Everything you need for your Active Vacation
From carry-on and checked bag recommendations to the best walking clothing you should bring with you, VBT knows exactly the dos and don’ts for packing for an active vacation. Go through our VBT checklist to make sure you have all of your packing requirements covered, so you can enjoy the greatest (and lightest) walking vacation, whether you’re at the airport or on the road!
Most travelers pack too much. As a guideline, your checked bag should be no larger than 62 linear inches (length + width + height) and weigh no more than 50 pounds. Your carry-on bag should not exceed 46 linear inches and weigh no more than 11 pounds. Checking more than one bag generally incurs an additional charge. We recommend contacting your airline directly or visiting their website for specific requirements and baggage allowance restrictions.
Please remember that there is no luggage portage when meeting your VBT representative at the airport and transferring to the first hotel. Therefore, the more you pack, the more you have to carry around. You may also want to leave some room in your bag for souvenirs and gifts.
Packing your Bags
Before packing your bags, we suggest you check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website at www.tsa.gov for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items, and tips for packing and travel.
As a guideline, we recommend packing your carry-on with a full change of clothes, toiletries (please check the TSA website for liquid size restrictions), any prescription drugs, your camera, and any breakable items. A money belt is also recommended to keep your passport, credit cards, travel documents, and valuables together and safe. You are allowed one carry-on in addition to one personal item such as a laptop computer, other electronics, purse, small backpack, briefcase, or camera gear.
We recommend packing all of your clothing and gear in one duffel bag or suitcase, which should not exceed the size allowed by your airlines. Attach luggage tags with your name, address, and contact information.
To reduce the risk of damage to your luggage, please do not lock your bags when checking in for flights. The TSA screens every piece of checked luggage. Baggage-handling agents may require access to the contents of your luggage and will break locks as required. TSA Accepted and Recognized Locks are available. (For details on locks visit: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/baggage-locks)
Click here for a video on packing for a Walking Vacation.
When walking, it is best that you dress in layers that can be put on and taken off during the day as temperatures change. We recommend polypropylene, lightweight wool, and similar synthetic fabrics, which wick away moisture. A windbreaker or light shell is also useful for cool mornings and days that are a bit chilly. Adequate rain gear is a must! Pants and a jacket made of Gore-Tex or similar waterproof, breathable fabric will keep you comfortable and dry if needed.
It’s essential that your footwear be waterproof. Just as important, however, is making sure that your footwear is broken in before you arrive in your destination. The last problem you need to confront is worrying about stiff walking shoes or boots and the blisters they may cause. They will slow you down and cause discomfort. So make sure your footwear is well broken in and comfortable before you leave home. Whether your shoes or boots are low profile or cut above the ankle is up to you. Many walkers favor the support provided by higher cut boots, while others prefer the flexibility of low-profile footwear. If you are unsure about which design is better for you, stop by a shoe store or sports equipment retailer where you can examine a wide variety of options. Ask for a Tour Consultant experienced in walking.
In general, the attire on our trips is functional and casual. For a dinner or a special event a smart-casual outfit is recommended.
The following list contains the items we recommend you bring with you on tour to enjoy your vacation.
- Waterproof or water-resistant walking shoes or boots
- Wool or synthetic wicking socks for walking
- Long, lightweight walking pants (zip-off)
- Walking shorts*
- Moisture wicking long sleeve and short sleeve shirts
- Lightweight sweater/fleece
- Windbreaker or light jacket (not to be used as raingear)
- Waterproof (Gore-Tex or similar) rain gear
- Brimmed hat or cap
- Water Bottle (VBT will send you prior to departure)
- Mole Skin (for blister prevention)
- Daypack to carry small items like camera, water bottle, sunscreen, etc.
- Casual and dress shorts
- Casual or collared sports shirts or blouses
- Casual trousers, khakis and button-up shirt for men*
- Pants or skirt; top or blouse; or dress for women*
- Socks and underwear
- Sandals or other shoes
Add to this list: toiletries (keep in mind that European hotels typically don’t provide washcloths) and personal items; your passport; travel documents; emergency contact information such as credit card company, bank, and your physician’s phone number; any prescription drugs you take on a regular basis; camera; alarm clock; electric adapter; and cell phone.
*Blue jeans are not appropriate for walking as they will chafe and they become heavy when wet. Walking pants that convert into shorts (or zip-off) are ideal as they can be adjusted as the weather changes. They are also usually made from easy cleaning and quick drying fabric. Many have adjustable waistbands for comfort and additional pockets to store personal effects while walking.
The VBT Travel Shop
To help you prepare for your trip, we’ve carefully selected a range of comfortable, easy-packing travel apparel and accessories from leading brands such as Sugoi, Patagonia, Eagle Creek, Craghoppers, and others. Visit the VBT Travel Shop to ensure you’re ready to enjoy your adventure to the fullest.
FAQ about packing for your Active Vacation
How can I find out if my appliances will work in another country?
Many countries have outlets that supply different electric currents than what we have in the U.S. Your VBT Traveler’s Handbook, which is mailed to you 1 day after booking, will have country-specific information on electric currents and information on adapters.
Should I travel with a cell phone?
Many guests prefer to travel with a cell phone to stay in touch with Trip Leaders and family on tour, but it is not required. For those who like to carry one with them, VBT recommends that you check with your cell phone service provider for information on using your phone overseas. Often, it is possible to buy a new SIM card locally in the country abroad to convert your cellphone to a local number. A second option would be an international cell phone rental. For more information, there is a useful link provided in your Traveler’s Handbook.
For guests travelling with smart phones, tablets or laptops, we recommend downloading Skype (www.skype.com) to your device in order to make much less expensive calls than your cell provider charges (Wi-Fi connection required).