If you’re like me, you pack way too much for your vacations and business trips, and as you know, the luggage fees are bound to be expensive. On the other hand, you have no idea what to pack because no trip is the same. There are many different factors to think about, such as climate, culture and accessibility.

One key thing to remember is that a Passport can be hard to keep track of, and you’ll want to keep it as secure as your cash and cards. The best way to do this is to get your hands on a passport pouch. These are widely available on the internet, in luggage stores, and many clothing outlets.

A useful high-tech accessory for travel is a small portable charger. These helpful devices will keep your phone and other electronics fully charged throughout your daily adventures. If you find yourself in a foreign country, you should purchase a Universal Power Adapter (available on Amazon, google, etc) so that your power plugs can fit into any type of electrical outlet.61dx2cw5gdl-_sx425_

Clean water is essential and, in some places, not easily accessible. If you are traveling to a region where this could be an issue, I suggest getting a water bottle with a FDA-tested/approved water filter attachment. These are widely available throughout the internet and at outdoor-gear stores such as REI, but to ensure safety I suggest buying it from a certified retailer or trustworthy website of your choice.

A little research into the traditions and customs of the regions you are visiting can give you further insight on culturally appropriate items to include in your packing list. For example, more conservative countries will require a higher degree of modesty than you might observe while at home, so incorporating the right pieces and accessories into your travel wardrobe will show respect for locals and their traditions. Additionally, learning how to properly interact with those around you can greatly enhance your experiences abroad. As they say, “When in Rome!” This is one of the most important parts of preparing for any trip outside of your home country.

As you can see, there are quite a few essentials to pack that will make your life easier while traveling. With a bit of research and careful planning you’ll have everything you need for a successful trip. On a final note, be careful not to pack too much! A heavy bag makes everything that much more difficult.
By Shea English and Cate Lax