"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
On Saturday I’m off to destinations tropical and fabulous (read: Maui, Hawaii)! The crazy schedule this week meant that I had to do all of my packing last night. And it’s got me thinking about packing and travel tips. Packing can be a headache, especially if you don’t travel every other week, or go to vastly different climates on those few trips each year. So here’s the nitty-gritty of packing as light as possible and as preparedly as possible.
I’d love to take bets on how many of you have that song stuck in your heads now! 🙂 Sincerest apologies, and Merry Christmas. Anyway, so when the packing craziness starts, the socks are scattered about the room like a dust devil blew through, and that last load of laundry still needs to be done; a list can be a roadmap out of the chaos. Plus once you’ve written down everything you THINK you need, go over it again with a more critical eye and pare it down to the real necessities.
Where are you going? What will you be doing? Is this business? A trek? A visit with family? This is your starting point for what to pack. My packing lists for humanitarian aid trips to the Middle East and Southeast Asia had a lot of khakis, linen shirts, cotton tees, and flip-flops. Whereas my list for staying at the resort in Cabo San Lucas had the required cocktail dresses (slacks for the guys) and plenty of swimwear. I recommend bringing at least one outfit that will work for a nice dinner out no matter what you have planned, because Murphy has it out for all of us.
How many days are you going to be gone? And do you have laundry facilities at your disposal? If you have laundry options available and an extended trip, plan for about a week’s worth of clothes. I recommend packing one clean top for each day and bottoms for every two days. And always bring an extra pair of underwear, regardless of trip length, just in case. If you’re headed somewhere remote, bring a single load packet of laundry detergent along for emergencies – if you don’t use it this time you can save it for the next trip.
No joke. These little guys can save you some serious grief. Any liquids go in these handy bags, especially if you are checking your luggage for air travel. Changes in elevation can mean that your long travel day just got worse when you arrive at your hotel and have busted bottles of shampoo and toothpaste oozing all over your favorite shirt.
The secret to tight packing is to lay all of your clothes out and roll them up neatly. Stack them all together and you’ve made great use of the limit real estate your luggage had to offer. Bonus: your clothes will be wrinkle free!
A carry-on bag can be a lifesaver on a long travel day, and this applies to air travel and road trips. Have anything you need for that travel day at your fingertips. Bring an empty water bottle (What?! It’s dang expensive in the airport!) and fill it after you get through security – stave off dehydration and the travel experience will be so much better. Pack something to entertain you on the plane – book, music player, whatever works for you. Basic toiletries are a must – a good toothbrushing and a fresh coat of deodorant after travelling for 20 hours can make you feel a little more human again. Bring a change of clothes, or at least a clean pair of underwear just in case your luggage doesn’t make it to your destination with you. Because inside out underwear is no bueno.
So there you have it! Happy packing and euphoric traveling, my friends!