When it comes to making the most of your luggage allowance when travelling, there’s only one thing you need to do: talk to the Real Travelling team.
We’ve racked up hundreds of trips between us, from backpacking through India to partying on the beach in Bali, and have plenty of advice for what and how to pack for a travelling adventure.
So whether you’re new to travelling entirely or if you’ve just never quite gotten the knack of ‘packing light’, our lovely team has pulled together their top tips to help you pack like a pro – and a few pointers on what to do when you arrive at your destination!
Assistant operations manager Katie: "Always do a trial pack, and then ask yourself if you really need everything you've put in there…and take out what you don't. You'll probably find half of what you've packed is completely unnecessary! Be ruthless about what you take. Also, invest in a good backpack which has a detachable day pack - mine is nearly 10 years old and has travelled across five continents!"
When you arrive: “Always ask the locals for recommendations - they know the best bars, restaurants, festivals, beaches etc, and these are usually the places that won't be packed with tourists. And try all the local cuisine and don't be scared of it - I remember most of the countries that I've visited by what I ate there!”
Senior travel advisor Charlie: "Always have a change of clothes in your carryon luggage just in case, and pack a head torch.
When you arrive: “Want to fit in at your destination and make friends with the locals – buy the barman a drink!”
Senior travel Advisor Jon: "Take a combination padlock or two - handy for lockers and keeping your luggage safe. Also, re-chargeable power packs are essential; keep your tech alive even when plugs aren't readily available!"
Operations Director Jane: "Get a backpack with a zip that goes most of the way around the bag, so you don't have to empty your luggage each time you want to find something. Also, use ziplock bags to organise your items and roll clothes instead of folding for more space and less creases.”
When you arrive: “If your in a country that encourages haggling, start bargaining at around 40% below the first price. Smile, act like you are not that interested, and walk away; hopefully they will call you back. Joke, have fun, and be nice to the owner!”
Travel Advisor Emma: "A microfibre travel towel all the way! And plastic carried bags always come in handy for washing. I found a hanging toiletries bag really useful and a real space saver."
When you arrive: “Try a new food that you have never had before, walk up a hill, a mountain or even a tall buidling to experience an incredible view. And try out a new adventurous activity.”
Marketing Executive Emily: “It's not a glamourous one but after the sole falling off my walking boots three days into a five day trek in the Colombian jungle, I will probably never travel without duct tape again!
“Also, no matter how tempting it is to fill your bag to the top, always leave at least a ¼ of it empty. You never pack as well as you do at home when travelling between places, so it's a nightmare trying to fit everything back in and you'll also have space to bring back anything from your travels.”
Senior Travel Co-ordinator Caroline: “Take a money belt for both your cash and your passport in and wear it under your clothes; I found this really useful when travelling as I knew my belongings were safe, especially when sleeping on overnight trains and buses. Also, bring a pack of cards & portable bluetooth speaker for entertainment especially, when you're in remote areas!
When you arrive: “Take a moment to observe your surroundings and really take it all in. It can be too easy to spend most of your time taking photos and videos than actually observing everything happening around you.”
Head of Marketing Sinead: “Scale down those toiletries! You can buy a lot of cheap products at your destination, so ditch the bulky bottles and instead bring a solid shampoo bar (lasts for weeks), a small container of coconut oil (great for skin, hair, lips, eyelashes, feet) and a tiny bottle of lavender oil to help you sleep and sooth sunburn and bites.”
When you arrive: “Find a great view (pref with a bar), switch off your phone, and just sit and stare for about 30mins – give yourself time to unwind, and let any nerves or home stresses melt away!”
If you're still struggling with your packing, or need some specific advice on what to pack for different countries and climates, have a chat with the team on our Live Chat!