Blog Posts

United StatesUnited States

T-24 hours!!!

It is almost inconceivable that in just one day I will be boarding a plane destined for another country and that I will not set foot upon American soil until December. I feel as though I have been packing for a month but that it is impossible for me to ... read more

Brittany  Brady

browse all blogs | start your blog

Insider Tips


Bring some books in English

There are many parts of France where English-language books are rare and expensive. Naively, I only packed two books with me when I flew to France, supposedly to make more ... read more

Ali Goldstein

flagUnited Kingdom

Bring a raincoat

No need to pack a poncho--it rains, but not as though you're in the middle of White Water rapids. It's generally more of a drizzle, in which case ... read more

Ann Clark


Bring layers

The hardest thing for me to adjust to was the lack of heat in Chilean residences. I arrived in the country in August, about a month before the start of ... read more

Matthew Hintsa


Chile hands

I wish I had packed gloves for my numb hands while inside my host family's unheated apartment. read more

Matthew Hintsa


Bring a raincoat or two

My decision to be more fashionable than practical was a bad one. I decided to venture into Bergen without rain pants because jeans seemed more fitting. After an afternoon in ... read more

Patrick McCue


Cold desert winters

Most foreigners assume that Jordan, since it’s in the Middle East and mostly covered by desert, is warm and sunny year-round. But Amman can get quite cold beginning as ... read more

Adam Lichtenheld


Bring hand sanitizer, leave the hat behind

I could have used more hand sanitizer. I brought a winter hat, which was a total waste. read more

Pete  Muller


Quito weather: Don't trust the sky and always have an umbrella

I've been in Quito for four and a half of my six months here in Ecuador, and as an San Francisco-Bay Area native, I've been better prepared for ... read more

Emily Rusca


Guided by headlamps

Energy is a precious resource in the subcontinent and power outages strike throughout the day. You don't realize how reliant you are on electricity until your lights just shut ... read more

Amy Adoyzie Lam


Come for one season. Pack for them all.

Umbrellas. Sweaters. Hiking Shoes. Don't end up like one of those tourists in shorts standing on the top of a snowy mountain in July wondering why they're cold ... read more

Chantal  Panozzo


Avoid the shimmy shake

It was my (and my roommates) experience that toilet paper was not a given in all places. Nice restaurants, sure, but not in most night clubs, public bathrooms, stores, and ... read more

Natalie Hunt


Immerse yourself in local style

Pack light and buy clothes there! Even though people told me before I left for India that the standards of dress are much more modest, I still ended up bringing ... read more

Emily Strasser


Shroud yourself

If you’re a woman, pack a scarf when you head to Syria. The country houses magnificent Muslim and Christian sacred sites, and you’ll be required to cover your ... read more

Mimi Hanaoka


Bring a Russian phrase book

When you come to Ukraine, you might be surprised to find out that here we speak Russian (70% of population) and Ukrainian (30% of population). At school, children typically study ... read more

Anya Mihailova


Winter in Ukraine: bundle up!

Take tons of warm clothes with you if you decide to come to Ukraine in the winter... if you're still cold, you can buy some Ukrainian souvenir hats. read more

Anya Mihailova


Bring some slippers

Despite being advised to pack a pair of bedroom slippers, I decided to use my precious luggage space for something more practical. However, upon getting settled with my host family ... read more

Ashley  Haugo



Swaziland is a mountainous kingdom and in the winter (June to August), it gets cold. Especially in places like Piggs Peak and the capital of Mbabane, a proper coat is ... read more

Mallory Primm


There is a winter!

Don't let the heavenly descriptions of Hemingway and the Counting Crows deceive you -- Spain is not just one giant warm holiday. There is a winter. Though there may not ... read more

Mike Mian


Wear what sheep wear

Here is some packing advice for the mist-shrouded Jinotenga region of Nicaragua (or any cool, rainy place, for that matter). I am stealing the line from Grant of Rivendell Bicycle ... read more

Richard Sitler


Summer Stripping

As a dime-sized dot in the Atlantic, Iceland has a weather system that changes on a dime. In the summer months, prepare to engage in a complex strip dance as ... read more

Lulu  Mickelson


Bring clothing to cover your ankles and shoulders

My professor said there are three temperatures to expect in India throughout the year: hot, hotter, and hottest. Our group traveled in January, the hot season, and it was the ... read more


Shoes off, slippers on

Before you enter someone's home and the occasional school or office, it's polite to remove your outside shoes. It's OK to walk around barefoot or in socks ... read more

Lindsay Myron


Pack chewing gum to double your refreshment

If there's one small thing from home I miss a lot -- it's the abundance of chewing gum. In Peru, there are two to three popular brands of chewing ... read more

Courtney Ng


Make sure you're ready to see in the dark

Power cuts can occur daily in Malawi, and much of the country isn’t even on the grid. Unless you’ve got remarkable night vision, toss a headlamp into your ... read more

Rebecca Jacobson


Fashionable conservatism

It seems my skirts and dresses are just a little on the inappropriate side in conservative, catholic Paraguay. But with temperatures creeping past 35 degrees Celsius, pants are torture. The ... read more

Megan Wood


Clean hair in a bottle

I have seen too many weary travelers cut their hair just to avoid the hassle. But before you pick up the scissors, try a bottle of leave in hair conditioner ... read more

Megan Wood


Get some durable, comfortable sandals

Whether you're in Nepal (summer), India, or Bangladesh, I would suggest packing durable, comfortable, easily removable (and put-on-able) sandals, such as water-wicking flip-flops. I decided to bring my Sparta ... read more

Genevieve Studer


Use your head -- bring a headlamp!

