Guest Author - Donna Ledbetter
Traveling and vacationing are satisfying endeavors, but it is the planning, packing, reserving, and thinking ahead for unexpected emergencies that tire most people. It does not have to be this way. Packing, at least, when thought out well, should take very little time. Follow my four favorite packing tips to find out how.
Tip #1: Leave your books at home.
E-readers, whether as an iPad, Kindle, NOOK, or other device can help reduce the weight of your luggage as well as make packing away your favorite titles so much easier. Before embarking on your next trip, download all the travel guides you will need on your device. Then store a copy of a book or an e-magazine for leisure reading, and you are done. Just remember to pack your reading device.
Tip #2: Take your smart phone.
Laptops these days are light, sleek, and increasingly more portable than they were just a few years ago. However, if your next trip is one where you plan to be out exploring the city more than the décor and amenities of your hotel, leave your laptop at home and take your smart phone.
Today’s smart phones allow for easy Internet access, so you can access BellaOnline’s MidAtlantic USA or do an Internet search from any location. Many phones also come with GPS capability, getting you safely to your destination without your having to worry about getting lost.
Tip #3: Prepare 3 days’ worth of clothes and one dress casual outfit.
Regardless of whether your trip lasts three days or thee weeks, pack lightly with your clothes. Take 3 tops, 3 bottoms, and 1 pair of shoes. Then to be on the safe side, also take 1 dress casual outfit. You will have this on hand in case someone unexpectedly invites you to a formal affair. It also gives you the flexibility to detour for formal events on your own.
Make all the items interchangeable (even the formal wear if you can) so you can mix and match for extended stays. If you find you need more clothes, just detour to the city or the nearest mall. Consider your new clothes a souvenir.
Tip #4: Forego the toiletries until you arrive.
If you are traveling to an industrialized city, particularly one in the United States, you do not need to worry about packing things like toothpaste, mouthwash, or deodorant because they will all readily available at your destination. Items like these are available for a hefty price at airports and train stations, but you can also find them cheaper at convenience stores and pharmacies.
One other great thing about foregoing your purchase of toiletries until you arrive is that it also gives you the opportunity to try local products. Try a popular Chinese toothpaste in a regional flavor. Buy a deodorant with a scent that locals love. Buying when you arrive is a unique way to experience local culture that most people all too quickly pass up.