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Try not to overpack. Instead, work with light layers and warm layers—quality clothing that’s a comfortable fit and easily stored.



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If you’re traveling in winter, thermal underwear works wonders! Otherwise, whatever’s comfortable. Tip: carry a spare all-purpose bag for your dirty laundry.



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Travelers taking prescribed medicine should make sure they have enough to cover the duration of their trip. Set an alarm on your phone so you remember to take it. Always check your medications are legal before traveling overseas, and get a signed note from your doctor confirming your prescription in case of problems at border crossings.



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These days there’s an app for everything, but it’s worth packing a phrase book and some thoroughly researched and well-written travel literature about your destination.



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An obvious item to pack to keep you shaded when necessary.



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Some backpacks incorporate a fold-out rain cover. If yours doesn’t, invest in a good quality accessory. There’s nothing worse than getting your gear drenched during a downpour.



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For peace of mind, pack a couple of padlocks, one for the main backpack zipper and another to secure your luggage to a fixed point if necessary.



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A must-have on soft, sandy beaches, sliding into comfortable flip-flops makes perfect sense, again after a day concealing your feet in a suffocating pair of dirty hiking boots.



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They’re handy for an impromptu snorkel, as you don’t know what you might brush up against. Have you ever tried to recognize a jellyfish underwater without a mask?



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Don’t always count on the light built into your mobile device: a flashlight is far more powerful. Get one with a waterproof casing.



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Even when it’s cloudy, quality eyewear counts. They’ll ensure that your vision is clear no matter what.



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Never underestimate the appeal of a hot cup of coffee, especially if the weather is cold and you’re tired. Pack a durable flask that will go the distance.



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Purchase a cheapo pay-as-you-go cell phone for emergency use. Alternatively, pack a spare SIM card that works abroad.



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If you’re vision impaired, your glasses are your eyes. Look after them carefully. You’re alright if you’re in a city, where you can get a replacement pair if necessary. But misplace these items out in the sticks and your world view will be that much dimmer.



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A trendy fashion statement and a practical piece of apparel, board shorts look just as good on land as they do in the surf.



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For those with beards, take along a trimmer. Remember the charger though, otherwise you’ll eventually end up looking like Robinson Crusoe.



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A last resort for light sleepers perhaps, but do bear in mind you’ll be needing to hear that early morning alarm or, heaven forbid, a fire alarm!



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Optional, but handy if you’re sensitive to light.



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Another very useful item for your backpack and of course, an essential accessory if traveling to a hot, sunny destination.



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Stay in the habit of brushing regularly. Don’t bother packing an electric toothbrush, as they’re not very practical.



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If traveling with friends then perhaps this is when size matters. In other words, one member of the group carries a jumbo tube of toothpaste and shares it among the rest.



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Climate and prevailing weather conditions largely dictate the need for items like these. Though a hat is always useful.



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An essential packing item, frankly. You never know when you might need it.



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Download a GPS app to your mobile device and you shouldn’t get lost. Well, that’s the theory. Always best to keep an old-fashioned paper map handy in case the battery dies or your phone gets stolen.



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Dry or cracked skin is not only unsightly, but it can lead to infection, especially if you’re venturing into the tropics.



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These can be cumbersome, so opt for a microfiber towel that’s easily folded and stored away.



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Use small, portable plastic bottles a bit like those you find in hotel bathrooms (no that’s not an excuse to nab a few on your next city break). Use shampoo sparingly during your trip and it should last the duration.



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The same goes for your body wash. Look for something mosquito repellent.



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Easily forgotten, but without these you’ll soon be reverting to pencil and paper to capture those gorgeous sunsets.



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Most mobile devices these days double up as pretty good cameras. But if you’re serious about getting the shot, equip yourself with a decent digital SLR.



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Headaches, muscle aches, period pains… these irritable symptoms can ruin your day. Make sure to keep some painkillers handy just in case. Tip: again, check your medications are legal before traveling abroad.



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These hair products are useful when you’ve reached your destination and want to freshen up before hitting the bars.



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Tasty energy boosters like breakfast bars, trail mix, and boiled sweets make great on-the-go snacks, especially if walking or hiking.



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If you’re camping then a sleeping bag is a must. However, if the plan is to stay in hostels, a sleeping bag liner is useful whenever the cleanliness of a bed is in doubt.



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If your destination is prone to wet weather, a raincoat is a must-have. Always best to prep for downpours, even in summer.



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These days, people and phones are joined at the hip. Avoid a tearful separation by packing a portable phone charger.



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Never underestimate the sock! It’s all that rests between bare skin and some potentially coarse fabric. Simple rule: cold weather means woolen socks, warm weather means cotton socks. Tip: wear ankle socks with your running shoes.



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Two-prong, three-prong…? Check adapter and converter requirements to match up your plugs with foreign outlets.



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Being able to light a match can sometimes mean the difference between staying cold and wet or drying out in front of a warm fire.



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A reusable metal lighter is a useful backup in case your matches fall victim to the damp.



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Always a useful item to have at hand. Just don’t flash it around—some people may get the wrong idea.



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OK, fanny packs may look pretty tacky, but they’re making a comeback! They also have their uses, for example as a way of distributing your cash, or storing extra documentation.



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Blistered lips are no joke. You literally crack a smile, and who wants to kiss a strip of sandpaper? Seriously, buy sun protection lip balm and apply regularly.



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There’s nothing wrong with keeping your nails in check. Toenails especially can cause endless grief if left to curl around your feet.



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Why pack postcards? In remote areas, a postcard depicting your home city is a wonderful way of introducing yourself to strangers and initiating conversation. And your guests will appreciate the souvenir.



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An odd thing to pack you may think, but how versatile is a ball of string? Besides working as a laundry line for example, string is the perfect substitute for a snapped shoe lace. You try finishing out your hike in a loose boot.



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This one depends on your travel itinerary. Sure, if you plan on staying in a city, pack some evening shoes. Not much use in the outback, though.



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Similarly, backpacking or hosteling doesn’t necessarily mean you have to look like a Woodstock reject. If you’re going to hit the town, pack some evening wear. Just be economical with the fashion trends.



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Most likely the heaviest item on your travel inventory, make a habit of wearing walking shoes at airports rather than storing them in your backpack during flights.



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Not much bigger than a matchbox, a GoPro is the ultimate audio-visual travel mate. It’s waterproof, so all your underwater adventures can be recorded for posterity.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


58/58 SLIDES