Active Travel Packing Tips

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In my baby boomer opinion, travel is much more fun when you arrive well prepared. There’s nothing worse than beginning a fun boomer travel adventure only to discover that you left something important at home—like those special gloves to keep your fingers toasty warm.

Updated 12.01.2018: Active Travel Packing Tips

Traveling prepared makes a huge difference, especially on a trip filled with fun activities that require a bit of extra equipment. But who wants to schlep a heavy load? The key is to think ahead about what you’ll really need remembering to pack layers, and only bring what you’ll actually wear or use.

Active travel packing tips for your next trip

If you’re about to embark on an active trip, I’m here to help you get organized. So grab that notepad to write down a few of my favorite active travel packing tips. You can thank me when you return home.

Pack comfortable shoes that are broken in

No matter where you’re headed on your next getaway, you’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet. On a hiking trip, like the one we took in Glacier National Park, it’s imperative that you bring along sturdy hiking shoes. Of course you’ll want to break them in, if they’re new, to avoid blisters. 

For cruises that offer hiking options, I choose lightweight hiking shoes that can double as workout shoes. I also wear them for walking tours in port.

But what about warm weather trips? Don’t forget your water shoes. They’re great for protecting feet, especially if there are lots of rocks or seashells in the surf. And some water shoes double as hikers on tropical trails that involve crossing creeks or trekking to waterfalls.

What about that adventure cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic? Should you bring boots? Most expedition ships offer the option of renting boots. Do it. There’s no need to load your luggage up with heavy boots. Plus, by renting them, you’ll get the right type of boots for the conditions that you’ll be experiencing.

A Camera

Alan stops to photograph Grinnell Lake
Alan stops to photograph Grinnell Lake in Glacier National Park.

Sure, you have your smartphone, which has a pretty decent camera, but when it comes to taking beautiful, memorable vacation photos, nothing beats the real deal. A good camera will ensure that your vacation pics don’t just end up rotting in the depths of your iPhone photo album. Check out a few of our favorite Travel Photography Gear that we bring along on our trips.


If you’ve ever gone on a trip and realized you’ve left your medication behind, you know the feeling of absolute panic this can cause, especially during international travel. If you’re on regular medication of any kind, make sure you have a failsafe method for reminding yourself to bring it along. It also helps to have a travel case for your meds to keep them safe, consolidated and compact. Just make sure you also bring some sort of documentation proving that the meds belong to you, just in case.

Motion Sickness Remedies

One of the biggest drags associated with travel is motion sickness. Whether it’s from a bumpy safari drive, a choppy whale watching expedition, or simply the flight that brought you to your dream destination in the first place, motion sickness can suck the fun out of any adventure. That’s why we recommend packing a natural remedy such as Motioneaze, and following these simple motion sickness tips.

Vertigo Remedies

While motion sickness can be a drag, it is relatively easy to prevent and usually passes quickly. Vertigo, on the other hand, can be a much bigger ordeal for travelers. If you suffer from vertigo you’re well aware of how it can stop you in your tracks and utterly derail your life—let alone your vacation. If you’re a vertigo sufferer, don’t take any chances with your travels. Pack a reliable vertigo remedy like Divertigo and leave the spins behind.


There is something to be said for the excitement of a ‘wherever the wind takes me’ kind of vacation. However, while playing fast and loose with your travel plans might open you up to unexpected adventures, it could also mean missing out on some of those must-try experiences you’ve been looking forward to. So make sure to travel with at least some form of organized schedule—but go ahead and leave some room for the unexpected.

Emergency Layer

Antarctica cruise
Donna was thankful for the extra layers on her Half Moon Island excursion while cruising Antarctica.

In the days leading up to your vacation, you probably find yourself checking, double-checking and triple-checking the weather. But even if you think you’re completely prepared for anything your destination’s climate might throw at you, it’s best to pack an emergency layer just in case. You never know when cold weather gear like that extra sweater, raincoat, or pair of gloves might come in handy.

A Good Book

Whether you load up your kindle with digital titles, or just grab that dusty old paperback you’ve been meaning to dive into, we cannot overemphasize the importance of good travel reading. While this seems like a no-brainer, books are one of the items most often left behind by travelers, and unlike toiletries and cosmetics, they are much more difficult to replace once you’ve reached your destination—unless you happen to be fluent in Portuguese, Swahili, or whatever the local language might be.

Carry On

Delsey Quilted Rolling Tote
Donna really loves this light-weight Delsey Quilted Rolling Tote.

This isn’t an item so much as it is a reminder to keep your valuables close. From medications, to personal electronics, to jewelry, if you can’t do without it, don’t put it in your checked bags. The last thing you want to do is start your vacation by losing your most valuable items—on second thought, maybe just leave the jewelry at home altogether. Also, just in case your checked bag does go missing, it’s a good idea to pack at least one change of clothes in your carry on if possible.

Did we miss anything? Make sure to create your own list of must-have items before jetting off on your dream vacation so you can travel with total peace of mind!

Have any great travel tips you’d like to share with us? Come join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook. Or send us an email with your thoughts.

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