Life & Style
Travel Tips: Packing Essentials
By Ryan J. Beard
Aug 1, 2012 - 9:26:33 PM

LOS ANGELES—Vacation is meant to be a time to relax, but let’s face it, packing and traveling can sometimes be very stressful.  Long trips, plane rides, packing, and the anxiety that can come with being in a new place can all add to your stress level.  Staying organized and having a few travel essentials however, can ease the pain of traveling and help you get to your destination free of stress.


If you are planning on backpacking, then make sure you invest in a quality backpack that distributes the weight of what you have packed evenly though your shoulders and hips.  I recommend visiting your local travel store or REI to try on a backpack before you make your purchase.  At REI you can try on a backpack and have a salesman pack it with however much weight you anticipate to be carrying to make sure you will be as comfortable as possible while carrying your load.  Also make sure to buy a backpack that opens from the top as well as the sides, this way you can easily keep your pack organized.  Osprey and Northface both make quality backpacks.


If you are concerned about theft, I advise purchasing a Pac Safe bag or backpack.  Pac Safe luggage is lined with metal wire mesh that prevents thieves from stealing.  Sneaky thieves in crowded trains or streets will use a razor to slit the bottom of your purse or backpack and empty whatever valuables are inside.  Pac Safe luggage prevents such theft.  Additionally, you may prefer carrying your currency within a money belt rather than your wallet.


Staying organized within airports makes travel easier.  Having a travel wallet keeps all of your tickets and passports together and organized.  I recommend the Victorinox Travel Organizer.


Having your own towel is never a bad idea.  If traveling frequently for an extended amount of time I recommend purchasing a quick dry towel.  These towels are smaller but can dry out in less than a day, preventing your towel from becoming smelly within your luggage. 


If you are traveling abroad and not planning on having a cell phone, it is a good idea to carry some sort of wireless device besides a laptop.  A iPod touch for instance will help you book hotels or hostels, get directions, skype with friends back home, and even contact new friends you have met abroad wherever you can find free internet.


Other travel necessities include a few good books, and of course your iPod and headphones for trains and planes.  Finally bring a pad lock to lock up valuables in hostel lockers, and make sure to have some foreign currency before you begin your travels.


Once packed and prepared, travel can be easy.  Your stress free vacation can begin immediately after you’ve left home for the airport.  If you have any comments or questions regarding travel please email me at

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