Ten Packing Tips For Traveling Overseas

Physician's Money Digest, February15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 3

The overseas trip of a lifetime can often become the nightmare of a lifetime when it comes to packing. First-time overseas travelers wonder what to bring and what to leave behind. Luckily, the Society of American Travel Writers recently polled its 1300 members and came up with a few packing guidelines. These journalists and photographers, who all travel for a living, offer the following 10 tips on what to pack when traveling overseas:

1.Bring a copy of your passport's first page, copies of all your credit card numbers, and copies of the phone numbers to call to report lost credit cards. Keep these in a separate location from your wallet or purse. It is also a good idea to leave copies of all these numbers with a friend or relative back home. Should you lose your passport or credit cards, having this information will be invaluable.

2.Bring comfortable shoes for standing and walking.

3.Bring 2 sets of all prescriptions that you must take, and pack them in different locations in case one bag gets lost. Also bring a copy of your prescription. If you wear eyeglasses or contacts, be sure to bring a copy of your prescription for these as well.

4.Bring an extra fold-up bag that you can easily unzip and fill with purchases as you travel. Make sure it is sturdy enough to bring back as luggage, and bring a name/identification tag for it.

5.Bring your sense of humor and an open mind.

6.Bring a thorough guidebook. Sometimes guidebooks can be purchased in the country you are visiting, but it is best to bring one with you. Maps, however, are often cheaper and more available in the country you are visiting.

7.Bring lots of film. Film will most likely be fresher and cheaper when you purchase it in the United States.

8.Bring a small flashlight. Many countries have frequent power outages. You may find that a flashlight will come in handy.

9.Bring a small carry-on with an extra set of clothes. Should the worst happen and your bag is lost, at least you will have a change of clothes until your bag catches up with you. If you must take daily medication, bring a 2-day supply with you in the carry-on.

10.Bring several photos of your home and loved ones. These do not add any weight and they make it easy to begin conversations with your new overseas friends.

The Society of American Travel Writers,

now in its 45th year, represents more than

1300 professional travel journalists, photographers,

editors, and media relations

professionals in North America. The

Society works to raise the standards of the

profession, guards the right to travel, and

encourages conservation and preservation

of historic sites and natural wonders. For

more information visit www.satw.org.