>>MAT: Hey everyone, We just got back from our most recent trip to Portugal & Spain and we’ve got some great packing and travel tips that we want to share with you to make your next trip more efficient and comfortable. This trip was a little bit complicated to pack for so it really forced us to use all our travel experience to make it work.>>DANIELLE: We had to pack for two seasons and since it was a working vacation, we also had to bring a lot more gear than usual. On top of that, our accommodation ranged wildly from a comfy co-living space to sleeping in the back of a canvas-covered truck. We also moved locations pretty frequently and we took quite a few buses, trains, planes, taxis and rental cars. So in this video, we’re sharing some of our essential packing tips. We’ll talk about some of the items we used all the time and a couple that we wish we had packed and we’ll also talk about the lessons we learned along the way. This video is sponsored by Audible. We’ll give you more information about them at the end plus the details to get a free audiobook and more.>>MAT: for clothes, what’s most important is checking the climate of your destination to make sure you pack the right clothing that’ll keep you comfortable in whatever weather you might be experiencing. One of the most common packing tips is to wear layers, and we definitely agree with that. But it’s also really easy to pack too many pieces that you don’t end up using so we try to be really strategic with what we bring and this doesn’t really work for a winter type of climate But we usually try to pack for Summer, Spring, and Fall. So we’ll have our warm weather clothes like shorts t-shirts and things like that, but we also pack a few key items that have multiple purposes. For example, we almost always bring one pair of long johns that can be layered under a pair of pants if it’s cold, but they can also double as pajama pants. We also always carry a really light windbreaker that can be used as a rain jacket but that can also be layered with a sweater to make kind of a warmer coat. A scarf can also be used to create a warm outfit, but it can also be rolled up and used as a neck pillow or a small lap blanket on a cold flight. We also usually pack a few small items like a warm hat, a small pair of gloves and a thick pair of socks; and those can go a really long way to keeping you warm. So with all those items combined, we can stay comfortable in a pretty wide range of different weather conditions. To bring more stuff, packing cubes can also be really practical They can help you stay organized and you can also pack a lot more clothes in your suitcase. They compress all the items of clothing and form a really small package. The drawback that I find with packing cubes, although they are great, is that you might be tempted or you might end up just bringing more clothes and that might be great because you have more options more things to wear but inevitably your suitcase is going to be heavier. And when you’re traveling even if you have a suitcase with wheels there are definitely some times where you’re gonna have to lift that thing and move it around and you want it to be as light as possible. Also when you’re checking your luggage, you don’t want to exceed the maximum weight for a suitcase.>>DANIELLE: before heading out on a trip there’s a couple of things that we’ve done to help us remember all the things that we need to bring with us. Either making a list is really helpful so you can start a couple of weeks out and as you think of things you just add them to the list so that it’s not just a really stressful evening the night before you’re traveling out and the other thing is as you think of things you can take them out of the drawer or the closet and put them in a pile so that slowly your suitcase gets filled as you think of things you need, rather than just trying to rush and remember everything at the last minute. If you’re really organized you can save your travel lists so that the next time you go on a trip, you don’t have to start over but we’ve never gotten to that point yet.>>MAT: next is a mini utility kit. So when we travel we always try to pack as light as possible and bring as few things as possible but we still always carry what you could call a mini utility kit and in there are just a few essential items that are packed away in our suitcase that end up coming handy pretty often. For example, we always carry a few elastics to tie up food bags and things like that, we’ll have a couple plastic bags to carry flip-flops, wet bathing suits, and to put in liquids that might leak in our suitcase. We always carry a pen for filling out customs cards, baggage tags, and writing down directions. We also have a small flashlight, some carabiners for keys and hanging things, and we always have a few napkins stuffed in our pockets or in our backpack. I can’t tell you how many times those come in handy for spills and messes on buses, trains, and planes And the last thing we always carry a small multi-tool. This is also really practical there’s everything on here pliers, screwdriver, a little knife and it’s tiny but this definitely has to go in a checked luggage.