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Raptim Humanitarian Travel Tips: Packing Luggage Done Right

Typically, humanitarian aid workers don’t have the luxury of bringing four suitcases on a mission. It’s not possible to just take anything you want. You have to be smart and aware of the necessities so that the luggage you bring, is efficiently packed. In this article, we give a few travel tips for packing luggage on a humanitarian mission.

Abroad there are shops too!

First of all, it is important to understand that a lot of the necessary things, can be bought overseas. It is quite amazing how globalization works. Shampoo, cookware, towels, flip-flops, duct tape, sanitary napkins – you can find it in any mid-sized city, and they’re often brands you’re familiar with as well.

Besides, a lot of what you use during the mission can be left behind when the mission is done, and it’s time to go home. This leaves space to bring local items with you.

So much can go wrong if you take the unsuitable equipment with you. Therefore, before you start considering what your strategy will be when you're packing luggage, it is essential to choose the best bag for traveling.  Dragging a heavy suitcase on wheels down cobbled streets will start to get annoying really quickly. And having a pack the size of an 8-year old boy on your back, won't do you any favors either.

So what is the best option when traveling to a remote location? Largely it is a matter of personal preference! Once you've seen quite a bit of airports, you will have established a preference. But until then, it's wise to give every option a whirl. Try out different types of backpacks and suitcases to find out what you like. A good thumb rule is only to pack what you can carry easily. Because many of the planes in the smaller countries have weight limits, you would do well to travel light.

Now, once you've chosen what you want to take with you on a humanitarian trip, the next challenge will be packing luggage in an efficient way. Rolling your clothes is the most space-saving option. However, it won't keep your luggage very organized this way. Folding clothes comes more naturally and feels more logical, but it is not as space efficient. Bundling could work, but it is a drag to get a particular item out.

Another option is packing cubes. They won't save you space in your luggage, in fact, they will only take up more space. Packing cubes are good for one thing: to keep things organized. So if it is a priority to be able to find clothes quickly, this is an excellent option.

Ultimately, the best way for packing luggage is probably a mix of all of the above. Roll as much as you can to fill up your backpack or suitcase, add some packing cubes to the mix for better organization, fold clothes if you need to keep them somewhat tidy and you’ll have a perfectly packed suitcase for your travel.

Whether it is about packing luggage or any other travel tip that you might need, we're here to provide it to you. We're trying to improve the quality of humanitarian travel by offering advice to humanitarian travelers so they can do what they do best: help people in need. Please contact your nearest Raptim office through our quick address locator should have any questions regarding humanitarian travel.