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Top 10 Things to Pack for International Travel

Posted On: September 26, 2016

With the dollar strong compared to many currencies including the euro, now is the perfect time to enjoy an international trip. When you travel on rewards trips planned by Docherty Incentives & Meetings, we’re with you every step of the way from the planning to preparing to even packing.

Preparing For Your Trip

Getting ready for an international trip can be a daunting yet exciting process. The most important step is making sure you have a passport that’s still valid. As a general rule, your passport should be valid for at least six months after your date of travel; in fact, many countries require it. The other key factor is if the country or countries you’re visiting require a visa for American citizens.

Once you make sure your passport is in order, you can get down to the fun part of preparing for your trip: packing. Knowing what to bring and how to pack will help you focus on experiencing the local culture rather than where to find bandages for your sore feet.

Before you start assembling all your favorite hair products, keep in mind that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has certain restrictions on what you can bring with you on your trip. Some of these restrictions apply to just your carry-on bags while others apply to both carry-on and checked baggage. For example, if you have any liquids in your carry-on bags, whether it is lotion or toothpaste, each item must be less than 3.4 ounces and all liquid items must fit in one quart-sized plastic bag. In addition, certain items are completely prohibited including fireworks and firearms while lithium batteries are allowed only in your carry-on luggage. For more information, check the TSA website.

Just as TSA has restrictions, certain countries around the world have guidelines for what they consider is appropriate, respectful attire. In Egypt, for example, women are expected to dress modestly, which means no sleeveless or strapless tops and no shorts or short skirts. In many Asian countries, you must remove your shoes before going into someone’s home or office. To leave your shoes on is considered rude. Before you pack, review the literature Docherty provides that prepares travelers for the specific customs and practices for the country they’ll visit.

Take It or Leave It

Whether you’re going for a short visit or a long international trip, you can pack lightly and still have room in your suitcase for souvenirs. Leave your dry-clean only clothes at home and instead take washable items that you can mix and match. A couple of pairs of neutral-color pants can coordinate with a variety of shirts and tops. Put on a jacket or add colorful jewelry to change up your look. When traveling overseas, remember that a little goes a long way. Another traveling tip is to roll each piece of clothing you pack and even use the space inside your shoes; that’s a perfect place for a phone charger or pair of socks. For any liquids in your checked luggage, make sure the caps are tight and everything is in plastic bags. There is nothing worse than getting to your destination with a suitcase soaked in mouthwash.

And finally, here is your top 10 list of what to pack with a bonus 5 items of what to leave at home.

Top 10 Things to Pack for International Travel:

  1. A copy of your passport and credit cards, but keep them separate from the actual documents.
  2. An adapter for your electronic devices. Different regions around the world have different outlets and currents. Docherty Incentives & Meetings does all the hard work for you and will provide the adapter information for your global destination so you can bring the right adapter on your trip.
  3. Any prescription medications or contact lenses you will need during your trip. Make sure to keep these items in your carry-on bag, and bring a few extra days’ worth. You never know when your flight will be delayed or the airline will lose your luggage.
  4. Headphones. Many airlines offer ways to jack-in to listen to movies or music but often charge for using provided headphones. Toss your earbuds in your carry on—they’re small enough and might do double-duty to drown-out some noise during your flight.
  5. Travel apps. There are many apps for smartphones that can help make travel so much easier. We like Viber since it allows for free calling and texting over WiFi; WhatsApp is another free messaging app; and FlightView shows real time flight tracker, airport delay status and more. 
  6. A light jacket and scarf. Temperatures dip at night and airplanes tend to be cold, so come prepared with extra layers.
  7. Comfortable shoes that you can wear with various outfits.
  8. One dressy outfit. In general, Americans dress more casually than people in many other countries. Plus it’s better to be a little overdressed than drastically underdressed.
  9. Reusable, resealable plastic bags. For wet clothes or lotions you take from the hotel, these bags always come in handy.
  10. An open mind. Traveling overseas can be enlightening, frustrating and life-changing. Just don’t expect it to be like home.

5 Things to Leave At Home During Your International Trip:

  1. Any bulky items, including curling irons.
  2. Anything valuable, such as expensive jewelry or computers. If you’d hate to lose it, leave it at home.
  3. Clothes or shoes you can only wear once during your trip.
  4. Your pillow. Airlines and hotels everywhere have pillows.
  5. Your travel itinerary. Make sure someone at home knows where you’re going and has a way to get in touch with you. If you plan to use your cell phone while traveling, check with your carrier about adding an international plan.

With more than 30 years of experience organizing incentive travel to destinations worldwide, Docherty Incentives & Meetings knows how to prepare for any trip. Contact us today, and we’ll help you and your team prepare for the trip of a lifetime!