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Travel essentials – what to pack

In all of the excitement anticipating most trips abroad, there is one chore that might take the edge off things – packing your bags. Take too much, and you may find yourself being hit with excess baggage charges; pack too little and you might find yourself without certain essentials.

If you are ever stuck for knowing what to pack, your troubles are only likely to be compounded if your travel is for an extended holiday or business trip.

The following tips are designed to help you decide just what to pack:

List it

· like them or loathe them, this might be one occasion when making a list may pay dividends;

· a carefully thought-through list may help you sort out essentials from the good to have – whilst you are away it also serves as a reminder of what you actually have somewhere in your luggage;

Documents

· high on your list of essentials are the various documents and pieces of paper you need to take – they are amongst the items you are not going to be able to replace by a quick trip to the shops once you get there;

· some of these are going to be fairly obvious – like your passport and boarding card;

· but also remember documents such as visas, medical prescriptions, and details of your travel cover – such as your long stay travel insurance policy;

Clothes

· this is the subject most likely to cause maximum anguish to the fashion conscious, of course;

· by the same token, it is one that you might want to exercise more hard-headed thinking about;

· do you really need an outfit that might – with the emphasis on might – be worn just the once, even on an extended trip abroad?

· you might be better off choosing a range of clothes that are suitable for various occasions, with some smarter than others if need be;

· for an illustration of just how economical you might be with your wardrobe – even when planning a longer trip than usual – you might want to consider the decidedly spare selection suggested by the website a little adrift;

Kit

· competing for space in your wardrobe is likely to be an especially wide range of gadgets and the various adapters and cables you need to keep them properly charged;

· the kit might include cameras, laptops, mobile phones or countless other devices on which our lives seem increasingly to depend;

· spare a thought, too, for even the most basic of first aid kits – immediate attention to a cut or injury might prevent untold complications later on;

The luggage

· what you choose to pack everything in might also make your decisions easier or more difficult – do you choose standard suitcases, for instance, or go for a backpack or even a roomy duffle bag?

· Travel Fashion Girl offers a number of suggestions about the relative merits of different types of luggage – even when your journey is an extended one;

· whatever your eventual choices about luggage, however, you might want to keep firmly in mind the weight restrictions likely to apply to each piece – currently, some 20 or 23 kilograms (about 50 lbs) and up to two such pieces, depending on your airline.

As you might have guessed, there is no definitive list of essential items to pack – whether you are going for a short weekend break or an extended trip of several months. Planning and forethought, however, might help you arrive at the optimum.