Most of us have to go on trips from time to time, whether it’s for business, to see family or friends, or to travel. I’ve also observed that packing can be quite a stressful activity for a lot of people, as forgetting to pack certain items may result in you not being able to get to where you planned to go, missing out on something you wanted to do, or force you to shell out money to replace whatever you’ve forgotten.
I used to be an anxious packer, until I made myself a list. I now use this every time I pack my bag to go away, and as a result, I can be confident that I haven’t missed anything.
It goes without saying that if you’re travelling by public transport, the fewer bags you carry, the smoother your journey will be. I have found that the following bag combinations work pretty well:
- Handbag + small suitcase
- Laptop case + small suitcase (I’ll mention how to maximise space by packing a small handbag into your suitcase later on).
- Handbag + large carry bag.
In my hand luggage, I keep all my travel documents, railcard, keys, phone, purse, diary, tissues, medicine and small toiletries such as lip balm and hand cream. These are the things I may need to use throughout my journey, so it’s handy to have easy access to them. Then I split my suitcase into the following categories:
Of course, the type and number of clothes you pack depends on the destination and length of your trip, but here is my general list:
- Dresses/something smart to wear just in case you’re taken by surprise.
In general, I try to make sure I’m not taking more clothes than I will actually wear, but I always ensure that I have one outfit I can wear when if the weather is wet, and one that I can wear if I need to look smart, for whatever reason.
As mentioned before, if I want to take a small handbag as well as a laptop case, I save myself carrying three bags by cramming underwear and socks into the handbag, and nestling that into the rest of my clothes. Once I get to my destination, I can transfer the essentials from my laptop case into the handbag and carry that around with me instead.
In terms of maximising space, I fold my tops and trousers into flat, compact squares, then wrap easily creased items like dresses and shirts around them. Shirts can also be rolled around shoes, though make sure you put them in a bag first! I tend to make two of these bundles, which can then be easily slotted into my small suitcase, leaving plenty of room for other things.
- Chargers for each of your devices
- Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel
- Sketch book
- Pencil case
Extras, for if you’re going abroad
- Travel adaptor
- Sunscreen and insect repellant
Don’t forget gifts, if you’re staying with friends or family. I normally try and choose something small that won’t get damaged in my suitcase, but if you’re really pushed for space, it might be wiser to pick up a bottle or wine or flowers when you get to your destination.
Hopefully, this list will help you. Happy travelling!
Feature photograph by Black-powder, Flickr.