It's easy to fill your bag to the brim - whatever size you're taking, just because you can. But, what are the 'must takes' when going on a trip? The necessities that will make your travels smooth sailing, while keeping you from cramming in the kitchen sink.
After spending my fair share of time living out of a suitcase these past few years, the process of packing has gone from an overwhelming and exciting process to now just ticking off my ‘Travel Checklist’.
Here are my musts, no matter where you're going...
1. The must musts:
If there is one thing you shouldn't skimp on - it's undies (and bras if you please). Pack as many undies as there are days for your trip and then a few more! With bras ensure you have one to cover all occasions (everyday, strapless and white).
2. The plane pack:
Don't under prepare for your travel hours. While it only accounts for a small percentage of your holiday and probably not something you put to the top of your mind when planning your packing - including a plane pack should be a priority. These are also hours we won’t get back. For me this pack includes: Socks, a scarf, jumper, eye patch, neck pillow, lip balm and magazine.
3. Technology bits:
Throw in the gadgets you own - plus their chargers, and the power point adapters for the countries you're going to if you have them. For me it's my phone and computer, plus their chargers.
4. Bags and bags:
Whatever the trip, I always have a small day bag that fits my phone and wallet, and an extra canvas bag to fit bigger items that I plan to lug around while I'm there (such as a laptop, beach stuff or extra warm gear).
On board take a small hand bag and a larger carry on bag (with the plane pack), and depending if you have checked in luggage or not you can also check in a larger bag. Most of the time, I travel only with carry on - meaning my carry on bag is also jammed with everything else listed here.
Try to have as many outfits that you can wear on multiple occasions, such as tops, pants and skirts that can be dressed up or down, with shoes and accessories. I'll always pack one outfit I can wear out to a nice dinner and something for a day out.
Depending on the weather, (check ahead) pack everyday wear that's comfortable but nice. Mostly, I don't trust what the weather is expected to be and I'll pack season proof things, with some light items in case it gets hot, and warmer clothes in case the weather gets cold.
6. Sun safety pieces:
Always throw in some sunnies, a hat and sunscreen. My only regret - is that I didn't start doing this earlier.
7. From the bathroom:
From the bathroom categorise your items into two parts - a smaller bag that you can take with you on the plane, (including items less than 100ml- plane regulations) such as moisturiser, lip balm and some blush (if you want to pretend to be alive when you get off the plane). In the second toiletries bag, include bigger items that you'll take with you into the shower / bathroom, such as your shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
8. Keep up your health:
While on the road, it can be hard to keep a balanced diet. To ensure you get all the vitamins you need, throw in a multivitamin that you can take each day. When travelling on planes with so many people in one small space - it's probably the time when you need your immune system at its strongest. To eliminate becoming run down while travelling I also always carry a water bottle to keep the fluids up.
9. Document the trip:
I always carry a notepad and pen to journal my travels. I understand this isn't everyone’s thing - so if you'd prefer to take photos - pack your camera, or camera phone, or however it is that you like to store your memories. (Speaking of notepads and pens, I also always throw in a book to read on the go.)
Lastly, don't forget to pack shoes for comfort, style and practicality. Shoes are my least favourite thing to pack, as they're bulky, smelly and generally I just don't want them alongside my clean packed goods, but something we obviously can't leave behind. I always wrap them in a plastic bag and only take three pairs. Whatever the holiday, I'll take one pair for walking, some sandals (or thongs) and a nice pair to wear out.
Happy packing, and more importantly - happy travels!
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