Packing Tips - Part One

12 December 2011

It’s no understatement to say that packing is an art. Have you ever gone on holiday having packed for “every eventuality” and come home never having used at least half the items in your luggage? I know I have. But over the years of travelling I've learned the art of packing and I will share my secrets with you.

Packing well can mean the difference between a fun holiday and one that’s a drag. The first thing to consider as you approach the task is the reason for the trip. Are you travelling for business, pleasure or both?

You’ll also have to take into account how long you’ll be away and whether you’re going to be staying in self-catering accommodation or a hotel. The weather will certainly be a factor and the activities you’re likely to be indulging in.

For a sun-soaked beach holiday travellers can usually get away with t-shirts, shorts, one or two formal outfits, bathing costumes, sandals, sunscreen, a good hat and a couple of sarongs. But if skiing is on the menu then many more items will be needed.

Some useful tips:

  •  Be sensible about the amount of clothing you take with on your trip.  Not overloading your bags means plenty of space for souvenirs
  • If you are visiting a place where there is sunshine, or even where there is no sun but plenty of haze, you must take sunscreen. Even when you’re skiing you should wear sunscreen. Use a factor 15 or more – anything less is a waste of time. If you are travelling in 3rd world countries take your own supply as you may not be able to find the product you need
  • Wear sunglasses. Invest in a pair with UV filters and that are polarised
  • Choose light, loose clothing made from natural fibres (like cotton) which allow the air to circulate freely. Avoid synthetics like nylon – you could end up with prickly heat
  • A wide –brimmed hat is essential. If you’re in a hot place, get a hat which has a brim at the back so that the nape of your neck is covered
  • Take along clothes that protect you from the  sun, such as light, long sleeved shirts and long trousers
  • Wet wipes are one of the most useful items to keep in your bag. Use them for sticky hands, personal hygiene or sweaty brows. Handy for cleaning hands or washing yourself in absence of a shower
In part two I'll chat about packing essentials, finances and what should be in your personal first aid kit when you hit the road (or airport)