From navigating evening power outages in rural Ghana to reading before bed at a hostel, few travel investments have proved to be as worthwhile as my headlamp! Both Princeton Tec ... read more


Pick it up as you go!

Don't freak out if you've forgotten some key travel essentials. You can find nearly everything you could possibly need in Thai markets, and for cheaper than you would ... read more

Anna Schwaber

flagNew Zealand

Don't forget your swimsuit and snow jacket

Traveling to New Zealand any time soon? Prepare your daypack and a backup plan before setting off for a tramp in the bush or a stroll on the beach! The ... read more

Jeff West


Conservative layers are the key in Egypt

For women in Egypt, dress in loose, light layers to stay cool and under the radar. Always have a light sweater and scarf on hand, as you never know when ... read more

Delia Harrington


Use air-tight bags when backpacking

When backpacking, I found it highly useful to have my clothes in air-tight bags. The bags roll up, pushing out all air, guaranteeing more space in one's backpack, as ... read more

Michelle Saltis


Pack light and keep your parts unbleached

Packing light is almost always the way to go when traveling. In Laos, the laundry service is cheap and reliable (same day service could be as inexpensive as 60 cents ... read more

Gabriel Shaya


Leave the Sudafed at home

On entering Japan, there's a chance you'll get picked up for a customs search. These can range from a quick question or two to being placed in a ... read more

Saleem Reshamwala


Bring something for every season

Part of what makes Peru such an exciting place to visit is its diversity, especially in landscapes. Peru, of course, has the Andes running right through it, which means many ... read more

Courtney Ng

flagUnited Kingdom

Antidepressants, anyone?

The cliché suggestion would be to bring an umbrella. But, it doesn’t actually rain here as much as you’d think – little more than one in three days. Instead ... read more

Marshall Worsham


Bring a sweater, to wear inside

It's definitely hot in Cyprus most of the year, but in the winter at night I have been as cold in Cyprus as I have been anywhere in the ... read more

Madeline Blount


In a pinch, zap your water

One of the coolest travel gizmos on the market today is the SteriPen, a hand-held device that emits UV light to kill anything and everything that’s growing in your ... read more

Valerie Hohman


In a pinch, zap your water

One of the coolest travel gizmos on the market today is the SteriPen, a hand-held device that emits UV light to kill anything and everything that’s growing in your ... read more

Valerie Hohman


Pack for all seasons, and for modesty

Israel gets very hot in the spring and summer, but can also see snow in the winter, and there is hot, dry desert and snow-capped mountains. In other words, you ... read more

Jonathan Amerikaner


Little Mesh Bags

When taking a long trip, short trip, or backpacking around the world, you're always going to need little mesh bags. They're better than plastic Ziploc bags, because they ... read more

Melissa Sconyers


Small Collapsible Nylon Bags

These are also essential for packing. You always end up taking home more than you took with you, and you don't want to get screwed last minute while trying ... read more

Melissa Sconyers


Scraps of paper

I find it very useful to carry around scraps of paper (usually a stack of Post-it Notes or a tiny Moleskine with tear-out pages) and a pen. These tools come ... read more

Melissa Sconyers


Taking a Journal

Everybody has their own preference for type of journal, but you shouldn't travel without one. You should pick one that has a durable, stable, hard cover and back, to ... read more

Melissa Sconyers


Extra bag = More memories

Going away for a weekend trip? Toss a collapsible, reusable sack into your purse or backpack to ensure extra space for all the goodies you will pick up while exploring ... read more

Whitney Griffin


Wear Closed-Toed Shoes

East Africa is notoriously hot, so you’d be forgiven for assuming you should pack sandals. However, it’s also notoriously thorny (and sometimes snakey), so odds are you’ll ... read more

Cara Giaimo


Don't leave home without tp!

In the capital, many restaurants and even some guesthouses don't provide toilet paper. On long trips In the countryside, you may not even find an outhouse, never mind a ... read more

Andrew Cullen


Leave Your Short Shorts at Home

I once had a Ugandan explain to me that an exposed leg in Uganda is equivalent to an exposed breast in the US. In Uganda, everything below the belly button ... read more


Stuff I Wish I Brought

There are tons of things that are hard to find in Uganda. If I had it to do all over again, here's a list of things I wish I ... read more


Get Freshette –Yes Ladies, You Can Pee Standing Up

India poses serious urination challenges. You should drink 3 liters of water per day to avoid dehydration from the hot sun, but where to urinate? If spots exist, they can ... read more

Rohan Radhakrishna


Prevent Black Boogers and Throat Infections with a Mask

After 24 hours in an Indian metropolis, you may develop Black Booger Syndrome. If you travel by foot or auto-rikshaw, you can get stuck at an intersection with plumes of ... read more

Rohan Radhakrishna


When You've Just Got To Pee, And Other Reasons To Carry a Coin Purse

Arriving in Paris, I immediately scamper to the nearest exchange counter. I thrust the American cash I carried trans-continentally in a neck-pouch through a slot in bullet-proof glass. The mustached ... read more

Corielle Heath

flagCzech Republic

Hold it! Back away from the 17 pairs of pants.

Pack your suitcase, or suitcases. Then, take out 1/4 of the contents. Thats how much you should take. You really do not need as much as you think you ... read more

Mayan White

browse all tips | share your tip


Or login with Facebook:

Forgot your password? We can help you change it! Click Here

Not registered? Click here to create an account.