Monday, 17 November 2008

Put Me In Your Suitcase: Packing Tips

So the easy part of planning your holiday is done – booking it, but now you need to decide what to take!! Nothing is worst than the feeling of not having anything to wear (or not liking what you brought), not having enough room for everything or forgetting something fundamental to your happy holiday. I do a lot more traveling now that I live in UK and I must say I’m getting better at packing. I’ve come up with a few tips that help me and hopefully will eliminate your problems as well:

1. Toiletries: it’s such a hassle caring around your full size bottles of shampoo or body wash and those ‘travel size’ bottles can really add up ($). That’s why I use reusable plastic contains from Muji (can also be found at Wal-Mart and Shoppers Drug Mart) bringing all my favourite supplies. I use these for my Shampoo and Conditioner while these are perfect for my face wash and cream. Not only will you save money by using the products you already have and love but they’re compact and take up little room PLUS it’s better for the environment (always a bonus!)

2. Folding: When I was backpacking a few years ago I discovered the simplicity of ‘rolling’ my clothes and never looked back. Not only do you get more space in your suitcase by doing this but your clothes stay wrinkle-free. Perfect!

3. Clothes: Here’s the big one. How do you plan for anything without taking everything? Easy, always take an umbrella, sunglasses and bring clothes that can easily be layered. Black, white and tan go with everything and can be interchanged with any outfit. Bring clothing that can be worn with most of what you’ve brought (ie. white tank top can be worn with pants, skirt, shorts etc…). I always tend to bring one of my favourite outfits that might not necessarily be practical but makes me happy (and I know I'll wear). Scarves are so in at the moment and can make any outfit a little dressier.

4. Pills & First Aid Kit: I don’t usually get sick on trips (knock on wood) but I’d like to be prepared. I have a little Ziplock bag filled with the usual remedies: ibuprofen, antihistamean, Gravol & Imodium. Along with Band-Aids, alcohol wipes and antibacterial cream. I tend to keep these in my travel bag always, that way I know I have it every time I travel.

5. Eye wear: I once went on a week long trip to a tropical island and completely forgot my glasses then during a (very) drunken night LOST my only pair of contact lenses….what fun a week without seeing that was! Don’t let this happen to you. I now make a point of placing an extra pair of contacts in my toiletry bag just in case I forget my glasses.

6. Reading Material: I always love a good book, but on short flights (and with limited luggage space as the case may) magazines are ideal and can be left behind once you're finished with it.

What are your travel packing tips? Fill all us jet-setters in!


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