The great quest to become the most awesome packer in the world.
The final part for this series, number three of my ‘quest to become the greatest packer ever’. Let’s take a moment to recap; Part One was all about how important your smallest case is, Part Two giving all the grit on how to pack your main case with 8 fab tricks I have learnt along the way. This last part could be some of the best tips I could ever give you. Not all mine, things that other bloggers and travellers have said to me and I have adapted and adopted over our 20 something years of travelling all over the place.
No delays, lets sink our teeth right into them.
One of best tips I could tell any one is read the other two parts of this series LOL. Self PLUG!!! He he he!!! Then I would read the remainder of this post and any others that I sit down to post about :). SHAMELESS I KNOW 😉
Getting back to the stuff at hand…
- Travelling overseas, your gear that you are going to take will need charging! It’s just the way of the world now. We take at least 2 phones, one laptop (sometimes 2) one iPad (again sometimes 2 – shocking I know!), and countless different types of battery charges for my photography and video gear. You have three ways of doing this – one the costly way, buying a stack of power adaptors so you can charge a few things at a time, two the timely way, get one adaptor to share around all your advices. THREE THE SMART way, buy one adaptor and TAKE a multi-way power board from home that you most likely already have so many of, so you don’t have to buy a new one, and just plug the (over priced) country’s adaptor onto your multi-way (from home) then plug your devices in from there. Also I put the two (adaptor and board) into my carry on case, no point taking these if they are lost in transit right!
- If you are travelling for longer than a few days, you are going to have dirty clothes, (unless you’re a freak of nature and wash and hang every night – right like anyone does that, and if you do SORRY!) I always travel with a foldable canvas bag; my mates tease me about it and ask if I have packed my ‘nana bag’ as that is pretty much what is looks like. I DON’T care my clean clothes aren’t getting mixed in with my dirty stuff. Every few days, mostly when the bag is too full to take any more, I use the hotels self-laundry services (preferably at the hotels that provide for free) and take a day to wash and dry and re pack our gear. NO I don’t sit at the hotel watching our clothes spinning around, we go out and do stuff but only stuff I know that I can drop back into the hotel to move from washer to dryer and then dryer to room. Why travel with clothes you can’t wear again? This can keep your luggage down when you’re on the road a month at a time or more.
- Use the resources at hand, by this I mean, “why the hell are you packing your hairdryer!” I don’t know where you stay, but I can’t think of the last time we stayed at a hotel and they DIDN’T have a hairdryer for me to use in the room, just like there is an iron and hangers, even extra blankets!! Why pack it, if your not going to use it! Plus you have the extra hassle that you are going to have to get the adaptor to use the dryer in the first place – WAY too much time and such a waste of room in your suitcase. Packed mine once, didn’t even take it out of the case!
- ONE FOR THE LADIES… men you were warned don’t complain that you read on. Don’t do as I did and decided I wasn’t going to a third world country, America has personal hygiene products (this is where you males REAALLY want to skip to the next tip). Our last trip to America we were gone over a month, so as I do, every month since I was 13, I had my monthly. DO YOU THINK I COULD FIND MY BRAND OF TAMPONS!!!!!! I didn’t pack any thinking I would just buy them over there when I required them; I have to say I am brand dependent when it comes to my tampons! They have a totally different way of making them and I WON’T make that mistake again! One item that gets packed no matter what or where we travel too. OKAY men you are safe now.
- You know those awful shower caps that most hotels have on the bathroom vanity? Do you know anyone under the age of 80 that uses them? I do! ME, but not for my hair nor for in the shower. I grab them and pack them away at every hotel we go to. I use them to put my shoes in, they are great, and they fit about nearly ALL my shoes and most of Calvin’s. They are free and as long as you stay at hotels, are easy to replace when they have ripped or gotten ‘lost’ in your suitcase.
- Zip lock bags are a gift from god – or who ever invented them! Once we have arrived with our entire luggage safely in our hotel room, we then repack. Yep you read right, on the first night we repack. We do this so we can get all mine stuff into my case and all Calvin’s stuff into his. Then I grab all the chargers and whatnot’s and group them into what else GROUPS. So much faster when you are looking for a battery charger to just find the nice big zip lock bag that has ‘CHARGERS’ or different regions ‘ADAPTORS’ written on the front of the bag than digging about looking for a lead only to find all the other leads until the last one you pull out is the one you want, trust me its ALWAYS works that way. Then I have to spend the next 20 minute’s repacking the mess just made from all the digging about.
- This tip really isn’t for while you are travelling, more along the lines of prepping. I have stuff that I just have sitting in our bags just for travelling. They only come out of the suitcases while we are travelling or when I have to replace them when we arrive back home. For example, for all the tips above except number 3, all stay in our suitcases while we are home. Have a nice big 8-way multi power board with the adaptor already on it, the nana bag, all my stolen shower caps, and yep even spare zip lock bags. They are all sitting there waiting for me to pull the case onto our bed to take away, this way I don’t forget any of them and its just that little faster each time we pack before leaving, as I find more that can stay in the case each time. I have gone out and brought travel stuff, like another toothbrush and hair brush for both Calvin and myself, they all just stay in our suitcase for the next trip away.
- This is one tip we learnt the hard way. Think about what you are taking, then think will it fit nicely into the boot/trunk of the car you will be picking up (if you are hiring a car, which we mostly do) even if you are taking a taxi or shuttle bus. Think how easy will all the cases you are going to take be when you are moving from hotel to hotel or to and from modes of transport (bus, boat, plane, taxi or hire car etc.) If you can’t handle what you are taking by yourself AND in one trip try to reduce what you are taking. One reason why we have learn to get everything down to one carry on case and one main case. I have to admit I also travel with a backpack camera bag that never leaves my sight as well. Nothing gets you more than when you have to make trip after trip down to the car then back up to your hotel room (really I should say Calvin as I normally hide for the second trip) – don’t rely on all places having a porter or those bag movers thingies either! Many a time we have had to lug everything by hand!
That’s it all I have is now all yours. If you have more, post a comment and share! I’m on a bit of a travel thing at the moment, mostly because I have been busy planning for our trip to America next year, so the next post is going to be all about planning and some of the helpful sites that I use when I plan for our trips away.
Hope to see you back soon, don’t forget to follow, like or add a comment. Sometimes its nice to know Calvin isn’t the only one reading my posts 🙂
Virtual hug to anyone that likes, follows and/or shares more tips….