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What to pack for your small group Discovery trip

Getting ready for a small group Discovery trip? Here's our handy holiday packing list to ensure you take everything that you need to enjoy and make the most of your upcoming adventure.


Comfortable clothing

Whether you're walking through the spectacular Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, exploring the Golden Triangle cities of India, or searching for the Northern Lights in Iceland, you'll need to pack plenty of comfortable clothing for your small group Discovery tour. Check your trip notes to get an idea of the climate and pack lots of layers that you can add or remove according to the weather. Hot destinations may get cold at night, especially if your trip involves camping, so bring a warm sweater and a lightweight waterproof jacket. It's also important to be mindful of the local faiths and customs of the places you'll be visiting so you can dress appropriately.

Sturdy footwear

Most of our small group Discovery tours involve a lot of travelling and excursions to different cultural sites. So, if you want to get lots of enjoyment out of your trip, make sure you bring a pair of sturdy shoes that are comfortable to walk in. If you're planning to trek through Morocco's magnificent Todra Gorge or take on a fast-paced trip like our 16-day Best of Georgia and Armenia tour, you may also need to pack some lightweight walking boots, so check your trip notes for details.


Some of the premium-rated hotels that we stay in may have a swimming pool. So, if you fancy a relaxing dip at the end of a busy day of exploring, don't forget to pack your swimwear and a lightweight towel. There may also be opportunities to swim in oceans, lakes and rivers along the way. Bathe in the warm springs of an active volcano on our Greek Island Wanderer tour, dive into a colourful underwater world of exotic fish on our Discover Belize trip, or swim under the tumbling cascades of the Chorros de Calera waterfall on our Highlights of El Salvador adventure.

Day Pack

You may want to bring a small bag or rucksack to carry all of your daily essentials while out on day trips and excursions. Choose a pack that is lightweight, secure and big enough to hold a water bottle, camera, extra clothing, sun protection and snacks.

Sun protection

Wherever in the world you are, sun protection is essential. Whether you're visiting the Red Rose city of Petra on our Jordan Discovery trip or scaling the dizzy heights of Fitz Roy on our Adventures in Patagonia tour, you'll need to use a high-factor sunscreen to prevent sunburn. We also recommend bringing a wide-brimmed hat for warm climates and sunglasses will protect your eyes from bright sunlight.

Water bottle

Avoid spending your holiday money on expensive bottled water and help us to eliminate single-use plastic on our discovery trips by bringing a reusable water bottle. Where clean water isn't readily available, such as in South America, Asia and Africa, we recommend packing a filtered water bottle. Our favourite is the Water-to-go bottle which filters 99.9% of contaminants from the water so that it is safe to drink and can be refilled from any tap or even streams. Plus, you can get 15% off as an Explore customer. Alternatively, you can bring water purification tablets, and your tour leader will point out clean sources of water during your trip.


To avoid the crowds and to catch a glimpse of some of the best sunrises and sunsets in the world, we'll sometimes set off before dawn, so a small torch is really handy. You might also consider a 'hands-free' head torch if your trip involves an element of camping, especially in the more remote regions where the only source of light is the moon and the stars.

Insect repellent

Avoid itchy insect bites with a good quality insect repellent. If you're visiting countries that are plagued by malaria or dengue fever, you'll need to take extra care and apply liberally, day and night. In some countries you may also need a mosquito net, so check your trip notes for details.


Take a high-quality camera to capture the kaleidoscope of red and orange Koyo autumn leaves bursting into colour on our Simply Japan tour, or shoot the ornate aquamarine mosaics of Samarkand's Registan square on our Uzbekistan tour. Whether you use your phone's camera or take a DSLR, make sure you bring all the necessary charging equipment, extra batteries and memory cards with you. If you're heading into more remote, rural or desert regions, you may also need a good case that will protect your camera and lenses from dirt and dust.


Ready to pack? Check your trip notes

The kit that you'll need for your small group discovery holiday will vary depending on where you decide to go. We provide detailed packing lists on our individual trip notes, so please refer to these before travelling.

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