Over the past few years, I've been blessed to have had several travel opportunities. Through a good combination of research and experience, here are some of the things I've learned:
Whether you're packing for a long trip or a short one, you want to make sure you can get the most "bang for your buck" in terms of what you're bringing. That being said, bring stuff you can both layer and mix and match. You don't want to be the girl who brings 2 suitcases for a weekend trip. Trust me.
I consider packing a suitcase one of my top 5 strengths. Honestly, I attribute the skill to the amount of Tetris I played as a kid, but I'm thankful for it today. My family and friends have both asked me to help them pack, 'cause they know I'll be able to cram the most stuff into a bag. I always, always, always roll my clothes. It takes up very little space, and it keeps 'em wrinkle-free (for the most part).
Staying hydrated is a big part of staying healthy on a long trip. For plane rides, it is often recommended to drink 8 oz. of water per hour you are on the plane. So, if you're flying to Albania, and you have an 11-hour overseas flight, you should drink 88 oz. of water on the plane ride.
…And hopefully you have a seat near the restroom.
Whether you're going on a work trip, humanitarian trip, vacation, or on some other type of adventure, you'll want a little spending money! Personally, if I am going overseas, I like to collect some foreign currency to take home with me. It's an easy, fun way to remember all the places you've been! Obviously, don't bring home, like, a million Euros because you won't be able to spend them in the States.
If I had a dime for every trip I wish I would have journaled on, I could probably fill up that jar in the photo. I start off with great intentions to write down every single detail of what I'm seeing, where I'm eating, who I'm meeting, etc. And then I usually come home with an empty journal. Focusing on the highlights of each day instead of "woke up at 8:06 a.m., went downstairs for breakfast, drank a cup of coffee, ate 2 orange slices…" should make it easier to keep a record of the trip.
Bonus tip: Don't be the girl who wears heels on the plane. Not even wedges.
Alright, well I'm off to Albania, so I'll catch you guys on the flip-side of the Atlantic!