When it comes to packing for a long trip, there are a virtually unlimited number of factors to consider. From what kind of socks to bring to how to fit everything into one bag, packing what seems like your entire life into one bag for an extended period of time can seem daunting. And it is.

A few key tips will help any type of traveler to whittle their belongings down to the necessities and to make sure you have everything you will need for long term travel.

Clothing

Choose clothing that is multifunctional. For women, think a top that can be dressed up with a piece of jewelry or pants that are breathable for hiking yet can look polished for a nice dinner. For men, look for fabrics that won’t wrinkle and shirts that can be dressed up with nicer pants but also work for more casual days with gym shorts.

Colors matter when choosing clothing. Leave your whites behind. First, laundry options on the road may be less than ideal, you probably won’t have access to a permanent press cycle. Those whites are going to get faded or stained from a rogue fried noodle very easily. And at the very basic level, having whites or light colors in your pack means you would have to do two loads of laundry each time, thus, costing you money, which will certainly add up.

Stick with dark greys, earth tones, and blacks for a wardrobe that works together as well as separately.

Fabrics also matter. Leave anything that requires an iron or dry cleaning at home. If it can’t be shaken out and worn it shouldn’t make it into your bag.

Bring at least one nice outfit. Men that means a button up shirt and women that means a nicer top and bottoms or a dress. There will be situations, whether you’re heading out for a nice night on the town or just want to go out to dinner at a sit down restaurant that isn’t locating on the sidewalk of a busy street. You’ll be happy to have an outfit to dress up in at times.

Gadgets

Get all of your converters before you go. As annoying as it is carrying around the extra weight, you will save a lot of money and stress in the long run. You never know if you’ll arrive in a new city with a dead cell phone and no way to access the internet to find the address for your hotel.

Condense as much as possible. A cell phone can act as a lot of things at once. From a calculator to a dictionary to a camera, cell phones can cover a lot of your needs with one small device.

Toiletries

Leave the shampoos and soap at home. Things that can easily be purchased on the road should be. That goes for sunscreen (although make sure to get this BEFORE getting to the beach to save the most money), detergent, lotion and so much more.

Do make sure to bring a sewing kit and first aid kit. Things happen on the road that you can’t plan for or even imagine at times. Having every tool possible to better help you when those times arise is smart planning.

The most important tip of them all: use packing cubes! These will help you repack in a pinch and be able to find something very quickly and easily and just ultimately alleviate a lot of stress when it comes to keeping your belongings in check.

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