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For places that I frequently visit (which isn’t many) it’s nice to have a stash of essentials waiting for me when I land. Usually, it isn’t much — just some clothes, basic toiletries, and maybe a book — but it allows me to travel without luggage.

Like a lot of people, I currently keep a stash of warm clothes at my parents house in Washington D.C. and typically just bring some underwear, a toothbrush, phone charger, and a spare outfit when I visit them.

Similarly, when I lived in Costa Rica and then later Madagascar, I had stashes of clothes and toiletries in each of their respective capitals. Since I was living in rural areas but visited the capitals often, it made sense to keep my “city clothes” in the city, rather than schlepping them back and forth — especially in Madagascar. Since I could only bring what would fit on my lap or between my legs in a cramped Malagasy bus seat, I preferred to use that space to bring back hard-to-find food (like bread and powdered milk), not clothes.

I never realized that what I was doing had a name: Travel caching.

Travel Caching: A Spin-off of Urban Caching

The concept of urban caching is perhaps best known among survivalists who want to prepare for such worst-case-scenarios as nuclear bombs, major natural disasters, and — obviously — zombies. Urban cachers will put boxes of survival items (e.g. food, knife, clothes, blanket) at strategic points between work/home and a safety point so that in the case of an emergency they can drop everything and go.

I personally hadn’t heard of it until a friend brought up a blog post by Tim Ferriss about packing light. He had repurposed the idea, named it travel caching, and now uses it as a way to avoid carrying luggage to places he visits frequently. Similar to urban caching, travel caching is the practice of stashing a bag or trunk of items in a place you visit frequently so that you can travel without luggage every time you visit.
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About one in five Americans suffer from a type of mental disorder in a given year, according to NAMI.

Travel, with the changes in routine and situations, is a huge trigger for mental disorders like anxiety and bipolar.

Does that mean you should deny your wanderlust and stay home? Only you (and your doctor) can answer that question. And your answer may vary, depending on the type of travel you’d like to do and your mental health at any given time.

If you do decide to travel, these resources might help you stay healthier on the road and find the connections you need in a crisis while traveling. Of course this list is not comprehensive, this just covers some of the resources for some of the more common mental health issues. You should always consult your doctor and make a mental health and safety plan for travel, just as you would for your physical health and safety.


The NAMI found that little over 18% of American adults have experienced an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is especially hard when you’re traveling. Your ability to control the environment vanishes, and with it, your sense of well-being. That loss of control can lead to panic attacks.

Avid traveler and author, Lauren Juliff, writes honestly and extensively on her blog about traveling the world with an anxiety disorder.

At 16 years old, she had her first panic attack. By age 18, she stopped going outside for fear of having one of her multiple, debilitating panic attacks in public.

After ruining her sister’s birthday dinner, Lauren decided change had to happen. She had planned on traveling the world with her boyfriend, but when they broke up, she canceled her trip. But her desire to travel lingered. She couldn’t travel alone… could she?

After some intense soul-searching, she decided to find out. Her journey hasn’t stopped yet.

“I think part of the reason why travelling has helped my anxiety is the control it gives me over my life,” Lauren says. “A substantial amount of my panic attacks stemmed from feeling like I wasn’t in control — commitments like having to go to college or work every day would make me anxious because I was worrying I’d have a panic attack there and wouldn’t be able to escape.”

“With travel, I have no commitments and total freedom. If I’m struggling with anxiety, I can hide away in my room until I feel better, because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.”

“Travel has been the one thing that helped me conquer my anxiety more than anything else. Sometimes it downright terrifies me, but it also challenges me by forcing me to leave my comfort zone and comforts me by giving me the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want.”

“The combination of all three has done wonders for my mental health. I’ve reached the point where I struggle to even think of something that would take me out of my comfort zone, and I’ve proven that it’s possible to travel the world with a debilitating anxiety disorder.”

“I can’t begin to describe just how hard conquering anxiety was, but it’s turned me into an incredibly strong person. Knowing that I was able to turn my life around — that ten years ago I wasn’t able even to step outside of my room, and now I’m traveling the world, and have been happily doing so for nearly three years — blows my mind,” says Lauren.

“It shows me that I can do anything I set my mind to.”
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Packing for a ski trip is a pain. Creating a ski and snowboard packing list of heavy, expensive, and awkward gear is pretty much the opposite of everything a carry on packer stands for.

But skiing is fun.

Use this comprehensive ski and snowboard packing list and pack your bags with everything you need to hit that fresh pow without breaking the bank. Winter is here, and it’s awesome.

Checked Baggage Fees, Excess & Oversized Baggage

First things first: Packing in a carry on with ski and snowboard gear is almost impossible.

Sure, you can pack clothes and rent gear, but rental gear isn’t great. It never fits right or performs as well as your own stuff. Add to that availability problems, sizing concerns, and just plain wasted time (you don’t want to rent gear on a short weekend trip) and, while still an option, the possibility of renting becomes a backup.

The only way you’ll be able to pack a carry on bag for a ski trip is if you rent. Disclaimer over.

Airline Checked Bag Rules May Vary

Now that you’ve embraced the pitfalls of checked baggage, here’s the general rule of packing your ski and snowboard gear—keep it to one bag. Most airlines count boot cases, pole bundles, helmet sleeves, and ski bags as individual separate checked oversized bags. That’s a big deal.

Depending on the airline, each regular sized bag can cost $25-$35 to check, but the price quickly jumps up once you exceed your two bag allowance or the size and weight restrictions. Delta, for example, charges $150 for the third checked bag regardless of size and weight, and anything over 80 inches (203 cm) is considered oversized luggage.

So, if you check a bag, cram as much as you can into that puppy; everything that doesn’t fit in your carry on goes in your snowboard or ski bag. You’re going to pay for that oversized snowboard, so make it worth it. Just keep your checked bag to under 50 pounds and you’ll be alright. Click to continue…