My “Not To Forget” List

Packing to travel is one of the most exciting feelings ever, for me it is even better than booking a flight or the preparation for the trip itself. Packing means I am up to leave, and soon what I have been dreaming for the last weeks will be a reality and that fills me with excitement!

Long trips and small trips have different requirements for packing, but for both we should pack light. After all, we are going on vacations, not carrying our house with us on our back.

Pack for your travel, not for a travel.

The basics will always be there, underwear, clothing, etc. So it is a bit pointless to think about that, in my opinion the first thing you should think of is what’s your goals, photography? Adventure? Beach? Mountain? That’s what will make the difference and what will make you organize your stuff.

Arequipa Airport, sunset
Arequipa Airport, sunset

Photography is a passion of mine, although I have a lot to learn but that’s not the point, so making sure I have space for my camera and lenses is mandatory! An adaptor is also important, and considering that I live in Ireland where the plugs are different from the rest of Europe, the adaptor is actually crucial…

Specific clothing, this can be important mostly for longer vacations where easily you overlook some place you’ll end up in. I always take some hiking pants with me, those that you can turn into shorts with the zip. Usually those pants dry really fast, are breathable and very adaptable as well, so I always add them to my list.

I also carry my iPad or iPhone with me, where I’ll store documentation about the places I want to visit, contacts and addresses and scans of my IDs. It is always handy to have a scan of your passport online, you never know what can happen… Better be prepared 🙂

Be prepared for not so uncommon complications.

About longer trips, when I have luggage to check in, I also make sure I take with me clothes for at least two days. Unfortunately it can happen that your luggage takes a detour to another exotic destination, and you might stay two or three days without clothes to wear.

When traveling, size always matters! Be careful with more restrictive airlines, you don’t want to end up squeezing stuff inside your carry-on luggage because they require just one piece per person. Also be aware of layovers or transfer flights that are not connected. Sometimes you can pass with some luggage in one flight and not the second one (been there done that…).

About shoes, you’re not going to a party. If you’re going on a short trip, take just the pair you’ll be wearing and get the most comfortable ones. You’ll be wearing it all the time. If you’re going on a longer trip, take no more than one spare pair of shoes, depending on what you’ll do.

And enjoy your trip and don’t forget to relax 🙂

Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.

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