The heat is back, and the sun is up and bright, and well, its time to pack. Its the time for vacation. Its time to head to the beach, or climb a mountain. It may be the perfect time to visit that must awaited exotic vacation. No matter where you decide to go here are a bunch of travel packing tips that will help you be prepared and avoid the blues on vacation. So get a printout of these and start ticking.
1. Security and Keeping Details Safe
Scan your passport, passport photos and paper tickets (if not the e type) in. Store this (in an email for e.g.) in your web based email account. You can also store the details of your emergency ‘lost card’ telephone numbers in your web based email account so you know who to contact if your credit card or ATM card is lost or stolen. This way, even if you lose everything, you have immediate access your all important information. You can even email the details page of your passport to the embassy or consulate when applying for a new one.
Also consider writing your home and destination address (and mobile number if you have one) on a self-adhesive sticky label to stick INSIDE your luggage in a visible place. If your luggage is lost and the baggage label has come off, at least the airline can still figure out whose luggage it is.
2. Split up your valuables
Split up all your bank cards, cash, travellers’ cheques and credit cards as much as possible in different pockets, your bags and wallet when packing. In case you do get robbed, at least you won’t be strapped for cash (unless you have all your bags AND your wallet stolen of course!).
3. Small Bottles
Use small bottles to pack toiletries and other small items. There are several sturdy and (very nearly) waterproof ones, with clear/see through ones being preferable (easier for security purposes). You can also use small bottles to repack shampoo or lotions so that you don’t have to always carry a big bottle with you. This is especially useful if you normally take these items in your carry-on luggage which is much more restricted than before.
4. Backpack Tips
When you are packing things into a backpack, place the lighter items at the bottom and the heavier ones on top. Your bag will feel lighter this way as the pack rests on your lower back. It is also smart to place the things you use the most on top. Dirty clothes are perfect to pack at the bottom of a backpack.
5. Carry Plastic Bags
It is always handy to have a few plastic bags around certain items, especially toiletries. Not only does it counter any leaking, the bags can also come in useful to keep dirty clothes in, as garbage bags or even as a makeshift umbrella. Ziplock or other airtight plastic bags are the best.
6. Pack in Plastic
Pack everything in clear plastic bags (preferably zip lock), divided into items e.g. underwear, t-shirts, shorts etc. before packing in your suitcase or backpack. One plastic bag for each type of clothing. This is extremely useful in various ways. When you unpack your bag you just take out a series of bags and you can see immediately what you want. So an overnight stay somewhere just means taking 1 item out of a bag – no rummaging!! In addition, if you have to unpack at customs etc, instead of having to disgorge all your clothing etc out in front of everybody, you can calmly take maybe 5/6 bags out, the contents of which can be clearly seen by the officials. To repack then is also dead easy. Just be sure not to leave your plastic bags lying around if you are travelling in nature!
Pack only what you know you will use and if you are travelling for more than three weeks, plan to wash on the road. You can cut back on the number of clothes items by packing multi-purpose clothing, for e.g. items that can both be worn during the day and as sleepwear.
8. Split up clothes when travelling with others
When you are flying somewhere and especially if you have a few stopovers, divide the clothes between different suitcases/backpacks/bags etc. If one persons luggage doesn’t arrive at the destination, they’ll still have clean clothes available. Airlines generally don’t compensate lost luggage for the first 24-48 hours so this will save you money if it happens to you.
9. Separate Beach Bag
When packing to head to the beach consider pre-packing whatever you might need at the beach into a beachbag inside your backpack or suitcase. Especially if travelling with kids, this will prove a timesaver!
For those using suitcases without a divider. A piece of cardboard makes an excellent divider and helps keep your clothes organized and neat as you are able to lay them out flat on the cardboard. It also makes airport inspections a lot less of a hassle as you can lift out your divider with clothes on top easily.
11. Medicines and bandage
it is essential you carry the basic MEDICINES and small bandage, so that minor things don’t disrupt your trip
12. Flashlights or Torches
When packing a flashlight or torch (or any other item with batteries for that matter), turn the batteries around so that if the item is accidentally turned on, you won’t empty the batteries. Don’t forget to turn the batteries back around when using the flashlight.
13. Diaper Bag
If you are travelling with babies, then the diaper bag is an excellent place to hide your valuables. This most likely will not be the first thing to be stolen. It’s also a great to use as a waste bag (even when not travelling with a child!), especially at places that do not allow you to flush toilet paper.
If you want to make sure everything else in your bags stays clean and odor free, place the shoes inside old socks and then inside airtight plastic bags (ziplock).
Keep any medication and important papers in your carry-on bag. On long flights with multiple stopovers (especially if flying via London, LA or other major airports), packing a fresh change of clothes is a good idea as bags tend to get delayed or lost on long haul, multiple stop flights. You don’t want to end up stuck without medication, clothes or your important papers even if it is just for a few days.
16. Roll Technique
Somehow it seems that bags will hold more if the clothes are rolled rather than folded. If you roll in tissue paper, the clothes will also get less wrinkled.
17. Travelling to HOT destinations
If you appreciate cold drinks think of using a six-pack cooler as a toiletry bag. Once you arrive at your destination and unload your toiletries your ‘toiletry bag’ guarantees cheap cold drinks on the beach, no matter how remote.
18. Local Tourism Offices
They will provide to you all the info you need to plan and travel, they will mostly assist you in finding any kind of ACCOMMODATION and travel you need.
19. Minimize on toiletries
Take only half a tube of toothpaste rolled up tight, store shampoo in small containers, only take half a roll of toilet paper (for emergencies only) and crush it so the middle is folded.
20. Take solid shampoo bars and tooth powder
Solid shampoo bars and tooth powder (instead of tooth paste) can be easily located on the internet and make carry-on travel in this age of liquid restriction possible. Places like Beijing now bar all liquids in carry-on bags, and you’ll still be able to breeze through without checking.
you are on a vacation! there is almost nothing you wont find today in any other CONTINENT or country. so just have fun and leave all the tensions about packing.