>>DANIELLE: one thing that we wish we had packed and we didn’t is some quick-drying clothes. So on this trip it was almost eight weeks and so we did about eight loads of laundry and the places we stayed at only had a washing machine so it took one or two days for our clothes to air dry which can be pretty inconvenient if you’re moving around. So one thing we would do next time is pack at least one outfit that’s quick-drying so either some travel-specific clothes that are designed to dry quickly or clothes with some kind of blend of cotton and polyester that dries really fast.>>MAT: for food, we always try to bring our own snacks on travel days and this is great because it can save us a lot of money. Airport food is really expensive and also on planes you don’t necessarily get food so it’s nice to have your own snacks if ever you get hungry. The problem with bringing food if you’re taking the plane is that it’s not always clear exactly what you can and can’t bring through security. You definitely can’t bring any liquids or gels. So for example a yoghurt might not make it through security or a container of hummus. You might have to throw that out, but usually dry processed foods get through security. So what we’ll do often is we’ll make some sandwiches, we’ll bring some roasted trail mix, maybe we’ll have stir-fried veggies and rice or fruit salad and those pretty much always make it through security. It’s important to understand here that it really depends on the security agent that you get. They can pretty much ask you to throw out anything they feel like but generally, for us, those items that I mentioned haven’t been a problem. We also always carry a few reusable items to create less waste and save money. We’ll have a couple of food containers some reusable water bottles a travel coffee mug and some foldable sporks.>>DANIELLE: one thing that we noticed really quickly on this trip is that we could have had a better luggage set up. Most of the time we’re able to fit all of our clothes, toiletries, and shoes into our rolling suitcases and then we each have a backpack with our laptop, passport, water bottle, and things like that. But this time because it was a work trip, we also had a camera bag and because we were trying to save money by making a lot of our own food, we were traveling around with groceries so juggling six bags at a time became really chaotic. Something we could have done to plan ahead would have been to bring a larger backpack each so that we could fit all these extra things in without having to juggle all these extra pieces. So I think it’s important to really think about how you’ll be traveling and to use luggage that’s going to suit your trip and your travel style. One thing that we could not have gone without on this trip is our GPS. We rented a car for three weeks so that we could explore Portugal and also so that we could film some really cool off-grid cabins while we were there and we could not have found some of these locations without a GPS. One of the reasons we brought our own is because we actually don’t own a cellphone and we wanted to save a little bit of money by not having to rent a GPS from the car rental company. Another thing that we used almost every single day is the Happy Cow app. So basically, it’s a map that shows you where there’s health food stores, cafes, and restaurants that serve vegan or vegetarian food but we also use it kind of as an indicator to find really interesting neighborhoods where alternative things are going on. So often if you see a cluster of a few vegan restaurants and some veggie restaurants and a health food store, usually, that might be an indication that there’s a really cool neighborhood that you should visit. We hope you find our essential packing and travel tips helpful. If you have some ideas that we didn’t mention, we’d love to hear them in the comments. We also want to thank Audible again for sponsoring this video. If you’re into travelling audiobooks are an awesome way to pack light because you don’t have to carry bulky books with you and you’ll always have something new to listen to. If you’re interested in trying an audiobook for the first time, Audible is offering our audience a free audiobook when you sign up for a 30-day trial. So you can get that free audiobook if you go to audible.com/exploringalternatives or if you’re in the US you can text exploringalternatives to 500 500. And something new in addition to that free audiobook you also get access to two Audible Originals, which are basically custom audiobooks that you can’t get anywhere else. So with that one free trial you actually get three free audiobooks. There are a ton of titles that I’m interested in listening to and I started this year off listening to The Finnish Way. It has really simple and inspiring ideas to stay happy and healthy in your everyday life. And those are good things to think about at the start of a New Year. So if you want to give Audible a try and get that free audiobook and two Audible Originals You can go to audible.com/exploringalternatives or if you’re in the US you can text exploringalternatives to 500 500. Thanks so much for watching and we’ll see you the next video!