Packing to go on holiday can be both an exciting and stressful time, at least thats how i find it! Suffering a small dose from OCD and anxiety can mean i panic that i forget things and also make me stress about every possible situation that could happen and what I could possibly need to pack to help me endure this horrible situation which may or may not occur while im enjoying the sunshine on holiday. One thing i've learnt from over packing is that unless you are going to the remotest parts of the world or deepest parts of the jungle where you know they have no shops and little activity, you can always buy anything you need or forget when you get there. It might not be the exact brand that you are used to buying but I can bet you anything you will still survive through your time away anyway.
There are some thing that i have found useful over my years of travelling and my work trips away that i thought i would share with you and hopefully ease some of your pre holiday stress.
One thing you have to do here is check with your airline which your baggage allowance and of course plan accordingly. If you are packing for a short haul flight with only one carry on allowed, some of these tips might not be relevant but if you are checking a bag in, you will also be allowed at least 1 (if not 2) bags on board with you. On the recent long haul flight we've taken to Bali we were allowed one wheeled carry on suitcase (check airline measurements) + 1 handbag / laptop bag and if this is the case with you, its the perfect chance to use this for a dual purpose bag. Something you can comfortably carry your towel and bits for the beach holiday or something for general use on a city break. In this bag I always carry my most precious items with my on the plane in this bag e.g. laptop, kindle, Ipad, jewellery etc this way you don't have to be worried about items going missing from your suitcase as lets face it if someone was after something in your suitcase its going to be these items not your latest ASOS dress
For long haul flights i always pack a small tote inside my bag with some light lounge wear clothes along with thick sock, clean underwear, spare contacts, face wipes and a tooth brush and paste. If you've done one of these flights before you know its not easy and sleeping can be awkward and uncomfortable especially in things like jeans. Swapping straight into something comfortable means you keep the clothes you travelled in clean and you are more likely to be able to have a comfortable flight period. I keep the clothes i took off at the beginning of the flight in the tote i took my lounge clothes in and 30 mins before the end of the flight i grab the same bag back out the locker get changed, wash my face and arms, put back in fresh contacts, put on my clean underwear and give my teeth a brush. Its the best to freshening up you can get without your own private jet with a shower!
This bag is the perfect travel companion for any photography / videography lovers who take their kit with them wherever they adventure.
Its designed specifically to house all your kit safely while travelling so this bag isn't for everyone, however, its got just about every pocket, opening and compartment to make life easier for the person who does. To make it even better you can actually take out the centre compartments too and use it as a more 'regular' bag if you needed to while travelling which makes it a great dual purpose bag.
We really can't rate this WNDRD bag enough and we'd struggle to put down in words the difference it can make but the video the team created to showcase the design says it all perfectly and we highly recommend you watch it!
Our friends over at Are you bear face recently created this fantastic pen sized freshening spray which has quickly on this trip become a must have essential! We actually took this in our hand luggage and used on the plane (so this really could be added to the above point too!) and we used it when we felt we needed a quick freshen up. We're not sure about you but we find the plane air so dry and that it just sucks the moisture right out of your face and so this was great at any moment it felt too much.
We've also since been using it day to day when feeling a little hot and in need to cool down and refresh. We store in our villa fridge and when we give our face a blitz in the morning theres an instant face wake up. Its very soothing with the aloe vera and cucumber which make it great if you have any holiday sunburn too!
You can get yours here for just £5
Although you want to keep gadgets / electronics to a minimum there have been a few through my travelling that i've now found super useful to carry with me at all times.
1 > A worldwide travel plug - this means you only need one plug where ever it is you go in the world. We love this DAPT IT one that we have as it also has 2 usb points which means you can charge your phone and use the plug for something else. Definitely something handy to look for on your travel adapter. Heres a similar one.
2 > Multi adapter or extension lead - to save buying multiple travel adapters we simply pack an extension lead or a multi head plug to give us extra plug sockets with low effort
3 > A spare iphone plug head - most things now days are changed with a usb charger and if your like us you always have extra iphone heads knocking around - we always pack one head and then take all our cables. This means we can use it to charge on the wall and rotate what we are charging at any time.
4 > Camera - Again pretty obvious and we have a Canon 5D Mark III for when we are taking photos for the blog and dont mind carrying a big camera but we also have this Olympus OM-D E Mark 5 which is much smaller and like the old vintage cameras. I know lots of people with the Olympus pen which is also an amazing point and shoot camera which is a really nice size.
This one is probably obvious to most but it's an item i've forgotten so many times! Until recently i always used my iphone headphones while travelling as i like the fact that if i get a call i can keep my head phones in and talk so when i recently discovered BOSE do this SOUNDTRUE model which is a bigger and more comfy pair of headphones with the built in microphone, i decided it was time to treat myself to something nice for the flight and beach. I picked these ones up from John lewis for £139.99
If you do decide to get different headphones for your flight, don't forget to pick up a convertor to be able to still watch the airplane movies etc through them. You can get them on amazon for less than £2 !
