Packing for a vacation can be a lot of fun. You get to pull out all of the light floaty garments that haven’t seen the light of day since your last holiday. If you are the type of person who leaves it a little bit too late, packs things you don’t wear – and leaves behind the things you really wanted – then this is your lucky day!
It doesn’t matter if you are packing for a week in Cancun or a month in Mumbai – the principals are all the same.
Making A List…
Checking it twice! The obvious things like your passport, money, tickets, and any print out of hotel reservations should be in an easy to reach smaller bag at all times. Kept on your person. This will stop the need to start going through your larger packed luggage later on.
Try and keep it capsule. It’s easier and will give you a lot more options than packing on an outfit by outfit basis. Typical capsule wardrobe list is as follows:
Shoes – ankle boots & sandals/trainers (both if the sandals are really slim
Dresses & skirts – two dresses and two skirts – think maxi and a tea dress
Tops – a blouse, and some white t-shirts are ideal.
Trousers – jeans are a great option, and some linen trousers too
Accessories – a smaller bag for short days out, a larger bag like the Coach Women Shopping Bag for heading out and shopping, sunglasses, sun hat, scarf
Jewelry – You can mix and match what you usually wear as these don’t take up too much room
Coat – a light rain mac that can be rolled down, and a slightly thicker one for cooler evenings
Swimming – typical swimsuit & a sarong.
Try and choose a color scheme that goes together. Monochrome means you will always be able to wear
It is worth remembering that you can buy what you need when you arrive. So if you aren’t happy about having bottles that might pop open and leak (wrap them in ziplock bags to avoid this), then simply buy when you arrive.
- Hair Bands
- Tampons/Sanitary products
- Shampoo / conditioner
- Cooling Mist
Usually, this is where you will put your electricals. When you get to the hospital, you will need to pull everything out of your carry-on for it to be scanned. So if you don’t ‘need’ to take your iPad, it might be time to rethink it. Make it easier for yourself and keep all of your electrical items on top.
- iPad / other tablet
- Hidden cash
- Lip balm
- Empty Water Bottle – fill it up when you are through security
Use a ziplock bag to keep all of your charging wires in one place too. Oh, and ditch the books. If you can, simply get an app on your tablet, which will enable you to read or swap to a Kindle type device. Books take up a lot of space and add weight to your bag – even if you only pack a couple.
Just on the off chance your main luggage goes missing, have a spare in your carry on bag. You’re already wearing something, and have shoes on (hopefully!), this will give you a day or two of breathing space while they try to locate your main luggage.
So you have everything laid out on the bed, and you are ready to start folding. Wait a moment. There are much more efficient ways to pack your luggage. There are two main options.
This is where you roll each item up, and you can even place an elastic band around them to keep them tightly rolled. Your clothes won’t crease, and you can downsize the bag you were going to take.
Once they are all folded neatly, place them inside a vacuum bag, and suck that sucker until it’s nice and thin. A great tip here to put a few scented dryer sheets in the vacuum sealed bag. It will mean your clothing remains smelling fresh when you arrive.
Secret Stash & Safety
It is no secret that tourists and travelers are often the victims of thefts when they are on holiday. So, you need to think smart. Rather than leave all of your cash and cards in one place use a cleaned out suntan lotion bottle to store notes. Hollow lip balm tubes are also perfect for rolled up bills.
You can take this with you out of the hotel room, as thieves will not be likely to steal your sun lotion.
In your hotel room, if you are heading out without your camera and purse, then make use of the hotel safe – but change the passcode to something you will remember. Often people don’t change them, so make sure you do.
Travel insurance is a no brainer either. You might feel like paying for it is a bit excessive – but what would you do if you lost your luggage, or your bag with passports and cash was stolen? It isn’t worth the potential ‘what-ifs.’
If you follow some of the tips, you will likely find you have space in your case. For the vacuum method, you’re going to need that for when you are leaving to go home. Weigh your case multiple times as you pack, luggage scales are well worth the investment.
Don’t Blend In
Very often, even on a single flight, multiple people have the same suitcase. So get yourself some tags, patches, and stickers. Make your bag very personalized, and when you are done – take photos. This way, no one would pick up your case by mistake, and if it does go missing, you will have a visual aid to enable people to spot your suitcase more easily.
Give a trusted friend or family member your full itinerary. Leave them with copies of your passport, your travel tickets, the location of the hotel you are staying at and even a recent photo of you. If something should happen – like losing your tickets, or having an accident – there is someone who can get your details to you.
** Thjs is a collaborative post