Thailand is a vibrant country in Southeast Asia best known for its beaches, temples, and royal palaces. According to a 2015 World Tourism Organization report, Thailand ranks as the ninth most visited country in the world. Haven’t visited for yourself? Click through the slideshow to see some of Thailand’s most popular destinations and learn about their history.
Having trouble fitting your belongings in your suitcase? Flying with an airline with strict luggage allowance? No problem. Read along and learn what frequent travelers and bloggers say are their top tips for packing like a pro.
Don’t let the weather surprise you
Check the weather for your destination before packing. Frequent travelers agree that having a general idea of what the weather will be like during your trip will prevent overpacking. Travel blogger Shivya Nath from The Shooting Star told the website Women’s Web to, “ask Google, rely on weather forecasts, and for unexpected showers, carry a foldable poncho rather than bulky umbrellas and a waterproof jacket.”
2. Prioritize and organize
Make a list or print this extensive packing checklist. Former TV Business Reporter and writer for the Huffington Post Lan Anh Vu says that making a list is the safest way to ensure you don’t forget anything. She goes on to tell her readers, “I focus on the activities I know I will do on my trips and focus less on those that I am not as certain about. This helps me cross off items that I don’t need and devote space to items I will actually need.”
Researchers Kenneth F Hyde and Karin Olesen say that “tourists recognize clothing as their biggest packing challenge.” Tourists find it difficult to pack clothes that will make them feel stylish, while keeping their suitcases at a reasonable weight. Travel expert and former Director of Corporate Communications at Orbitz.com Kendra Thornton says she pre-plans her outfits. “I only pack what I need and I try to bring only two pairs of shoes – one for the day and one for the night – and make sure all outfits will work with them.” She adds, “I start packing 2 days before my trip so that I have time to sort through and think about what I want to bring.”
Pro Tip: Pack the outfits you are likely to wear first at the top of your suitcase to avoid a mess.
4. Make it match
Travelers do themselves an injustice if they’re not versatile enough in what they pack. Travel blogger and VisitBritain PR intern Bethany Looi says that this is the biggest mistake people make when packing. “It’s better to take, for example, a pair of regular blue jeans than a pair of bright pink ones, just because it’ll be easier to match with all your tops. This way you can have more outfits without taking more clothes.”
5. Use the roll-up method and squeeze up space
Rolling your clothes, rather than folding them is a more efficient use of space, according to Kendra Thornton. She says “rolling everything helps prevent wrinkles and you can fit more in your bag.” Even the most frequent travelers, flight attendants, use this method. According to a New York Times article, the roll-up method saves room for Air Europe Lineas Aereas flight attendant Nerea Gomez-Cambronero’s travel necessities.
6. Be wrinkle-free with plastic garment bags
Have some extra dry cleaning wrap lying around? Try putting your delicate clothes in the wrap and folding them in. Lorena Martinez, a housewife and frequent traveler says she discovered this hack when she was packing for her husband’s business trip and realized his suits would wrinkle when she folded them.
Bethany Looi is a travel blogger who spent two years traveling the world at 17.She’s now a student in New York, where she also interns. You can read Bethany Looi’s travel stories from over 30 countries here: http://bethanylooi.com/
Kendra Thornton makes frequent appearances on news programs and talk shows like The Tyra Banks Show and The Nate Berkus Show. She currently runs her parent’s travel agency Royal Travel & Tours and owns her own travel PR consulting business. You can take a closer look at Kendra’s accomplishments, including information on her most recent trips on her website: www.kendrathorntontravel.com
From learning the local currency, to sacrificing American conveniences, not understanding general study abroad guidelines could take away from your experience abroad. Here are five things you should know before studying abroad:
1. Learn the local currency
Learning the exchange rates will save you money and stress. Take for example, Loyola junior and past study abroad student Samantha Kirzeder. Kirzeder says, “when I was in Costa Rica I didn’t exchange my money before my flight. When I landed, I paid $50 for a taxi that really would have costed me $20 in the local currency.”
2. You will learn more outside the classroom
“A study abroad experience is more than just taking courses and exams,” says Violeta Rosales, a graduate student at The American University in Cairo and New York Times contributor. According to a Clark University study abroad survey, people who study abroad gain a better understanding of cultural values and broaden their way of looking at the world. It also encourages diverse friendships.
3. Embrace spontaneity
Study abroad experiences can and should be unpredictable. Don’t over plan. Caitlin Pilgrim, 22, a Loyola senior and John Felice Rome Center student says taking everything day by day makes experiences abroad more exciting. “We usually decided where we wanted
Caitlin Pilgrim, far right, says enjoying Spain’s Sangria made the last minute booking worth the trip.
to travel to based off what the flight prices were like for that week. Some of my favorite places that we traveled to (Budapest, Ireland) we decided to go to two days before we left,” says Pilgrim.
4. You will make friends
Studying abroad leads to long-lasting friendships, according to the Clark University study exploring the long-term impact study abroad has on students. Over half of the students surveyed say they remain in contact with the friends they made abroad.
90% of the students surveyed for Clark University’s study say studying abroad encourages them to make more diverse friendships.
5. You won’t feel 100% comfortable
There will be times you feel lonely. Don’t panic. Studying abroad is about expanding your horizons and stepping out of your comfort zone. If you feel homesick, it’s likely that the people you are studying abroad with feel the same way. If you’re unsure about studying abroad, check out this Youtube video by Max Rehkopf, a study abroad student highlighting the impact his experience had on him.