I was going to title this packing tips but I thought it might get confused with wound care – hence now being called Travel Packing Tips.
Just like wound care though, if you overpack you will cause pain and pressure that may impact on your happiness later!
Have a list
From what you will carry in your handbag, to what goes in the carryon, to what is in the case. List everything you will need from tickets and passports to heel buffer and moisturiser. That way you can tick them off as they go in and you can be confident that you have everything you need.
Use Dead Space.
Don’t waste the space in shoes – fill it with knickers, or jewellery, or whatever fits.
Don’t take too many shoes though – remember there is a weight limit and the golden rule of not taking a bag heavier than you can carry yourself.
Use packing cubes. These are great and don’t spend a fortune – cheap and cheerful is fine. Packing cubes will let you organise your stuff.
Put all your undies and PJs together, then your shirts, bottoms, etc.
Also great for your electronics and cables. Pop in some freezer bags for your shoes to go in so they don’t mark your clothes and keep them together in a packing cube.
Be Ruthless with your toiletry and makeup bag. Toiletries can take up a lot of space and weight in a suitcase.
Do you really need 5 different lipsticks? Do you really need the litre bottle of moisturizer?
Take travel size bottles and decant your products. With the travel bottles aim for screw cap as they won’t pop open, as easily, under pressure.
Take a light foldable small bag with you to act as your laundry bag.
Take a few pegs with you as you can wash knickers and bras in your bathroom and most bathrooms have pull out clotheslines in the shower.
Take a couple of dry tea bags or one of those perfumed sheets that some people use in their dryer with you. Leave them in the laundry bag and your suitcase won’t smell like a locker room.
Always have tissues with you – you’d be surprised how many toilets don’t have toilet paper available.
Not big boxes but the soft pack ones that you can buy in most supermarkets.
Take basic toiletries and spare knickers in your carryon. Should your plane be delayed or worse (don’t mention a lost bag) you can freshen up and feel human.
Remember you can only take small amounts. So a travel size spray deodorant, toothbrush and tiny toothpaste, travel size moisturizer, tiny perfume, lipstick, and maybe a few panadol.
Make sure your bag stands out so you can easily identify it on the carousel.
Not crazy person stand out (no plastic flowers, or photos of yourself, or your animals, or zen sayings about finding yourself – this is optional and more about my taste!).
Do have a standout luggage tag, or bag strap, or ribbon tied to your bag to identify it. Also, take a photo of your bag – that way you can show airline staff what they are looking for.
Weigh your bag. Airline staff are lovely people but they don’t care that you need all the stuff in the bag – if it is oversize or overweight they will charge you. This goes for carryon as well.
So double-check the weight before you get to the airport. You should aim to have 4 -5 kilos up your sleeve so that you can bring home some prezzies – if you start your holiday at maximum bag weight then it is going to be a very tight holiday experience.
Travel is a fabulous adventure.
CPD Travel is even more fabulous because you get to marry a great conference experience with a fantastic travel destination. The Nurses for Nurses Network is CPD Travel central – have a look at when we have to offer.
As far as packing is concerned – if you follow my advice you will not have packing pressures and will sail through your adventure.
The other thing to remember is that there are shops everywhere on earth (maybe not in a canoe in the Congo) so what you don’t pack, or forget to pack you can always buy (except your passport, tickets, and money – have those at the top of your list!!)
Take care and stay safe.