How to Pack for your Trip Abroad

So, you’re off on an adventure. You’ve done the hard yards, putting in the hours at work, planning and booking flights (or maybe you’re going to wing it). Either way the hard work is done and it’s only fun times ahead… right? Well, there’s still one more obstacle… packing. Esther Hannan-Moon has some tips for how to pack for your trip. 



The first thing you do once you’ve decided to travel is plan where you’re going. This rule applies to how you pack. You might have heard the saying ‘location, location, location’ (very creative) but it’s true! If you’ve got the warm sands of Hawaii on your destination list, then packing three extra jumpers is ludicrous! Likewise, no matter how much you love that cute little dress it’s not going to keep you warm in a Canadian winter. 

Check the weather for when you’re going and do your research. If it’s going to be the rainy season in Vietnam, bring your raincoat and a few extra pairs of socks (because who wants to be walking around in wet socks!). If you’re going to Spain in summer, pack sunscreen and a floppy sunhat (and now you can pack that cute little dress). The important thing here is know where you’re going and pack what you need, not what you want. 

Essentials Only

I’ve travelled quite a bit and yet I am still guilty of doing this. Every. Single. Time. I always pack clothes that I think I’m going to wear that I never do. I can always somehow reason myself into sneaking in those pair of shoes or the extra jumper (that only takes up too much room). The truth is, you’re not going to wear it! Let’s be honest, if you’re anything like me you’ll re-wear the same jumper for a few days, maybe even a week. Your chic new jacket, top or pants will sit at the bottom of your suitcase collecting dust and taking up space. It doesn’t stop with clothes either, your toiletries can take up lot of room. I’ve travelled with a few people who brought hair straighteners, five different nail polish colours and two makeup bags. They barely used any of it.

One tip would be to make a list of what you want to take and then edit it down to the items you usually wear. By essentials I also mean things that can survive some wear and tear. Items that you won’t miss if they get stolen or broken. Leave your Gucci bag behind, it’s not worth it.


Yes, that is right, shopping is an option, so you need to leave some room to fit all your goods. Leave at least a pocket of space, otherwise pack an extra bag, a canvas bag or duffle bag will do so you can pull it out and fill it up with your purchases. Make sure that it can fold up small though. 

You can always buy what you need overseas too! Your home country isn’t the only place in the entire world that has retail stores. It’s kind of a global phenomenon. Just don’t go over expecting to buy everything you need. Setting off without any underwear packed can lead to a nasty result and can slash a lot of your shopping allowance. 

All right, so you’ve researched your location and the essentials have been packed with room for shopping. Now you can wave goodbye to your cute little dress, or those $100 sunglasses you were guaranteed to lose. They will still be there when you get back. Bon voyage! 

Esther Hannan-Moon is a second year UTS student studying Creative Writing for her Communications Degree. She wants to start a career in publishing and writing. She adores animals, especially baby echidnas called puggles.