Saturday, 27 July 2019

My travel packing tips

Since moving to Tasmania a few years ago, I have definitely become more of an expert in the area of packing, due to the increased number of trips we make back to the mainland (I really am Tasmanian now) for weddings, family occasions, long weekends and holidays. Over this time, I have honed in on a number of packing habits that I try to adopt each time that I embark on a trip away from home.

1. Use packing cubes


I first discovered packing cubes a couple of years ago (thanks to The Anna Edit's blog and YouTube channel) and after placing an order on eBay for a set of them, I have never looked back. Packing cubes are a fantastic way to help save a bit of room by dividing your belongings into various categories that are then zipped up into compact, soft cubes which can be arranged neatly in your bag or suitcase. I tend to have one cube for shoes, one for pants, one for tops, one for dresses, one for underwear, and one for workout clothes. It makes life much easier on the other end, without having to sift through a wad of tangled clothes in your bag. I also make sure I have a 'washing bag' into which I can throw my dirty clothes throughout my trip, which keeps them separated from clean items and means that I can easily pop them in my washing basket when I return home.

2. Avoid checking in a bag


I will do just about anything I can to avoid having to check in a bag at the airport. There are so many reasons that I am opposed to checking in a bag, from having to get to the airport earlier in order to queue at the bag drop line, to having to wait an extra 20-30 minutes upon arrival for your bag to come along the carousel, to the risk of the airline losing your bag, leaving you without any fresh clothes for your trip. If I am travelling somewhere for more than a week, it can sometimes be inevitable to check in some luggage, but for any weekend trips or trips that are less than a week, I will happily take my carry on luggage with me.

3. Try to pack only what you will use


In the same vein as the last point, I try to pack only those items that I know I will use on a trip, as I hate having to put away clean items when I return home, given that they are ultimately a waste of space and weight. To help combat this issue, I always plan out my outfits for my time away (usually in a note on my phone), and I try to make use of items multiple times, for example only taking one jacket that can be worn on a number of days, or using my workout sneakers as a comfortable shoe when walking around a city during the day in addition to any runs or gym visits I may make. I also wear my heavier and bulkier items on the plane, which assists in keeping my bag under the 7kg carry on weight limit.

4. Make a list, including a list of the things you need to pack on the day of your trip


I always make a packing list on my phone of the items that I plan to take with me on a trip, and I tend to create this a few days before the trip so that I have time to add to it if I have forgotten anything. Something else I have started doing recently is keeping a list on my phone titled 'Last minute packing items', which contains all those things that I need right up until the morning I, such as my phone charger, laptop and charger, water bottle, wallet, or medication. On the morning of a trip, I will look through this list and tick off each item as I pack it, so that I will no longer have to face another trip without my phone charger.

5. Keep a pre-packed toiletries bag


I find it really useful to keep a pre-packed toiletries bag that I can easily grab and throw into my luggage without having to scramble around the bathroom at the last minute looking for some toothpaste or moisturiser to fit into my bag. Most of the items in my toiletries bag are in a travel size, and whenever I am getting low on a particular item, I make sure that I refill it before my next trip, so that I never run out of something while away. Some common items that I keep in this bag include a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, moisturiser, body wash, hairbrush and a roll-on perfume. Travelling with mini versions of these items makes a big difference when trying to keep within the carry-on luggage allowance as well.

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