Packing: Essential Travel Tips

Packing to go abroad can be quite the endurance test. The dreaded fear of “have I forgotten an essential?” passes through your mind as you’re sitting frantically on the plane. I’ve been travelling independently for a few years now, meaning Mom & Dad aren’t safekeeping my passport and boarding passes until further notice. I’ve had to learn the do’s and don’ts of packing correctly, the how much liquids I can bring and the do I definitely have my passport. As I’ve adapted to packing regularly, I’ve also developed a system which has made life much easier when packing. I’m here to share with you some of the essential tips to avoid forgetting something important!

Write a List

Quite an obvious one but I cannot stress this enough! It’s important to write a list to avoid any complications down the line. Be prepared. I usually divide my list into:

1. Essentials; such as my passport, boarding pass, money and phone. 2. Clothing; try writing a list of what exactly you’d like to bring, ie My green and yellow sweater. 3. Undergarments; You may not realise it, but this list is important. What if you don’t bring enough pair of knickers or too many socks?! 4. Technology; this list usually consists of things such as my camera, my phone charger, an international plug. A small but important one! And lastly, 5. Makeup and Hair; This list is usually divided into vital makeup products and hair products such as a hair brush or a hair straightener! I’ll sometimes create a list for miscellaneous items, just in case I’m carrying extra items for the trip!

Choose Your Baggage Wisely

Whether or not you’re flying with Ryanair and have little baggage potential, or can carry 3 with Emirates, choose your bags wisely, analysing both size and sufficiency. I usually opt for a smaller rolling bag and a rucksack (or school bag) as it fits plenty and will fit underneath the seat of the plane. Choosing your bag depends on where you’re going, how long you’re going for, and if you plan on bringing items home. If you’re going on a short trip, you may opt to bring two small bags rather than a large one for underneath the plane. A go to travel tip for females is to pack a small bum-bag or flat packing handbag into your school bag, if you wish to carry a handbag around when abroad rather than a school bag!

Consider Extra Items

If you’re travelling to the sun, you may want to consider extra essentials you need for flying, such as sunglasses or sun cream. These are the little things we can forget easily. If you’re travelling to a cold city, consider packing thermals and heat embedded gloves. This is why a miscellaneous list is vital! Do you have a warm hat? Do you have a sun hat? Consider the extra items you will need when travelling! They are the forgotten ones.

Carry All Essentials Together

Your essentials when flying are; your passport, boarding pass, money, and in some cases your phone (if you have your boarding passes online). There’s nothing more stressful than arriving at security and misplacing your boarding pass because it’s crushed at the bottom of your bag. Always be prepared! Carry everything in a compact safe pocket or purse so you can grab everything and go, to avoid distressing other passengers in the queue behind you. You’d be surprised on just how much stress it can cause when the pressure is on!

Pack Liquids Together

If you are carrying on all of your bags, something you may be familiar with is liquid limitations. The rule of thumb internationally is carrying liquids under 100ml, no more. This doesn’t mean you can carry 100ml face cleanser in a 250ml bottle. It must be in a 100ml bottle. A lot of people do not know this regulation and are disappointed when their items are taken from them at security. I have witnessed it with my very eyes! Now that you know the do’s and don’t’s, be ready. At security, you are required to display all liquids in a clear bag. To save yourself stress, purchase yourself a clear plastic lunch bag and keep all liquid items in one pouch. Leave it in the top of your bag so you can access it easily, as security can be very stressful if you are not organised!

Pack A Medicine Cabinet

One thing my Mother taught me was ALWAYS pack for any turn of events. I’ve gone abroad and have been extremely unwell with little to no remedies to cure me along the way. Travelling while sick is a nightmare, so packing a small medicinal bag is always a good idea! Don’t overpack. Bring your main essentials such as the basic Paracetamol, Lemsip, Motillium and Imodium. The chances of falling unwell are not always that high if you look after your hand hygiene while travelling! If you’re a germ freak like me, slip a bottle of hand sanitiser into your carry on for any nasty bacteria you may encounter! Airports are full of people with all kinds of bugs and bacteria, so always look after your hygiene to prevent catching a dose before a holiday!

Triple Check Your List

Last but not least, triple check your list. It’s very easy to forget essentials. We focus on remembering the important things like our passport and boarding pass, leaving us forgetting vital items such as an phone charger or a purse! Remember to triple check your list, ticking off each item one by one. Although time consuming, it’ll leave you feeling confident when travelling!

My tips are completely personal at the end of the day, it may not suit everyone. But if it suits some of you, all the better. After creating a system with lists and labels, I feel more organised. But do I still get that ‘oh my gosh I’ve definitely forgotten something’ feeling, every time I travel?! Yes!

Happy Travels.