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Other than your inter-semester break (if you’re abroad for a year) or the occasional week-long vacation, most of your trips while abroad will be for 5 days or less.

The common method is to leave Thursday night, skip class on Friday, travel for the long weekend, and then head back to your university on Sunday night. While I’ve written a number of posts in the past about prep and packing for studying abroad, I’ve yet to cover what you should bring on these long-weekend adventures. So, inspired by both the success of 2 Suitcases + 1 Year = Study Abroad Packing List, as well as my recent trip to Southern China, I decided to create The Ultimate Weekend Travel Packing List.

In the United States, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, and United Kingdom, hiking means walking outdoors on a trail, or off trail, for recreational purposes. A day hike refers to a hike that can be completed in a single day. However, in the United Kingdom, the word walking is also used, as well as rambling, while walking in mountainous areas is called hillwalking. In Northern England, Including the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, fellwalking describes hill or mountain walks, as fell is the common word for both features there.


Hiking sometimes involves bushwhacking and is sometimes referred to as such. This specifically refers to difficult walking through dense forest, undergrowth, or bushes, where forward progress requires pushing vegetation aside. In extreme cases of bushwhacking, where the vegetation is so dense that human passage is impeded, a machete is used to clear a pathway. The Australian term bushwalking refers to both on and off-trail hiking.

Common terms for hiking used by New Zealanders are tramping (particularly for overnight and longer trips), walking or bushwalking. Trekking is the preferred word used to describe multi-day hiking in the mountainous regions of India, Pakistan, Nepal, North America, South America, Iran and in the highlands of East Africa. Hiking a long-distance trail from end-to-end is also referred to as trekking and as thru-hiking in some places. In North America, multi-day hikes, usually with camping, are referred to as backpacking.