Travel Happily … Travel Light

Pack Your Bag and Fly Away

It’s Summer vacation when everyone wants a nice getaway, plans for trips and searches for travel tips before heading to the planned destination.

Let’s start packing our bags and leave the crowded and choking city with its hot, heavy, and stifling weather. Let’s go far away and head to a place where there’s a long blue beach and golden sand, a place of which every part speaks so delicately and beautifully of nature.

Now we’re here! A nice chalet overlooking a garden and a beach. It’s wonderful, isn’t it?

After that long trip, don’t you feel a little tired? Do you have a headache?

OK, just look in your bags and you’ll surely find some painkillers.

You didn’t find any? Even in that little backpack?

Never mind. A cold shower will melt your tiredness away, but where are the soap and the towel?

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Can’t you see that you’ve forgotten many important things while there is a lot of unnecessary stuff packed in your bags? Didn’t you prepare yourself well before traveling? Didn’t you write a list of the things you’ll need while you’re there?

To avoid this mistake, here are some travel tips to help you know how to pack your bag for your next trip:

Traveling by Car, Bus, or Train

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* Make a written list of the things you’ll need the most, so whenever you finish packing something, check out that item from the list.

* Follow the weather forecast of the country/city you’re heading to in order to get to know what kind of clothes and

things you’ll need with you; sunglasses and light clothes if it’s summer, or heavy pullovers and a coat if it’s winter.

* Get a small handbag to use on your trip (backpack or cross bag preferred) and another big one for your clothes and personal stuff. If the big one is not enough, you can distribute your things between two medium-sized bags. Take into consideration that large- and medium-sized bags should be with wheels (trolley bags).

* Don’t overload any of your bags. This can damage your bag, what’s stuffed in it, and even your back and hands.

* Take a prayer mat, with a compass, and a copy of the Qur’an. You can also bring your booklet of daily remembrances and, of course, Du`aa’ As-Safar (Arabic for “Traveling Supplication”).

* Pack only the clothes you’ll need. If they’re ironed, you should pack them flat; if not, you can take a small iron with you.

* Don’t fold your clothes in the same way you put them in your closet or chest of drawers; the idea is to make good use of a bag’s space. Roll them up tightly and put any breakable stuff in-between them.

* Take one-bed sheet and pillow cover just in case you need them.

* Don’t forget your bathing suit or waterproof clothes, a good sunscreen, sunglasses, head cap, and skin moisturizer if you’re heading to a place with a swimming pool or beach.

* Place the shoes and slippers in a separate plastic bag inside the main bag or separately in a small one. You can put scrunched up, old newspapers inside them so they would neither bend nor break. Also, take the ones that’ll suit the clothes you’ve packed.

* Remember to take a first aid kit. Put your vitamins, painkillers, and emergency ointments in a small, separate bag inside the one you’ll carry on you.

* Don’t forget, for your personal hygiene: One big cotton towel and small ones, some bars of soap, a bath sponge, shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, hair dryer, moisturizer and body cream, a comb, hair brush, hair cream, and hair accessories (for girls and women), nail toolkit, toothpaste and a toothbrush (you’ll need to keep your white smile and fresh breath!).

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* Take small pillows with you if you want to sleep or rest on your way.

* Take, if you think you’ll need them, some high-tech entertainment gadgets like a digital camera, a digital audio player, a laptop, and, of course, the old-fashioned radio. For the leisure time you’ll spend indoors with friends or family, bring some games like monopoly, dominos, chess, and playing cards.

* Bring an interesting book you want to read, and a notebook and some pens for writing a diary or some thoughts and ideas; the outdoors is really inspiring!

* Take some snacks and drinks (e.g. apples, bananas, healthy sandwiches, fresh juice, and packed sweets). You can also freeze water in plastic bottles if the weather is very hot, or you can bring a thermos full of tea or coffee and plastic disposable cups.

* Bring your bike with you if you have enough space in your transportation. Riding a bike is an excellent way to easily move around and it’s lots of fun!

* Don’t forget to bring a plastic bag to throw all your rubbish away during the trip, especially if you’re traveling in a car.

* Get yourself a spray-on repellent and/or some special incense or liquid to repel flies and mosquitoes, just in case.

Traveling Abroad by Plane or Ship

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About Mariam Al moatassem Bellah
Mariam Al moatassem Bellah is a freelance writer from Cairo, Egypt. She is graduated from the faculty of commerce (Ain Shams University) with a degree in business Administration and has been working in the youth field for 5 years now writing articles in sports, lifestyle, family, and youth issues.