Hey there friends, it’s been awhile. As many of you know, I boarded a foreign jet and moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. While my time here has been nothing short of amazing, I should’ve listened to my dad when he told me to downsize my luggage. I packed two, large suitcases filled with clothes, shoes and toiletries and luckily had my brother’s help to carry these items from place to place.
Two weeks into my adventure, I realized that I didn’t even touch one of the suitcases. Pissed and drowning in luggage, I asked my boyfriend to take one of my suitcases with him to Brazil; my next destination. His kind heart actually took one, so I have some weight off of my shoulders, literally.
Realizing I brought too much sh*t was not the time when I figured out what the only things you need traveling abroad were. No, it wasn’t until this past weekend, when I traveled to the wine country, Mendoza, Argentina, packing all of my items into one backpack. This was an astronomical triumph for me if you know me at all, but I did it! So my realization comes, and I decided I should give you an update of what you truly need when traveling abroad. I hope to save you some time, money and frustration if you’re planning to hop on any jet.
Clothes, obv ~ Before leaving the United States, I downsized my closet hard. Although I still had four 40-gallon bins filled with winter gear, shoes, business casual fits, more shoes, etc., to leave behind in my hometown, I tried my hardest to only back the essentials. These are the essentials: Super basic, interchangeable,
casual outfits (about one per week you are staying); obviously undergarments; one or two belts if you plan to lose some weight; a couple clubbing outfits and one pair of heels; a couple workout outfits; two good pairs of tennis shoes (you will probably walk around a lot); a few pairs of sandals; and that is it. Little did I know that coming to Argentina at the end of their winter would be surprisingly chilly. I ended up wearing the same three outfits for this entire first month. And you know what? I am still kicking.
Toiletries ~ You know, your poos, dishes, lotions, brushes, clips. I consider myself a toiletry hoarder, so when I have to pack for vacations, these items take up half my suitcase. I recommend researching the prices of your favorite items before boarding the plane. Brand-name products, such as Cetaphil and Dove, are a lot cheaper in the United States, so save yourself some money by buying in bulk before arriving (if you plan to stay longer than one month). It’s kind of a pain in the arse, lugging everything abroad, but the price difference is almost unbelievable (Your average 20 floz of Cetaphil lotion, around $10 in the U.S., runs at about 300 pesos, which converts to around $30… ridiculous!) Stock up on your favorite makeups as well, as prices are almost quadruple, especially here in South America.
Electronics ~ If you are a photo guru like myself, you must bring every type of camera on your trip abroad. The Canon Rebel, the GoPro, your iPhone 6; along with their chargers, extra chargers, memory cards, headphones and cases. Electronics, and their subparts, are extremely expensive here, so take care of your cameras/phones and take a million/billion pictures! I would also recommend bringing an outlet converter if you are a worry-ward. Bring your laptop as well, to back up your pictures and videos, and invest in a reliable online backup software that saves as you upload. If something were to happen to your media, it’s settling to know that you haven’t lost everything.
Documents ~ Save yourself the stress and do your research ahead of time. See what countries require fees or visas, and get them taken care of in your own country. You’d hate to arrive in a Spanish speaking country and try to figure out how to get a Brazilian visa. Find out what immunizations you need, get any travel insurance documentation, and scan all of your documents. Use Google Drive to save everything so you are just one click away from any of your personal information.
Narrowing down your suitcase and realizing what you do and don’t need before traveling is something I wish I told myself before departing the United States. It has become a hassle to move everything, and if you’re traveling alone, it’s even more of a burden. Plan, prepare, pack appropriately and have yourself a stress-free adventure!