How far in advance do you plan what you'll be wearing on your trip? Most times, I try to have some idea of what I'll be wearing, even if the thought is as simple as "less, shorts, more jeans, it'll be cold". This gives me some sort of guide as I begin the daunting task of choosing what pieces of clothing get to experience my next adventure with me.
This may seem silly, but choosing between your jean jacket and your leather jacket is sort of a big deal. You don't want to lug everything with you, so you're forced to choose: look like a biker for a whole month, or like a washed-up 90's kid? The hardships are endless! (What a first world problem.)
As I embark on another adventure in less than 24 hours, it is frightening how little I have though of what essentials I need, and which ones are worth the weight on my back. So before you end up like me (tired, unprepared, and contemplating 2am Wal-Mart runs) take a minute and think about these questions. They will save you time my dear friends. Preparation is key.
1. Where are you going?
Doesn't even matter, you're gonna have a blast!
2. What are the cultural norms?
Do you need to consider a scarf or more conservative clothing?
3. What's the weather like?
Might need a sweater, an umbrella, or you might need a portable air conditioner (do these exist?)
4. Is it going to be anywhere form 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit, or Spring/Fall?
Literally this is the best/worst weather, because you will need a bit of everything. It's horribly unpredictable. You'll need shorts and a parka, a bathing suit and snow boots. If this is your case, just give up and pack your whole life, you'll need it.
5. Will there be mosquitos?
Trust me, they are no joke. Malaria and all, bring that DEET repellant!
6. Is there somewhere to wash your clothes?
Are you willing to pay? Just throw some Tide in a ziplock bag and move along young grasshopper
7. How long are you there for?
If you hate washing undies in sinks, bring enough for two per day (life could get interesting)
8. What are you forgetting?
There will always be at least one thing. Try your best to remember, but chances are you wont.
9. Do they sell tampons in this foreign country?
Believe it or not, some places don't. If you don't like the whole pad ordeal, make sure you're prepared my dear.
I hope this list gives you a roundabout of the things that you need to think about before you actually begin to prepare. Sucks to have to think about the work ahead beforehand, doesn't it? You will probably have come across at least one question in which you don't know the answer. Have fun with this last minute research. My only tip for that is that you better start reading, and fast.
As I count down the hours, I realize that I have too many questions, with not enough answers! What better way to procrastinate than write an article about what to do in case of procrastination! Oh the irony...
Let me know how you prepare, or what you ask yourself in the comments below!
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