Packing for a trip has to be one of the most stressful parts of any time away. Choosing what does and doesn’t count as important, what you need or can go without – and then what actually will fit in your suitcase altogether, it’s enough to make anyone put off packing until the last minute then spend the final half hour before you need to set off watching your roots turn grey while you scour your wardrobe for the perfect tee that you’ll eventually find in the laundry bin with a stain you meant to wash out last week. Too specific?
To help with all that, I wanted to write a post today about five things that deserve space in your luggage since they’re so versatile and useful – but most probably will have been forgotten about while you’ve been packing!
#1 A Scarf
When in transit, it’s very easy to get uncomfortable. Whether you’re cold on the flight, the seat is too hard (like nearly all airline seats) or you’re out on an excursion late and feeling tired. A great tip though: throw a scarf in your luggage while packing and it can remedy all these problems. You can use it as a blanket, a pillow or even a shawl. It’s light-weight and versatile when fitting into your luggage, meaning that you’ll get repeated use out of it and you’ll know that it’s always close by wherever you go because of how small scarves are to pack away.
If you’re looking for a new scarf (or scarves) I was actually hunting around on ASOS the other day and noticed how many of their scarves are on sale for really cheap! Here’s a few that I thought looked super comfortable, really versatile, and most importantly, not costly (the one for £5 is my favourite!):
#2 A Photograph of Your Documents
I went into this in my Five Things That Save Me Time, Money and Stress While Travelling post, but I can’t stress enough how photographs of your travel documents will give you peace of mind. I was talking to someone after writing that post, who said that they usually pack a copy of their documents in their hand luggage (like me), then a back-up in their stowed baggage and then have electronic copies on their phone just in case. The last thing you want is for the airline to lose your bag or something to get stolen – so having emergency backups across different bags and devices means that no matter what happens, you’ll have access to everything you need.
#3 A Pen
This is another tiny thing that can make all the difference. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I’ve been out and about and have needed a pen. It sounds ridiculous even when I’m typing it, but when you’re signing for things – whether that’s receipts for hotels, when you’re doing visa confirmations on the plane or if you need them to make a note of something while you’re out and about. A pen can easily slip into your purse or wallet, and then you can forget about it!
#4 A Portable Charger
The same can be said for a portable charger – they’re absolute wonders. After countless trips where I didn’t think I’d need a charger, then was mid-holiday and had to beg Scott to let me borrow his, I’m so happy that I finally invested in something so worthwhile! You can choose from all sorts of makes and models of portable chargers, too, meaning that if you want something heavy duty you can get one – or if you’re after something lightweight, cheaper but still durable – you can get one of those instead!
My personal favourite chargers are from Anker. I find they’re really reliable, charge really quickly and last a long time, too, making them ideal for long days where you’ll be fitting a lot of activities in! I’ve included a link to it below, if you’re in the market for a great portable charger!
#5 A Water Bottle
Before heading on the flight, I can’t recommend enough that you purchase a water bottle while you’re at the airport. Or, you could bring one from home – just make sure that it’s empty while going through security. When you’re travelling you’ll be constantly fighting dehydration, and going from place to place buying water or water bottles (especially if you’re on a theme park holiday) can rack up some serious money quickly! Having a reusable water bottle on you wherever you go will seriously change how you travel. That sounds ridiculous because it’s only a water bottle but take it from me, once you take a water bottle on a trip with you, you won’t be going back to not taking them anymore!
If you’re looking for a really versatile way to travel with a water bottle, this one in particular from Amazon has been a literal life saver for me. The amount of times I’ve been able to throw it in my bag rolled up, saving tonnes of space but knowing that if and when I need it I can get it out and refill it from a tap!
Especially when you’re exploring places like Rome, where there are drinking fountains at various locations in the city – it means you can get this out, refill it, then once you’ve finished you can either refill it again or collapse it down and store it again until your next use!
Extra Tip: Pack Some Clothes in Everyone’s Suitcases
Last time I went to America, my luggage tab from the airport was ripped off before it was loaded onto the plane – meaning that the only reason it made the trans-atlantic journey was because of a strap I put across my suitcases with my surname on it. Finding it on the other side with a big ‘DO NOT LOAD’ tag on it and an explanation that it wouldn’t have been loaded at all if I didn’t have that strap across it since they wouldn’t have been able to determine whose it was.
That was the closest I got to an absolute nightmare with luggage – and since then I’ve learnt a valuable lesson. Mix at least ONE basic outfit in everybody’s luggage when you’re travelling in a group. That way, if the worst case scenario happens and you’re left on the other side with no bag to greet you, you at least have another outfit to wear. Maybe throw some bare essentials in there, too. Anything that you would definitely need if the unspeakable happens.
Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to packing that you know you’ll use again and again while travelling? If you’re interested in more tips of mine, you can check out all my travel-related tips here. I also did another post on packing hand luggage for a trip, which you can find here.
Make sure to comment below about your favourite tips, or tweet/Instagram me @mileinmyglasses!
I hope you have a wonderful day,