Today’s post comes from Jess Powell, who blogs about life, love, motherhood and anything else that captures her interest over at Babi a Fi (Baby and Me). When she isn’t doing that you can find her watching crime drama, singing nursery rhymes, or out and about with her day job as a county councillor and deputy mayor for Torfaen in Monmouthshire, Wales.
Enjoy! Now over to Jess…
Travel can be stressful – here are my top ten tips to help you stay cool, calm, and collected!
#10. Make a List
Whether you’re a worrier like me, or a traveller who loves to go with the flow, taking a few minutes out to write a list can make a big difference. You can decide what you want to take with you, make sure it all goes in, and if you bring the list along for the ride you can double check everything that needs to comes back with you.
#9. Travel Light
This is your opportunity to put all those magazine articles on capsule wardrobes into practice. Even if you’re staying in a tent, you’ll probably be able to wash through things like socks and swimsuits, and if you’re staying somewhere nice you likely won’t need to bring your own towels or hairdryer. Lay out everything you’ll think you’ll wear and be ruthless – put one outfit back. You won’t miss it.
#8. Keep Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit clearly knew what he was talking about. Or, at least, he would have had he been talking about packing. Seriously though, rolling your softer clothing will save space, reduce the amount of wrinkles (still go for non-iron wherever you can), and you can roll around anything which might be breakable (perfume bottles, souvenirs, etc) for added protection.
#7. Save Space
There are lots of other little things you can do which, when combined, will free up a considerable amount of space. Buy travel-size cosmetics or send off for free samples – both options save space, and you won’t need to bring them home with you either. Stuff your socks into your shoes, and your knickers into your bra cups to save space and help the respective items keep their shape. Wear your bulkiest items if possible and forget the paperbacks in favour of your e-book library. Instead of printing documents like your boarding pass, excursion tickets (if pre-booked) and travel medical insurance, keep an electronic version your phone instead.
#6. Zip Lock Bags
These little wonders deserve a bullet point all of their own. Bigger ones can be used to safeguard against shampoo leaks, smaller ones can do the same for make up, whether in its package or decanted into the bag. They can also be used to keep necklaces untangled and earrings together – replacing the old tried-and-tested methods of straws and buttons cluttering up your suitcase – and used in place of a toothbrush cap. Carrier bags may be at a premium these days, but take a few of those along too. They’re always useful, and you can put your shoes in them and not have to worry about having shoe germs on your shower cap!
#5. Dryer Sheets
You don’t need a tumble dryer to benefit from dryer sheets. They take up next to no space, can be rubbed against hair to tame static and fly-aways, are fab at removing deodorant stains on clothing, and will make your luggage smell gorgeous – even if you insist on packing your stinky trainers.
#4. Comfortable Shoes
Talking about stinky trainers… Comfy shoes are worth their weight in gold, especially if you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing. If you don’t want to risk being seen in them before you leave the country, wear your fancy shoes on the way out.
#3. Emergency Planning
The only downside to that plan is that you’re going to have to find a new pair of comfy shoes if your luggage goes AWOL (unless you really took #9 to heart and managed to fit everything into your carry-on!) Do your best to get your essentials into your hand luggage, including a clean change of underwear, soap and basic make-up kit, medication, phone, charger (plus travel plug if relevant!), and anything of sentimental value. You might need to replace things, but you’ll have peace of mind that you’ll look well put together when out shopping for them.
#2. Emergency Planning – Level Two
Scan your passport, tickets and any other important documents and email them to yourself. If they get lost or stolen, at least you’ll have easy access to the relevant issue numbers, etc. If you’re without your phone as well then it will of course be more difficult, but as soon as you find internet access you’ll be good to go.
If you want to do something while you’re away that’s a little over budget, or buy some tourist tat you know everyone will shake their head about – go for it! Don’t throw good sense out entirely, but cut yourself some slack.
You’re on holiday.
What do you think of Jess’s travel tips? Do you have any of your own that you’d like to share?