Packing For Your Holiday

Photo by pinwheel

Photo by pinwheel

Despite fewer bookings last year, many of us live for our holidays, planning them for many months – or even for years. We often have a list of places we want to visit and on a bad day at work, there is little that’s more appealing than heading off to foreign climes, leaving all your troubles behind.

However, when it actually comes down to it, going away can end up being kind of stressful. You have to get everything organised for while you’re away, which often means busier days leading up to the day you leave. You also have to ensure you take everything you need with you when you head to the airport.

Many people find packing for a holiday incredibly stressful, but like anything, the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Frequent travellers can pretty much pack in their sleep and while this might seem annoyingly effortless, they have an internal checklist that keeps them on track. You can learn from this by having an actual checklist.

A checklist is great because it minimises worry. It can also be used from one year to the next. You might not take exactly the same things, but if it’s going to be a similar sort of holiday, last year’s list will serve as an excellent framework on which you can build.

You can break your list down into different sections as well, so it’s easier to manage. First, list the essentials – money, tickets, passport etc. These are the items you cannot afford to leave without. Include obvious things such as your house keys because unfamiliar journeys can give rise to some odd omissions. This is the part of the list you have to get right. Anything else can be bought on your arrival and it can be good to remind yourself of this because it will remove some of the stress. There’s always a plan B.

Next, list toiletries. Most of these should remain the same no matter where you are going, although you might not need insect repellent if you’re going skiing (you will still need sun cream though – the snow reflects an awful lot of light). Next list clothes and shoes, which will be the bulk of what you’re packing and then electrical items and any miscellaneous goods that don’t fit in one of the above categories. Clothes are likely to change from year to year, but this approach will give you a rough idea what you are likely to need.

Finally, invest in some good luggage. Cramming your best clothing into a rucksack won’t do it much good and if you’ve bought hand luggage specifically, you won’t have to worry about it being too big to fit in an overhead locker.

Karen Nugent always used to overestimate what she could get away with in terms of hand luggage but since getting a new bag at she no longer falls into that trap.