Packing for any trip—foreign or domestic, short or long—isn't easy; knowing what and how much to bring can be hard to figure out. So we've included some tips to guide you.
Start by thinking green! Packing with sustainability in mind reduces the number of bags you´ll have to take and reduces the waste you'll have to dispose of when you reach your destination.
Extra weight requires more fuel and produces more carbon dioxide emissions. Packing light can be a challenge if you're not used to it but, ultimately, you'll probably find that not only is it more eco-friendly, it's also more convenient!
Basic Tips for Packing a Green Suitcase:
- Multipurpose items. Cut down on bulk and weight by bringing items that can be used for a variety of things. For example, bring sandals that you can hike in, use on the beach, and wear in the shower. Bring convertible pants that (depending on the weather) can be used as trousers or shorts.
- Reusable items. Create less waste in your destination by bringing these items with you: a reusable water bottle, reusable batteries (and a charger), a reusable shopping bag.
- Paper weight. When possible, reduce paper weight by downloading books, articles, maps, etc., on an electronic device and leaving the hard copies behind. If you only need a few pages from your guidebooks, tear out those pages (or make copies of them). If you make notes on those pages as you travel, you'll have a handy mini-journal.
- Pre-trip recycling. Remove packaging materials from new items and recycle those materials before you leave.
- Natural, non-toxic products. Depending on your destination, consider bringing small quantities of natural, non-toxic items—toiletries, cosmetics, laundry soap, etc.—because, in some places, such products can be difficult to find or prohibitively expensive.
- Travel clothes. Laundry services are almost always available. And when they're not, you can use the sink! For easy laundering, bring quick-drying, wrinkle-resistant clothing.
- Nonessentials. Train yourself to take as few nonessential items as possible. In most cases, you'll find that you can function without them. If you find that you really need them later, you can probably borrow them or buy them locally as you travel.