15 November 2011

We were asked by @chocophilenyc on Twitter to write a post on what clothes to pack when going travelling.

We have stated before that we're rubbish at packing, so we asked some experts for their packing tips! We also shared a few things we've learnt over our years of travelling - and our mistakes!

  1. Shoes are really important. You need the right footwear for whatever you're doing and walking shoes are great for trekking miles without getting sore paws. This is where you should be prepared to spend a bit of extra money because it really does make a difference.
  2. Versatile clothing was suggested to us by Craghoppers on Twitter - like those trousers where you can zip off the bottom bit to make shorts. We were told once if you have these, to make sure you always wash them together, otherwise one bit will fade before the other!
  3. Something for your head, either for warmth or modesty (applies more to women and Muslim countries). An anonymous commenter suggested a Buff which is a versatile tube thing you can wear as a hat or neckwarmer.
  4. Something long-sleeved. If you're cold you'll need the warmth, and if it's hot, mosquitos are likely. Again, modesty (for both men and women) extends to covering the arms in some places.
  5. A least one reasonably smart outfit if you're going away for any length of time or you're not quite sure of your plans. You will feel more comfortable in a posh restaurant or at a smart event if you're dressed appropriately. Quite useful if you need to do anything official too, like visit an embassy.
  6. Plenty of pants. All that laundry wears them out and holey pants are not good for your dignity.
  7. Swimming costume - if you enjoy swimming or watersports and there's even the slightest chance you might get to go. Again, modesty applies more to women than men so something to cover up with (sarong and/or t-shirt) is also useful. Tankinis are good.
  8. Waterproof coat/jacket. More practical than an umbrella. If you get new, make sure to give it a trial run at home before striding into a monsoon-swept jungle.
  9. Ask other travellers who've been where you're going for suggestions - not only of what to take, but also what not to take. They will tell you not to take jeans to the tropics, if you didn't know that already.
  10. Ask your career break organisation for advice - they might even have a kit list they give out. This applies everywhere but especially for snowsports or adventure sports career breaks where the right kit is essential.

Finally, a tip from my grandmother: don't use thread to sew things up, use dental floss because it's much stronger.


Have you got any tips on what clothes to pack when you go travelling? Please tweet them to us!