Happy Sunday Evening!
I was really hoping to share our most recent vlog with you, but seeing as my laptop is currently suffering from a minor break down (I’m writing this on a different device) and I’m currently surrounded in clothes, due to the way I’ve spent my day, I figured now would be a good time to note my top ten tips for packing.
If you are a regular reader, then you’ll probably know that I’m a slightly obsessive planner. Yep. I’m that kind of traveller. This is because I have a job, and neither the time nor money to not plan. That sounds so strict when it’s put down in words, but I promise it’s not. All the languorous figuring out of what we’ll do when we’re there, happens before hand. I look at where things are, how much they cost, when they’re open etc. (this is a must after a trip to Norway where we spent half the time with nothing to do because everything shuts at like 3pm there for some reason) Then when I get there it’s all easy breezy.
Of course, if we see something that we’d rather do on the day and it doesn’t mean we’ll miss a flight or something, we’ll jump on it. But most of the time we’ve researched thoroughly enough that we already know what’s going on, and know that we’re about to do is better.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand: packing. As a result of the intricacies of my planning, I am generally able to figure out what I will need to take. But, this in itself isn’t easy. So, whether you have any kind of clue what you’ll be doing, or not, here are my top tips:
1) Make sure to check the size and weight you’re allowed to take on the plane /train/in the car
Some airlines are incredibly stingy with their allowances, so if you go over, you’re going to pay a pretty penny. Unless you’re willing to risk it, take two minutes and double check your allowance, then weigh your bag before you end up paying out or leaving your prized belongings in the airport bin.
2) Check the weather.
If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, this can be hard. But, when I did coast to coast of America, I didn’t thoroughly check this and I had a bunch of stuff I did not need. Namely, jeans. I can count on one hand the amount of times I wore them and we were there for over a month.
3) Think about what your friends are bringing.
Do you and your friends all need to bring their own hair dryer? Shampoo? Playing cards? Unless your friends aren’t good at sharing (in which case, why are you friends with them?) then checking with them before you go is a good shout. It can also help save the embarrassment of you both wearing the same outfit… We’ve all been there.
It might not be as exciting as picking which outfits to bring, but ensuring you have essentials to keep you safe is way more important. Do you have your medicines, first aid kit (yep, I carry one everywhere like a mum), feminine hygiene products, deodorant, money, visa, passport, phone charger, plug converter… ? It’s different for everyone, but it’s good idea to have a list of things that you know you can’t do without. And then make sure they’re in your hand luggage. Travel is like chess – you always have to be one step ahead. It sounds militarian, but the result of you not having them, is worse than the tiny amount of effort it takes to make sure you do.
5) If you do have any idea what you’ll be doing… Write a list.
Not just of all the stuff you want to bring. But whether things go together and if you think you’ll actually wear them. It saves you the effort of lugging it all that way, to not even wear or use it.
6) Is everything you want clean?
This one probably sounds utterly ridiculous. But if you book a trip longer than a week in advance, you have the opportunity to do some washing. Just think about it, yeh?
7) Are you allowed to bring what you want to bring?
I’m not talking about borrowing your sisters jumper, or anything illegal. I’m referring to when you take a carry on bag, and how some things can present problems… Large bottles of liquid, toy guns, scissors. Any and all of those things can cause problems. Be sensible and check with the airline.
8) Bag not zipping up? Socks, undies, necklaces – pop em in shoes.
You probably know what I mean if you’ve ever had to sit on a bag. But, anything you can squash something else into when packing is a good idea.
9) Bright colours can be your friend.
Yes, this is true in clothing. But that’s up to you, I won’t try to dictate your wardrobe… I’m talking about your luggage. If 100 people get off the plane, it’s likely at least half will have a plain black bag. If you don’t want to do the awkward taking the bag off the carousel, looking inside and putting it back thing, then tying something colourful to or around your bag can help.
10) Lastly, can you lift it?
This should be self explanatory, but evidently it isn’t. If you can’t lift your bag, perhaps you should take something out. I mean, do you really need your actual iron from home? Probably not.
What are your top tips?