As a dedicated travel nut who has journeyed throughout Europe and beyond for the past decade or so, I have learned a few things that may be of use to the casual traveler on holiday, or those who may be on a more extended trip.

One of the keys to an enjoyable and practical trip, whether it’s a short or extended one, is intelligent packing.

It’s always a good idea to bring the minimum amount of stuff. Be sure not to forget things like phone chargers that may be difficult to find while traveling, but do you really need that extra jumper, if the weather should be warm enough in the first place? Airlines have limited the amount of luggage you can bring with you without paying extra. And has anyone EVER made a trip where they felt that they should have brought along more stuff, overall? I didn’t think so.

Usually, travellers tend to bring too much of certain things – typically clothing – while forgetting other things that turn out to be very handy, or even essential. I mentioned phone chargers, because that’s the type of item that’s very easy to forget, takes up little space and can turn out to be quite necessary. You’ll be kicking yourself for bringing 5 pairs of shoes and no phone charger.

My approach is to make a few general categories such as documents, financial, clothing and personal items. Documents would include passport, visas or any other necessary paperwork. A written list of phone numbers (family, friends, bank, etc.) and other pertinent info may be useful in case of loss of phones or power outages. Financial items would include credit cards, debit cards and cash – be careful how you carry these items, don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket.

Clothing is pretty simple, and if you need something you forgot, you should be able to buy it in most places. The same goes for most personal items. You can usually find an English bookstore in most cities and you can always find toiletries and other basics, if you forgot something.

The main rule is bring less than you think you’ll need, but don’t forget the essentials. Whether you’re going to stay in hotels or resorts, the essentials are pretty much the same. Pack smart, pack light and enjoy your travels!”

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