Packing for your first trip overseas can seem like an overwhelming task, with so many things to think about! That’s why we have compiled a list of tips and recommendations to help make packing a suitcase for your school tour a breeze.
Make a packing list – It’s a good idea to start making a list of what you need to take at least a week or two before you leave. This will decrease the chances of you forgetting something important, and give you time to purchase any additional items you might need.
Tetris your luggage – Rolling your clothes takes up less space than folding, and is more likely to stay in some sort of order when you’re looking for something in your luggage, especially if you’re planning on taking a backpack. Other space savings tricks like putting socks and underwear inside shoes, and putting larger items in first and then filling the gaps with small items, will help make the most of your luggage allowance.
Minimise footwear – Shoes can be bulky, so try to limit the number of shoes you take away to two or three. A good pair of walking shoes is essential, as travelling will always involve a lot of walking! If it’s going to be hot where you’re going, a pair of sandals or flip flops won’t take up too much room, and you’ll be grateful for them if your tour includes beach trips. If you’re going on a sports tour, you will need your game shoes as well.
Downsize toiletries – Don’t be tempted to take your big bottles of shampoo from home when packing a suitcase! These are too heavy and bulky, and can also leak in transit. Transfer your favourite shampoo, conditioner and other products into smaller plastic travel bottles and keep them in a sealable plastic pouch in your bag in case of spills. You can also purchase travel size versions of most toiletries, such as toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo, at most large supermarkets, or at the airport.
Curate your carry-on – Think about what you’re going to want to hand during the flight, and through any transit waiting time in airports when you can’t get at your main bag. Make sure you know what carry-on allowance you have, and put essentials such as headphones, wallet, earplugs, eye mask, toothbrush and toothpaste, water bottle, a book and a neck pillow in there. Plane cabins can be very dry, especially on long haul flights, so you may want lip balm and moisturiser handy as well. Have items you’re going to need to access often, such as your passport and phone, in an easy-to-reach place. Remember that any liquids or gels need to be in containers 100ml or less and in a separate, clear bag for presentation at security. You won’t be able to take a full water bottle through security either, but you’ll be able to fill an empty one once you’re through.
Bring a few extra bags – There will always be uses for extra plastic or reusable bags when you’re travelling! Take a handful of bags that you can use to keep your dirty washing, put wet clothes in (you might get caught in the rain!), and keep your muddy training shoes from getting everything else in your bag dirty
Finally, don’t forget to leave a little extra space – Try to stay under your luggage allowance when you leave home, and have at least a bit of space available in your bag so you can go shopping while you’re away and bring home souvenirs!