Long-term travel is definitely quite different than short-term travel. Jetting off for months at a time or even without any particular time barriers is a totally different experience than a week’s vacation. Because of this, packing and planning for long-term travel is a whole new endeavor. Forgetting to pack the right things when traveling long-term seriously affects your budget. After all, it’s not like you’re headed home in just a couple of days. You have to live with the things you choose to pack for long periods of time. It’s hard to narrow it all down and figure out what you actually need. This article goes over some of the random items you probably didn’t think of.
People who love to read always have a hard time figuring out how to fit books into a life of long-term travel. The solution isn’t easy- physical books are heavy and take up a lot of precious packing space. Electronic books aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and they can also be quite expensive. One of the best solutions to this problem is actually trading, buying, and selling your books on the road. Don’t pack books you’ve already read, and don’t get attached to any one book. Many hostels offer book trading stations where you can take a book or leave a book.
Bringing all the chargers for your devices isn’t quite enough for a long-term traveler. Time is of the essence and taking turns charging up all your devices doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s much easier to charge everything all at once, using an extension cable with several outlets. That way, everything can charge while you’re sleeping or happen to be near an outlet. This also reduces the need to leave your valuable electronics charging while you’re not around.
The problem of dirty laundry is never as in your face as it is when you’re traveling long-term and living out of one bag. There’s no avoiding it- dirty laundry is a big part of life, and it’s hard to deal with if you don’t have the right tools. Packing an extra bag to put dirty laundry in within your larger bag is a life saver. It keeps all your clean clothes clean, ensures you don’t just completely forget which ones are dirty, and it helps you transport them to a Laundromat as needed.
Speaking of laundry, long-term travelers usually come to realize that it’s much easier to do it themselves. Washing clothes in the sink or the shower usually turns out to be much cheaper and more straightforward than finding an actual machine. Because of this, it’s a good idea to pack some laundry soap for your trip. The easiest options are powdered detergents since they pack the smallest and have the least risk of making a mess in your bag. Another useful characteristic to look for is that the soap is biodegradable- that way you can even use it in natural sources of water like the ocean or rivers, without harming the environment.
In conclusion, traveling long-term is a whole new way of life. As such, it’s important to realize that there’s no one size fits all type of list for a long-term packing list. Some things just won’t work for long-term travelers and some things you never thought of that make your life much easier. There are so many different ways to pack effectively for longer trips. The best thing for all long-term travelers to remember is that everything they pack is what they’re going to carry around for months to come.