Travel Agent Training- Packing Like a Pro

Miss Leslie’s travel agent training will show you how to be a great traveler yourself. Check out her packing tips!

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Traveling abroad or of great distance often entails ample amounts of time. The journey itself, jet lag adjustment period, time zone changes and the desire to see as much as possible due to the expense require one to be prepared for much more than just a get-away weekend.  To pack luggage for such an adventure is challenging.  Whether a beginner or expert I decided to share some standard items I’ve found to be helpful in my explorations.

Invest in a great bag. Get creative. I actually scored a Victorinox (Swiss Army) on Craig’s List! A combination carry-on sized piece of luggage with wheels, an attached day pack and a concealed backpack are ideal. Don’t trust after four airline changes you’ll arrive in that remote destination with your possessions at baggage claim. Many cultures do not have pavement conducive to standard rolling mechanisms. In this case a concealed backpack feature is a must and allows you to keep your hands free for balance, map reading, etc. which brings me to my next item…

A really good map. Go ahead and laugh but those GPS systems don’t work in many parts of the world. Also for translation purposes it comes in handy to be able to point to a tangible guide when asking for directions or negotiating with drivers.

Money belts help transport cash underneath clothing safely. Cotton stay wet & plastic are uncomfortable. Choose one that is waterproof with cotton backing due to sweat. Try to transport money in different areas not altogether. Keep a copy of your bank card numbers and toll free contact information. In case of loss you’ll have easy access to the proper information.  For this reason when travelling with others we exchange copies of passport information as well.

Petzl headlamp. Whether maneuvering poorly lit foreign areas, map reading or just trying to read at night these are a must and keep your hands are free from flashlights.

Laundry supplies. Not all laundry facilities are convenient and many services have a long turn-around time that often doesn’t accommodate your schedule. For this I carry a small sack with a universal 5 inch suction sink stopper ($2.99 any hardware store), a piece of clothesline, clothespins and a pouch of detergent.  A mesh drawstring laundry bag keeps those dirty smelly clothes aerated and separate.

Sleep accessories. An eye darkening mask, ear plugs and blowup neck pillow.  If you use herbs or other sleep enhancing medications bring these as well.  Rest is crucial to staying healthy, alert and maintaining energy. Travel and fatigue suppress immunities.  Foreign countries are not the place to be sick.

Handy suggestions:

• Travel sized sanitizing hand wipes

• Travel sized tissue packets- doubles as toilet paper

• Sarong- (Unisex color) fast cover up, shawl or beach towel (dries fast and sand shakes right off!)

• Water bottle carrier- stay hydrated while keeping those hands free

• Bandanas- a handy wash cloth & headband of course!

• Deck of cards- passing time in transit

• Ziplocs & rubber bands- you’ll be surprised how often these come in handy!

• Roll clothing as tight as possible.

• Keep clothing ensembles interchangeable.

• Wear bulkier clothing on the plane.