During your time at university is the best time to travel (outside of term time, of course!). Most students are at the beginning of their adult lives and have few commitments to keep them grounded, which makes it an ideal time to make the most of exploring the world. However, this could be the first time you have travelled alone, which means you feel a little stuck about what to pack and how to ensure the optimal usage of your luggage.
1. The Overnight Bag
Some students will wish to plan for every day of their travels, whereas others will look at being a little more flexible with their plans. Whichever category you fall into, it is always essential to pack for your initial journey. Pack a separate bag for the first 24 hours. Ensure it is stocked with:
-A spare change of clothes
-Your travel documents
-A refillable water bottle
-Phone and charger cables and plugs
Packing these items and anything else you may need throughout the journey or when you first arrive at your destination will help keep your cases in the organised state you packed.
2. Toiletry Bags
Whilst it seems a little strange to have a bag within a bag, whilst travelling, your luggage could be somewhat knocked around, and the last thing you will need is to spend a day cleaning out your suitcase because a bottle of body wash exploded. Minimise the damage with smaller, waterproof toiletry bags; they are pretty cheap and can be found in most homeware stores.
Whether travelling abroad or within the UK, buying miniature shampoo bottles, conditioners, body wash, and other toiletries can be an excellent space saver. Most miniatures can provide for one or two uses and are less heavy for travelling.
If you plan to travel somewhere urban, you can always buy a bigger bottle of the products from the cheapest supermarket to last you throughout your stay. However, if you plan an extended visit somewhere rural, you may wish to look into zero-waste products. These toiletries are often concentrated in bars or reusable containers, which can help if you do not have somewhere to dispose of the products in a recycling facility.
4. Pack Light
This is particularly easy if you intend to travel somewhere where the climate is warmer than the UK. However, research proves that most people will often take far too many clothes than necessary. Do you need a spare change of underwear each day? Most of the time, you will have the facilities to wash underwear quite easily in a basin and leave them to dry overnight, so forget that extra pair and wash them before you start running out.
5. Pack an Extension Cord
This hack has been circling the internet for a few years and is ideal for any traveller. Unless you plan a trip off the grid, you will want to put life back into your phone, cameras or other electronic devices. Buying adapters for each of them can become costly when all you need is one and an extension lead with multiple sockets.
5. Roll Out Compression Bags
If you happen to be travelling for more than a few weeks, you will need to make the best use of the space within your suitcase, especially if you are travelling to colder climates and taking bulkier clothes. Purchasing roll out bags can reduce the space taken up within your luggage while still protecting your clothes. They can be reasonably inexpensive, but be sure to purchase the roll up compression bags and not the vacuum bags, as they require a hoover.
6. Avoid New
It’s fun to schedule a big trip. After all, it’s a trip you will forever remember, and the experiences are something no money can buy. However, avoid getting caught up with buying new clothes for the journey, especially shoes. If you plan on exploring, having a blister develop because of new boots or trainers can make the trip a little uncomfortable.
7. Function Over Fashion
Saving space is the ultimate packing goal, so planning an outfit for each day is not the greatest idea. Instead, find staple items that can be matched with other things. By all means, pack a summer dress, but the matching scarf and bag can probably be left at home. Shorts and t-shirts are perfect for most warmer climates and if the weather declines, opt for layers instead of heavier items. Finally, find a daily bag that is more practical and can hold your money, a water bottle and other things you may need if you are out for the day.
8. Go Au Naturel
Beauty appliances such as hair straighteners, curlers or electronic razors can be pretty bulky items and may not be compatible, voltage wise, at your destination. Leave them at home and look for more natural curling methods with leave-in hairstyles.
Whilst it’s lovely to feel clean-shaven, this could be an excellent opportunity to consider letting your facial hair flourish; it may grow on you as a look. If you are not someone to embrace the beard, there are some excellent quality reusable razors on the market.
9. Power Up With Power Banks
Suppose you will be spending days away from your accommodation, or the facilities do not have any electrical sources. In that case, you may still wish to keep your camera charged to capture the beautiful environment around you. You can charge on the go with portable power banks. They are lightweight and can often hold multiple charges of a single device—ideal for keeping your phone charged for checking in back home.
If you have a medical condition that requires medication or notice throughout any emergency treatment, be sure to have a laminated card within your daily bag or wallet. If you are travelling to one country, try to translate the dosage on the card. In an emergency, having this on your person could save your life if you couldn’t communicate.
Ensure it has your name, date of birth and details of medication or condition, plus any emergency contact numbers. Some even opt to have their country’s flag to help assistance know where they are from for the need of translation.
Whatever your travel plans are for this summer, always be sure to research your desired destination on their culture and laws, which may differ from ours. Plenty of planning and research will help your trip be one of the best of your lives.
Also, make sure the relevant people know how long you will be absent. If you plan to look for student accommodation in Lancaster when you return, get this out of the way before you go, our friendly team will be more than willing to help.
Alternatively, we have plenty of postgraduate accommodation in Lancaster for those choosing to extend their education passed their undergraduate degree.