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Packing Your Backpack For A Vacation Abroad

Jun 6, 2008
Nothing beats heading out on the road for a bit of backpacking. Ah, freedom! Alas, most people put a crimp in their trip when they start packing for it. Simply put, what should go and what should stay?

Before packing, you need to give some thought to the actual pack you are going to take. A general backpack used to be available for a wide variety of trips, but now you have to choose a particular type of pack.

So, take some time to think about what type of trip you are taking. If you are going hiking in Nepal, the Hello Kitty book backpack really isn't going to cut it. Conversely, a pack designed for climbing Everest isn't going to be great for Greece.

Conversely, the blue light special backpack might be great for a three week trip to Europe. If you are going to be climbing in the Andes, however, it will be laughably insufficient.

Okay, we're ready to pack. At this point, you are probably expecting a list of what to take. Ah, no. Instead, we are going to focus on things you should not take. Why? Because everyone always takes too much stuff.

I love computers. You love computers. We all love computers. Do we need to take a laptop with us on our trip? Probably not. Shockingly, the rest of the world has web access. There are more cyber cafes than you can shake a stick at in most destinations.

While your destination may be exotic to you, it is vital to remember that the same basic things are available in much of the world. If you can purchase a product in your home town, you can probably get it at your destination.

There is one rule in regard to clothing. If you can't roll it up, don't take it. Avoid sweaters unless you absolutely must take them. If you are in a cool area, you can always layer your clothes to get warm.

Don't pack for your entire trip. Travel books are the perfect example. If you are traveling through 3 countries, you only need a book for the first one. You can buy or trade for books for the subsequent countries with no problem.

Sometimes, you just have to load up on clothing. How unfortunate. Still, this doesn't mean you have to carry it all for the entire trip. If you get done with certain pieces, mail them home. It beats carrying them!

Looking at the big picture, try to be a minimalist. I know this is hard for us Americans, but just remember that everything you pack you have to carry. Try on you pack before you leave. You'll soon be dumping stuff right and left.
About the Author
Thomas Hammond writes about travel subjects for NomadJournals.com - makers of travel journals that make great corporate gifts.
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