The best part of planning a trip or holiday is the excitement of choosing where you want go and planning out the adventures you will have.
The most annoying part?
Trying to cram everything you need in a tiny little suitcase. So how do you decide what to take and what leave behind? While some people’s packing consists of some underwear and a change of clothes, others pack for every scenario possible. What if it rains? What if it’s cold? Girls especially are notorious for doing this. We feel the need to pack a wide variety of outfits with matching shoes, accessories and makeup so when we travel we’re pretty much prepared for anything from hiking up a hill to expensive dinners on a yacht.
Lugging around extra baggage is never fun, so travellers need to learn the art of packing light.
For those who can only function using technology, there’s a great app titled PackingPro that will custom create a packing list for you (based on the information provided)
For everyone else, here are some examples of the essentials you’ll need if you were travelling to Florida for a week or exploring Mayan ruins in Mexico.
• First and most important thing to pack in your carryon or purse are all you travel documents, passport, credit cards, money, ID, driver’s licence etc.
• Underwear – feel free to indulge in this a little, as you can never have too much underwear when travelling. Take one for each day you’ll be gone & some extras.
• Electronics – unless you intend on spending your holidays staring at a computer screen you should limit your electronics to camera and a phone (if you’re going to be using it for pictures or messaging otherwise leave it at home) and maybe a tablet or an iPad
• Toiletries – you should have a little bag with the essentials like:
o Toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash
o Razor and shaving cream;
o Shampoo, conditioner and hair gel;
o Deodorant and body wash;
o Sunscreen lotion.
Note: If you know that you’ll be staying in a hotel or resort call ahead and see what kind of toiletries they provide. If you’re not overly picky, you save space and use what the hotel provides. If staying in hostels then take your own things and maybe grab an extra bedsheet in case your mattress ends up looking rather sketch.
• A good pair of comfortable running shoes or trainers and workout clothes– if you’re holiday involves physical activities
• One nice outfit (in case you do end up on a yacht) and some nice shoes
• A warm sweater or jacket (ideally waterproof) because the weather can at times get totally unpredictable. Grab an umbrella if it’s rainy season.
• Clothing – calculate how many days you’re going away for and figure out the various clothing options based on a few basics. You should try and stick to packing a few pairs of shorts or jeans and a few tops.
• Swimsuits and bikinis
• Some female specific essentials:
o Some makeup items (but try to stick to what you absolutely need, do you need five different eye-shadow palettes and a range of mascaras? Probably not.)
o Hair products;
o Blow dryer and or hair curler.
Again, call the hotel and see what they provide and really evaluate if you absolutely need a specific item. Things like blow dryers take up a lot of space. If you travel a lot, maybe invest in a small, travel size one.
• Miscellaneous items (usually you can put these in your carryon):
o Gum and snacks;
o A book or a kindle;
o Travel pillow;
For more helpful hints and packing ideas, check out the Worldly Nomads. Keep in mind that you might shop as you travel so keep room for that too. If you can manage to stick to only packing the essentials on your next trip, you should pat yourself on the back. You’re a superstar!