As an experienced traveler, I like to think I know a thing or two about packing. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in the past, believe me! But, these days, it’s almost an automatic process. Over the years, I have picked up plenty of tips and can pack for almost any kind of vacation or trip away. So, I thought I would share some of my knowledge with you today. Ready to get started? Then let’s take a look at my guide on packing for almost any trip you can think of, and make sure you can concentrate on having a fun time away.
One thing you should always remember about packing is the less you have; the better your experience will be. It’s a simple premise, but one that many people can’t quite get to grips with. All you need to do is have a look around at the stressed faces carrying several suitcases at the airport to understand how many people fall into the trap! So, keep clothing to a minimum, and forget about your hair straighteners, blow dryers and the half ton of makeup you don’t need.
You can choose to bring a suitcase or a backpack for longer trips away, but a simple small travel case will do for a weekend. There’s no need to bring more than one either. You can quickly sort through your clothes and make sure you have enough without spilling into another big case. I have to say, for trips of a week or more away, I love using a backpack. They aren’t pretty, but they are so useful and much easier to carry around than a suitcase.
Don’t take more than you need, it’s that simple. You can get by with a few changes of clothes, with one set of wet weather gear and something warm for when it gets nippy. The key is to be as adaptable as possible – there are plenty of cool, multifunctional clothes out there to investigate. Take a look at Practical Travel Gear for some good examples. Shoes are likely to be your biggest issue, but only because they are bulky. You won’t need too many pairs. So make room for something glam, something for walking and activities, and a pair for everyday use.
As a rule, buying travel-sized toiletries is an expensive business, but there is a way around the cost. Buy one set of small bottles, and when you’re done, fill them up at home. You won’t get through airport security with your large bottles of shampoo and conditioners so never pack them if you don’t want to lose them!
Finally, the most important part of your travel plans – your papers. My advice would be to leave all of your passports, boarding passes, airlines tickets and money until last. The amount of time I have spent looking for important documents that have already been packed away is ridiculous. So, if you leave everything like that until you have finished packing, you can gather it all up in one hit. And, of course, find a safe home for it!
OK, so that’s all I have time for today – feel free to leave any other tips you might have in the comments section below!