5 > Multipul camera batteries - buy an extra one or two and keep them charged! This way you can rotate your batteries and never miss that moment due to lack of juice!
6 > Gorilla tripod - if you are travelling in pairs or on your own and won't always have someone one on hand to help you with the images, these are great for standing on rocks, attaching to trees and just creating a mini tripod where ever you can! You can get bigger ones for SLRs etc but the mini ones are great for small and compact cameras
7 > External hard drive - i take my laptop with me when i travel, so maybe if you don't think one isn't relevant for you (unless maybe you can get to an internet cafe) but i use this to constantly take off and save my images from the camera. It keeps them safe and keeps the space on your camera card free!
8 > Portable charger - We have a few of these but having 2 of these Powergen re-chargers has been a life saver for a long time. I originally got two when i went to Glastonbury so i could charge my phone each night and not queue at the charge tent. Each one can do your phone about 6 times fully, ipad twice and half a computer so they are pretty amazing for flights and carrying around incase you loose your battery life. Can't tell you how many times these have saved me! You can buy a newer version HERE.
9 > Last but not least... speakers! We are big music lovers so we always have music on in the morning or getting ready. We have quiet a few different portable speakers but i popped these in this time as hey are super small but powerful. You can actually buy more and connect them together which gives a stronger sound. You can grab those HERE
Hopefully while you are away you get some time to kick your feet up and have some you time doing sweet FA and if you're like me, you perhaps like to spend some of that time reading.
It's only recently i've switched over to a kindle and i have to say i'm converted. I spent a few months travelling round Asia before with 4/5 books in my bag. I did it so i had enough to read and change between if i needed to but it was a nightmare, heavy and a complete waste of bag space. Now i can carry thousands of books with me in one place and its super feather light! I have to admit i still love to feel of holding a book and i normally take on option with me incase i have a real kindle hate moment, but its not happened yet!
I also always carry a note book with me. Its amazing when you relax the mind what ideas you can come up with and its always good to have a pen and paper to hand to jot these eureka moments down. Its also good for planning your trip ahead and writing recommendations you might pick up from locals and new friends.
It doesn't sound very glamorous and thats because its not, but this lightweight, small and (yes you guessed it) quick drying towel is exactly what you need when on holiday. Its easy to pack, small to carry but still big enough to lye on the sand whiel you dry away that sea salt water after you jump out of the ocean.
Towels take up so much space in your suitcase and this will be sure to give you extra clothing space!
Most of my toiletries i always end up getting at the airport. If you live in the UK like us then i haven't been to an airport yet that doesn't have a boots in it which means you can get shower gel, shampoo / conditioner etc while you are there. You can also definitely get these sort of things when you arrive in your destination too, but some things like dry shampoo you'd have to buy here to be sure.
Buying these items at the airport means you eliminate some of the heaviest items out of your suitcase and you don't run the risk of going over weight. I always use up all my toiletries while away too so i don't end up taking any of the heaviness back with me. PLEASE NOTE - if you have to change flights, thats a connecting or completely new flight, make sure you tell the cashier so that she can add your liquids over 200ml to duty free bag so if you go through a security again at the other end, they wont get taken off you.
Plan for some mini emergencies - like i said at the beginning i always over think things and think of every emergency and in reality you just can't plan for everything but it is OK to be a little bit prepared. I got this mini bag for my birthday this year which i bought with me but it made me realise you could create one of these kits yourself. It contains a wet wipe, couple of alcohol wipes, few plasters, few pain killers, mini toothbrush etc. You can just go through your cupboard at home and put a small amount of all the little things you need into a purse you can carry around with you at all time which will be just enough to cover you until you are able to get something else (if its needed). I also have these great wipes from HALO which are 10 wipes for things like surface wipes, hand wipes, toilet wipes and deo wipes. Again just what you need to see you through.
Now this is really the hardest part to guide you on as you know what you wear and what you're prepared to live out of for the time you are away. Something i have learnt and done though to limit what i pack but still give me options to re-wear clothes if i need to and that packing a laundry bag and doing some washing while i am away!
Everywhere i've been the hotel either provides the service or within a short distance of where i am staying there is a laundrette, im confident that most places in the world will be the same. So each time i go away i pack a bag or tote bag where i keep my dirty clothes and do at least one wash half way through the holiday. Again this could really free up your space in your bag if you know you can wear half of what you take twice.
Recently i re-discovered this amazing draw string bag i got when Carlos gave me my P&CO x Tamzin Lillywhite tote bag which is the perfect size for a laundry bag for the both of us. Of curse when i pack it into the suitcase it just packs flat like material and takes up no extra space. You can also buy these sort of things on amazon for super cheap like this one
We hope some of these tips have been useful to you! I will add to this article if i come across new tips or ideas but please comment below if you have any additional handy tips you've discovered. We're always looking for ways to be more efficient when we travel :)