coming up with a 'packing plan'
- If you're going with a group, are you all bringing XL suitcases? How are you organising your shoes and souvenir space? Are you allowed to bring carry-on luggage?
- Eat all the food in your fridge
- There is nothing worse than coming home with food still in your fridge, that has turned to a questionable color and consistency. I've seen food go bad in a shared fridge, it's not pretty.
3. Day before
- Finish all the food in your fridge
- This should speak for itself...
- Packing time...
- Oh no oh no oh no...
- Ok if packing stresses you out, hopefully this will help you out. Pack enough clothes for about a week at a time (if you have access to a washing machine). And make sure to have...
- everyday comfy clothes
- clothes you know you can walk in several kilometres comfortably
- something that looks good
- one fancy set (just in case!)
- pyjamas (I've forgotten them once, not nice)
- Sandals, walking shoes and nice shoes
- underwear including socks (I've forgotten socks on a hike. was bad)
- Some kind of jacket
- Check your wallet
- ID, money, passport. The golden trio.
4. What NOT to forget!
- Arrange your house
- Make sure your windows and shutters are closed, that your electric devices are turned off, that every sink and faucet is turned off and leak-less, and that your bed is made. Trust me, coming home to a made bed is the best
- Little items
- Electronic devices chargers
- Battery pack
- At least one pen
- Hand sanitiser for on the plane, at least
- Travel minis
- a journal/notebook
4a. Choosing your books
- This is something that's always been challenging for me BUT I think I've figured out an algorithm of some kind for this trip!
- Download any of your e-books on your phone. If you have ARCs from Netgalley, make sure to have them with you. Inter-country travel usually includes a lot of travel time and thus is the perfect time to read books that take up no physical space.
- Audiobooks supposedly are nice but I've never tried any. In any case I do have the Harry Potter audio books on my computer.
- Bring a book that has a relation to where you are going. We are going to the Air and Space museum in Washington DC, thus it's the perfect time for me to read Hidden Figures!
- Bring 2 books you really want to read.
5. On the trip
- Noise-cancelling headphones (or just headphones) are a lifesaver, as is gum and books. I do like bringing video games as well.
- If you have work to do, have your computer with you on the trip - you are stuck in one place, unable to move. It is easy to get a TON of work done!
6. BONUS: What I shouldn't forget but that you may find useful as well (or totally useless, depending on you yourself and thy)
- My situation: I need to work on an internship over the summer, wear glasses and have varying levels of anxiety depending on the day. If any of these resonate with you, you might want to consider...
- Fidget cube
- Glasses and glasses cleaner
- Your work notes and calculator
- Python programming handbook
- load music on my phone
Hopefully this may prove useful to somebody out there! It did help me clear my thoughts!
Stay bookish and have a lovely summer/winter!