We have now established that travel is important for mental happiness (and social status, duh). So moving on to the bitter-sweet part. More of a pain if you are going to be shooting content on the side as a blogger/influencer/social media maniac too! However, some basics just never go out of context for any trip. Here is how you can make any packing task for a trip simple and fool-proof by following these basics for any travel packing list.
I begin with mentally going through each activity I undertake and each item I use as soon as I wake up. So pretty much your toothbrush+dental hygiene products, chargers for phone/toothbrush, toiletries for bath/skincare etc. are step one. I have now identified a colour coded system using sample pots or sample sized products for travel that fits my skincare basics. To check out what these basics are, go back to my previous post about skincare here.
Don’t check the toiletries and cosmetics in if possible, to avoid spills. Keeping it in your hand luggage is safe and handy for freshening up during a long flight too. But if you must check them in, make sure that you pack them carefully. Your partner’s/travel companion’s packing habits also are good to keep in mind*.
Pro-Tip: Always chuck a few empty sample pots in your travel-bag and if you forget an item or two, you can always get some sample from airport duty-free shops!
Chargers, converter plugs and Money:
Chargers for all your gadgets are a MUST. Obviously. And so is a power-bank for extreme phone users. Forgetting converter plugs (where needed) is a near-disaster. Sure, you can usually buy them too; but imagine waking up to find that your phone needs juice or shaver needs to be plugged in and THEN realising that you forgot to pack one! The irritation of having to find a converter in a brand new place is not something you want on a vacation. In a pinch, we have charged our phones plugging the USB cable into the TV at the hotel. Also most hotels have converters that they could lend you.
Carrying just enough foreign cash is important but so is your home currency (to be able to exchange instantly, when needed). International Cards are handy but may incur charges to withdraw cash or use. There are many options available with cards too, so research and find what works best for you.
ALWAYS carry sports shoes that are comfy to walk in. If you simply can’t live without your white sneakers (I know I can’t!), then make sure to check for rainy days or visits to muddy places like fields etc. and avoid wearing your precious whites on those occasions. One pair of dress shoes is a good idea to visit any fancy places or for impromptu invitations to events. If your feet blister easily in hot weather, be sure to carry Vaseline and band-aids to help with that.
If you carry your airport look off with heels, more power to you. For the life of me, I cannot deal with heels or shoe-laces on even a less stressful day, let alone with multiple hours of plane travel! So wear one comfy pair of shoes during the flights/commute, and that is one pair less to pack.
Make sure to research any dress-codes for the place you wish to visit. Some countries/cultures may not appreciate certain styles or prints of clothing. Reading up a little bit on weather patterns is advisable too. Packing for summer is obviously much easier and lighter but do check out this blog post where I managed to pack well for winter in New York and that too for fashion week, simply following some layering tricks with mix and match ideas.
When out and about:
A few items are must-have in your purses/bags at all times since no touristy activities deserve to be ruined by simple but bothersome issues. My own list comprises of the items in the flat-lays of this post:
- Passport/identity cards/driver’s license
- Water (because buying water when you can avoid it, is not the smartest thing to do!)
- Lens solution for contact lens wearers
- Power-bank or at least USB cable for your phone
- Pad/tampons because you never know!
- Pain-killers/digestive chew-ables or any medicines that you may be taking for your health or any current ailments
- A long-life snack like biscuits/crackers or a fruit
- Anti-bacterial wipes or hand sanitiser
Also helps to take a print of your itinerary and any confirmation emails/entry tickets etc. for places where you may have made advanced booking. I carry all of those on my phone to avoid litter in my bag (I get enough of the litter from all the tissues!)
Always pack these in your carry on:
- All your gadgets that have any kind of batteries go into hand baggage.
- Pack a light simple complete outfit including underwear, in your carry on, just in case the checked-in luggage is delayed for any reason. Don’t worry, I shall not jinx any conversation of travel with the “L” word!
- A rich lip-balm that will keep your lips from getting chapped
- A leave on face mask that is in cream form because planes are terribly dehydrating
- If you choose a sheet mask for the plane, do not keep it on till it gets all dried up. And top it up with your moisturiser and/or leave on cream mask
- Neck pillow. Find the one that you like amongst firm foam type, beanie filled etc.
- Inflatable footrest. This has been amazing for someone who simply cant be ever comfortable without elevating the legs and feet! I found one on Ebay and amazon has some too. Just google to find inflatable travel footrest and a few options and shops should show up.
- If you are used to these: ear-plugs and eye mask. Usually the flights will give you one but in case an economy airline doesn’t, keeping one in your travel stuff is handy.
- A good book or e-book reader if you enjoy reading while traveling and earphones if you want to enjoy music/videos on your phone/tablet/laptop.
- Any expensive jewellery
- Also a handy tip: carry your heavy costume jewellery in your handbag because it takes less space but all that metal just adds so much weight when checked in. You could carry a few more clothes in its place instead!
Packing light might be a smart but a travel packing list can make more allowances if you prioritise your basics and then fit everything else around it.
No matter how smart my method seems to me, my ultimate back-up plan is to scheme the husband dear into pack light so that i can steal his luggage real-estate.
Pictures of me in this post by Joanne Amarisa.
Where’s the hygge?
Being prepared is the first step to a successful trip. Travel is time-consuming and expensive so when you waste time with looking for these small things, you waste precious everything! Knowing that you are sorted is a special kind of peaceful and zero-stress feeling.