When packing for an epic trip it can be easy to get carried away buying those must-have sandals and those gorgeous shorts you’ve had your eye on for a few weeks, and to forget that a little forethought is needed on what to pack and how to fit it all in. The excitement of getting away and enjoying better weather, food and company can make you forget some essential things to do and pack before you check-in your bag and get into holiday mode.
Here is my handy girls guide to packing which has served me well from a two-week beach holiday in Skiathos, to a five day jam-packed city break to Dubai.
It has to be packing your swimsuit/tankini/bikini into your hand-luggage. This is my number one tip especially if you have a bust that is more ‘specially-made’ than ‘off-the-rack’. Can you imagine the sheer horror of stepping off the plane in Miami to find that your carefully selected bikini that hugs every curve is now in New York by mistake?!? Keep the essentials close to hand, especially on long-haul trips.
Footwear is always an issue no matter where in the world you plan to visit. Do you go with comfort, practicality and packability, or what makes your calves look amazing? This age-old dilemma can only be solved by thoroughly investigating what you will be doing while away, how this will affect your feet and how you can use the same shoes for several outfits (in the interests of space-saving). A clever choice of footwear will ensure your comfort, happiness and confidence in a look that works.
In days gone by I would pack pretty much everything I owned to be put together into an outfit choice while I was away. Having a selection is great, but it is at the expense of luggage allowance and in many cases, you end up choosing a few essentials to stick with for the entirety of your holiday. So instead of taking your entire wardrobe on a fancy holiday where most items will not be used, it is wise to try on everything you own and decide what will be a suitable capsule wardrobe to put together. You also need a suitcase that can hold as much as you need – and that is permitted – as well as something lightweight that will not eat into your baggage allowance. A good choice is the Samsonite suitcase from Luggage Superstore which is made from a lightweight material and comes with handy 360˚ rolling wheels so no more dancing with your suitcase as you struggle through the airport. Also, when it comes to actually packing everything, I prefer the rolling packing method instead of the folding method. This is because I have never arrived at my destination with un-creased clothing so why spend all that time folding? Give everything a roll into the shape of a sausage and stuff it in!
If your next adventure is more ‘gap year travelling’ than ‘city break’ then there is an even greater importance attached to hygiene products. Wet wipes are a must as they will keep you fresh-faced in the dirtiest of areas and will be your toilet saviour when loo roll is a luxury. Another great purchase is a quick-drying towel which you can get from Gap Year Travels which is hygienic and (as it says on the tin) quick drying which avoids soggy towel issues. And, in the interests of nice smelling clothing, a failsafe option is to pack a couple of carrier bags to keep your dirty clothing separate from your clean stuff.
My friend traveled through South America and said the best thing she did with regard to packing while away was make a list of clothing she had, and then check it off after they packed up again for the next adventure. This way she had a good understanding of exactly what she had, and she was confident that nothing got left behind. You can even do this in virtual form (possibly even more geeky) with To Do List so that you can leave the pen and paper at home.