When in doubt, leave it out! Commit this to memory! You don’t have to pack your entire closet when you travel out of the country. While you may want to take every toiletry you own, you can buy items in other countries. Believe it or not, you’ll be able to find toothpaste and toothbrushes in other countries. You’ll be able to find articles of clothing as well. If you want to avoid additional charges for your luggage, pack as light as possible. This way, you’ll have extra money to spend on more important items such as food, transportation, and souvenirs.

What to Pack When Traveling Out of the Country

Essential articles of clothing. What part of the year are you traveling? Winter? Spring? Summer? Fall? If you’re traveling during the summer, you don’t need to pack a lot of clothing. If you’re traveling during the winter months, you’ll want to pack a heavy sweater and clothing that can be layered. In fact, you could probably leave the heavy sweater at home and purchase one during your travels. Bring a jacket with you whenever you travel along with a good pair of walking/hiking shoes. You’ll want to pack a pair of dress pants/skirt/dress that doesn’t wrinkle. Pack a couple of shirts that can be layered. You want to pack as light as possible because you could pay extra if your luggage or backpack exceeds the weight limit.

A map. Bring a map with you. This may seem archaic but GPS may not work in some countries. It’s better to bring a good ol’ fashioned map with you.

A compass. Again, GPS may not work in some countries. A compass will guide you in the right direction.

Essential toiletries. Believe it or not, if you travel to the UK, you can purchase toothpaste and other toiletries. You can find just about anything when you travel. Bring the absolute essentials such as contacts and solution and glasses. Bring your favorite shampoo and conditioner. Pack your favorite facial cleanser and makeup remover. Only bring what you may not be able to find in other countries.

A language translator. If you don’t speak the language, it will behoove you to bring a translator that will translate key words and phrases. You’ll be able to converse with the locals, and they’ll appreciate you for trying to speak their language.

A guidebook. You may want to purchase a guidebook if you’re not familiar with the country you’re traveling to. Make sure it’s up-to-date with the latest information about nightlife, popular tourist spots, and other pertinent information.

Copies of your pertinent travel papers. Bring a copy of your passport, driver’s license, credit cards, and travel itinerary. Give copies to your family and or friends.

Essential electronic gadgets. If you must bring your laptop, netbook, iPad, MP3, iPod, cell phone, iPhone, digital camera, or other gadgets, make sure you’re prepared to carry them around. Unless, of course, you lock them up in the hotel’s safe.

Your common sense! You’re a foreigner in a foreign land. The laws and rules of your ‘home’ country won’t transfer to the country you’re traveling to. Make sure you know where to find your country’s embassy (U.S. Embassy) and study the laws. Make sure you’re familiar with territorial boundaries. If you’re unsure, don’t travel by yourself, hire a travel guide.