Planning on traveling long-term? There are some essential things you need to think about before any long term travel and some really important things you need to carry. In this post Guest Contributor, Harris Norman offers his expert advice.
Young people these days want to travel more than ever. And this isn’t just an empty statement. It’s actually a scientifically-backed fact.
As The Atlantic reports, according to research from the Boston Consulting Group, the millennial generation – people between 16 and 34 years old – is more interested in traveling abroad as much as possible than their predecessors.
Furthermore, the UN estimates more than 20% of travelers – which amounts to 200 million people – are actually young people in their twenties.
Why You Need to Travel as Light as Possible
So you’re thinking about traveling – the first question you probably have now is – what should you bring along the journey? We need to tell you right out of the gate that you need to pack as light as possible.
But why? Shouldn’t you be prepared for every possible scenario? Well, in order to explain why you don’t need a large backpack on your travel, here are a couple reasons to travel ultralight:
- You’ll have more freedom – You’re traveling in search of an adventure, right? Well, if you don’t prepare for every single thing, you’ll be able to travel with a scent of excitement of what is to come. Simply allow yourself to be a little bit spontaneous.
- Quality over quantity – Limited space in your language will force you to bring clothes you want to wear on a daily basis. And every time you get something new, you should dispose of something to make space for new stuff.
- You’ll be able to experience more – In some situations, you’ll be forced to walk around a certain city for an hour or so to wait for the time to check in at your hotel. On the other hand, you’ll have just a couple of minutes to pack and go. The less stuff you have, the more flexible you’ll be.
Four Things You Need to Research Before You Go
While this may be optional for some, it’s recommended that you get some traveling insurance. If you can afford it, you should look into World Nomads, which has great reviews and a ton of benefits. However, if you’re working on a tight budget, you may skip insurance for the first few months.
You have to make a careful route for your trip and look into a couple of destinations you may want to visit along the way. If you book in advance, you’ll save some money on flights and accommodations. Luckily, sites like Numbeo and Teleport will help you find your destinations.
While there are some countries around the world you could visit without a visa – you have a list here – however, most popular places like China and India require visas. Therefore, you need to do your homework, and research what documents you need for your trip at least two months in advance.
Last but not least, you have to take a look at what vaccines you need to get in which countries. Most of Europe is relatively safe, but if you plan on visiting some exotic places, you should probably take a couple of shots, because health needs to be your priority at all times.
Four Backpack Essentials for Every Trip Abroad
The amount of clothes largely depends on how long your trip is. For example, you might need clothes for different weather conditions, which might be a problem, since coats and sweaters take up a lot of space.
If you’re traveling to a place with cold climate, a smart thing to do would be pout a couple of layers of clothing on yourself when you’re traveling in order to save up on space. But here are the essentials:
- Sneakers or boots x 1
- Underwear x 10
- Socks x 5
- Jeans or shorts x 2
- T-shirts x 5
- Long sleeve shirt x 1
If you’re traveling for more than five hours, food and water should be essential. Water is especially important on long flights. And make sure to carry easily digestible foods like fruits and vegetables and avoid messing your stomach up.
It would be a good idea to get a long-lasting food kit, in order to avoid carrying spoiling food. Also, don’t pack anything with a strong smell, because you don’t want to get stuck on a ten-hour long flight with a tuna sandwich – trust me on this. Here are some recommendable items:
- Water bottle x 2
- Juice bottle x 1
- Sandwich x 2
- Nut package x 2
- Dried fruit pack x 2
This is also an important item – especially if you plan on doing some freelance work on the go. You need a reliable laptop and a pair of noise canceling headphones because you’ll be spending a lot of time in crowded places.
Furthermore, you should load your phone with favorite books, audiobooks, and podcasts. This will be a great opportunity to read everything you ever wanted, but you never got the time to.
- 13-inch laptop
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Various chargers
- US and UK plug adapters
As we mentioned before, your health needs to be at the top of your priority list, so in addition to some vaccines, you need to have some medicine in case of an emergency.
But don’t worry, frequent flights will probably cause a couple of headaches, and you’ll definitely try some new food that will upset your stomach, so here are some medicines you should have in your backpack at all times:
- Aspirin for headaches
- Ibuprofen for pain relief
- Baneocin powder for wounds
- Medical patches
- Bandages for emergencies
So if you’re one of 200 million young people that are planning to do some travel this year, there you have a complete list of essentials you’ll need to bring with you. And this is just a start, as you continue to travel, your packing list will slowly evolve.
But one thing is certain, the less you pack, the better, so while it may seem like you need a ton of stuff in order to find yourself around a new country and have fun, it actually doesn’t. So even if you manage to get rid of some things – you probably won’t regret it.
We want your feedback! So what do you think about our packing list? Do you feel like you need to bring a couple of more things? Better yet – what does your list look like? If you have anything to add, make sure to leave a comment in the section bellow and share your thoughts with us. By Norman Harris
Harris Norman is a 30-year-old hiking guide, former fitness instructor and part-time blog writer at www.prosurvivalist.com His favorite past times are fishing, painting and spending time with his dogs in his hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin.