Personally, I’m a last minute packer. If I pack any earlier than the night before a trip, I only end up unpacking and repacking again (mainly because I can never remember what I’ve already packed). But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to be organised.
It’s now one week til I set off on for Turkey for a week of relaxing in the sun (I know, right?! Since when do I do relaxing holidays?!) Anyway, with seven days to go, it’s time I started to think about packing. And by start thinking, I mean start making lists. As I’m starting to build more travel related posts into my blog, I thought I’d share my essential packing guides with you. Enjoy!
- Passport – You’re not going to get very far without this but it’s always helpful to write down every single item you need to take with you to make sure that you don’t forget anything. It’s usually the most obvious things that get left behind.
- Tickets – As above. Although these days, you have multiple options available to you to make this easier such as online check-in and e-tickets. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you do it in plenty of time and, if like me, you like to have a paper ticket, make sure you print it out well in advance. There’s nothing worse than waking up at 3am to catch your flight to realise that your printer is out of ink!
- Visa – As soon as you book your holiday, check whether or not you need a visa. Some countries require you to apply for a visa weeks (sometimes months) in advance. Make sure you leave enough time to get any visas you need well in advance of your departure date. If you’re going somewhere that you can obtain a visa on arrival, have a look online to see if there’s any paperwork you can fill out in advance to cut down on waiting time in the airport.
- Insurance and Health Documents – As with Visas, you’ll need to check exactly what is required at your destination in terms of health cover but one thing is certain, you will always need travel insurance of some sort!
- Phone Numbers (and other useful info) – This one makes me feel old but write down important phone numbers such as your next of kin (one person who is with you and one who is at home preferably), the insurance company and your policy number, the holiday company and/or hotel, just in case you lose your phone or it gets water damaged. Imagine the stress of losing your handbag. Now imagine how much more stressful it would be if you couldn’t call the insurance company to get things sorted out.
- Transport Details/Timetable – Whether you’ve pre-booked airport transfers or plan on getting public transport make sure you have details handy. Make sure you know what time train you need to get to make sure you get to the airport on time and have at least one back up option. Make sure you know the name of the company collecting you from arrivals or which train line you need to get on to get to your hotel. It seems like extra work but when you step off the plane after 12 hour flight you’ll be glad you checked the details before you left home.
- Finances – Make sure you change your money before you get to the Airport. The rates are never good and you usually end up paying a fortune in commission. If you have time, run a comparison search to find the best rates close to you. Also, don’t forget to pack your bank card and a back-up bank card just in case.
- Copies – This might seem a little OTT but I always take copies of everything too “just in case”!
This one is a toughie, I know people will just take whatever they want but here’s my list of essentials to make sure you don’t miss the key things.
- Underwear – Unless you’d rather go without; it’s up to you!
- Swimwear – A couple of options is always good for when one is drying out. I know this goes without saying really, but with all the “bikini body” nonsense that’s going on at the moment, I’m going to say it anyway – take whatever the hell you want, not what you think you should be wearing.
- Shoes – I usually go with one pair of sandals and one with covered toes. I nearly always pack a pair of high heels which take up loads of space and then I never bloody wear them anyway.
- Jeans and leggings – One of each
- Shorts/Skirts – Anything that gets the old legs in the sun! Again, like the with the swimwear, wear what you want not what you think you should be.
- T-shirts/Vest tops – An assortment to mix and match with the above. It’s sometimes useful to make sure you have at least one long-sleeved top too.
- Short dress – For throwing on over my bikini when it’s too hot or when you’re going for lunch.
- Long dress – For evenings when it’s cool. I usually take some jewellery too so I can “dress up” if we go somewhere nice.
- Jacket or cardigan – Again, it’s usually cooler in the evenings. Preferably find a jacket that matches everything above.
I’m sure there’s loads of “essentials” that I’ve missed off this list but that’s what I work off.
- Sun cream and after sun – Pretty obvious if you’re going somewhere hot, slightly less obvious but equally important if you’re going skiing. Don’t forget a lip balm with SPF in it too.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste – Again, really obvious; forgotten about 90% of the time.
- Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, general washing products – Whatever you use in the shower at home, chances are, you will need on holiday too. Unless you don’t plan on washing. If however, you do forget these items, you can probably pick them up once you land.
- Moisturiser – Specifically face moisturiser. The salt in the sea and chemicals in the pool can really dry your skin out.
- Deodorant – Another obvious one, particularly if you’re going somewhere hot and sweaty
- Razors – Or not. Whatever you want.
- Exfoliating gloves – This sounds like an odd one but these little guys are fantastic! It’s really easy way to ensure all dead skin is long gone before you even leave your house and using them every couple of days while you’re away will help your tan last even longer.
- A compact make-up bag – I don’t wear much make-up generally but I wear even less when I’m holiday. I stick to my core products: foundation, bronzer, highlighter, mascara and an eyebrow pencil (which doubles as eyeliner too)
Technology (not so essential)
Personally, I’m a BIG fan of technology and my list looks a little something like this:
- DSLR Camera – Along with extra batteries, memory cards and a selection of lenses
- Go Pro – Plus extra batteries, memory cards, waterproof casing and harnesses
- Laptop – This one should really be left at home but I do like blogging when I’m away and it’s just not the same on my phone. It’s also handy for watching films on long journeys etc.
- Phone – I’d actually class this as essential. Don’t forgot the charger!
Other Useful Items
- Sunglasses – These are pretty essential but they don’t really fit into any of the other categories above. Whether you’re planning a beach or a snowy holiday, it’s always really important to protect your eyes from the sun.
- A good book (or two) – I’m really struggling to choose what to take with me so I’d love any suggestions you guys might have for me.
- Kindle/iPad/Similar – The same at the laptop really. It’s not essential but useful for entertainment on long journeys or reading by the pool if you’re not a paperback person.
OK, so I’m in the holiday spirit already and feeling generous. Here’s a few tips on how to cram all of the above into your case with ease!
- Roll, don’t fold – You’ll fit so much more in your case if you roll instead of folding your clothes. Plus, it’ll help reduce creases.
- Make a list (or four) – This will help reduce the risk of forgetting things. Feel free to use this one if it helps.
- Make use of shoes – Put things inside them!
- Wear your bulkiest items – Fairly obvious. Also applies to heavy items.
- Plan outfits – This sounds a little precious but it works a treat. Think about outfits that you will wear rather than looking at items of clothing individually. That way you’ll avoid packing more than you need and clothes that you can’t wear (because they don’t match anything else)
- Leave space – Whether you buy anything or not while you’re away, it will always be harder to pack on the way home!
And, on that note, I’m off to scribble down a more detailed list in preparation for my packing next week!