Wednesday 20 May 2015

Packing Tips for TEFL Teachers Going Home on Vacation

From Independent Traveler
It's taken me a while, but I've finally got packing down to an art. I don't have to ship items, re-pack my luggage at the airport, or worry about weight. Here are some of the best packing tips I've learned over the years. Howdini and Heathrow Airport also have some good packing tip videos that tell you how to pack a suitcase.

Take only what you need
I'd always over-pack when I went home for the summer. I'd bring way more than what I needed. Figure out how to coordinate your clothes. Leave all the little extras; chances are you won't use them anyways.

Bring old clothes
Going home for me means relaxing. I don't really need to dress to impress. I'm on vacation. I bring old clothes. Things that I don't mind donating to charity when I leave.

Buy less
Nowadays you can find most things that you need where you live or online. Natural beauty products and food can be found on iherb (up to $10 off your first order (Code: LNQ216)). Ebay is also good for buying things, though shipping from places such as Hong Kong may take a while. ASOS is good for clothing and they have free shipping. There might be local groups where you can buy things. Korea is a very transient community and there are a number of FaceBook groups where people sell new or used items. Craigslist is also popular here for buying things.

I buy most of my clothes from Europe so shipping is international anyways (US vs Korea). I prefer to have things shipped to Korea since the Korean post office has much cheaper shipping than the USA. This way if I want to return something I'd spend far less than if I'd ship it from the USA.

There are also mail forwarding services, such as Mall Tail or Ship2Korea that can help keep shipping costs down and save on suitcase space.

Use vacuum bags carefully
I find that weight, not space is often what people have to worry about. Vacuum bags don't help with this. They create more space, but allow you to put more weight than you normally would into your suitcases.

Forget travel sized toiletries
I bring full sized items, but make sure there isn't a lot of product left. This way it takes up space going there and I can leave it behind when I come back.

Bring gifts
It's a nice touch and they take up space in your suitcase on the way there.

Go during the summer
You'll have to bring less clothes and it's less bulky than winter things.

Bring an empty suitcase
My goal is to be able to fit all my clothes and my daughter's clothes into a backpack. One suitcase has gifts and things that I'm going to leave in the USA, such as crafts my daughter made or important documents. The other suitcase is empty. You can also bring an empty carry-on bag which will allow you to take more back with you. Be careful though, some airlines weight carry-ons.

Leave things behind
I only go home once a year, but I still leave clothes behind. I have a couple days' worth of clothing at my parents house that I wear when I go back.

Plan ahead
I start making my shopping list the day I get back to Korea. Over the course of the year I can see what I really want to buy when I'm back in the USA. Somethings I'm able to get online, other things people buy for me when they go home, and other things I decide I don't really want. By doing this I'm sure I'll only get things that I really want.


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