It goes without saying that heading off on a polar expedition, either to the Arctic Circle or the mighty Antarctica is not your average holiday. Rather than wandering from one tourist attraction to another, you’ll be boarding the Polar Pioneer and taken to the seas to discover the untamed wilderness that lies at either pole.

As such, there is plenty you’ll need to consider in your preparations for these exciting journeys, including how you’ll pack.

Here are a few handy tips to help make stuffing that suitcase a little smoother.

How should I pack my clothes?

You’ll be taking plenty of layers on your Antarctica or Arctic Circle tour, but the main question is how to get them all into your luggage. The folding versus rolling debate is well and truly over for many frequent travellers, with tightly rolled shirts, pants and undergarments significantly reducing the amount of space taken up in your bag.

Remember, socks and underwear can always be packed last, stuffed in the crevices of your luggage and inside shoes to lessen their bulk. Fortunately, onboard the dress code is casual, so you won’t need to worry about bringing multiple pairs of space-snagging shoes.

You definitely don’t want to be in this situation before you leave for your expedition.

How can I save space in my luggage?

While there is plenty of space onboard, there is nothing worse than over-packing on a holiday and having to haul your hefty luggage all the way home. If you are planning on bringing books to read on board, consider the convenience of an e-reader. These lightweight devices can store thousands of titles, and will typically weigh less than a paperback novel.

If your suitcase has inner compression straps, don’t be afraid to use them! You can also take it one step further by employing the use of a compression bag, some of which can be used without the need for a vacuum.

It goes without saying that you can downsize the majority of your toiletry items by decanting them into more portable, travel-sized bottles and containers. In addition, if you have medications that come in bottles or cardboard packaging, you can shave off extra grams by repackaging them in Ziploc bags – just be sure to clearly label them.

Choosing the right luggage

A sturdy soft case suitcase is not only lighter, but will also give you more flexibility when it comes to packing. In addition, for extra security on your flights to and from your port of departure (your bags will be perfectly safe on board!), seek out bags with a reverse zip that can make it difficult for would-be thieves to break in.

A four-wheeled suitcase can be fun to wheel around the airport, but just remember they can roll away on uneven ground, and the wheels will add extra weight to the bag.

If you’ve been dreaming about planning a polar adventure, now is the time to do something about it! You can find out more about our range of Arctic and Antarctica voyages online, or by downloading one of our brochures.

Alternatively, if you feel like talking to a real person, you can give us a call on 1800 637 688 to speak to our friendly team members today about booking your next trip.


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