Packing terrifies me. Meet me a week before I am to travel and you will think I am a toddler on a sugar high, the anticipation of travelling and excitement of exploring a new (or been there) place evident on my face. But two days before D-day, a manic look starts creeping into my eyes. Courtesy the re-realisation that
- I need to pack
- I need to pack light
- I could forget important documents
- I need to take money, insurance, etc
- I hate packing
My idea of packing has always been to create a huge pile of ‘things to carry’ in one corner of my bed. That pile invariably covers the whole bed leaving me a sliver of space to sleep in. And then, say half a day before I am to leave, I will start frantically dumping things into the bag, much to the exasperation of Maa who loves her things organised.
“Why don’t you just make a list of things you must carry, take a print out and stick it on your cupboard?” was her idea. Bingo!
And so, for my current trip – oh, did I mention I am in Baku? Hellos from Baku!
Anyway, for this trip, I made a detailed list of things to pack when I travel. This list has been made through by much brain racking and a bit of internet exploring – interesting how almost everyone stresses on carrying enough lingerie and sanitary protection. #notetoself
I have attempted to make a comprehensive list that you will need to customise as per you destination and requirements. Let this checklist be your base for this customisation.
Some basics that have worked for me
- Put toiletries in waterproof bags.
- Divide toiletries into smaller pouches instead of dumping them in the same bag. Smaller bags are easier to pack.
- Carry skincare products like moisturizer and sunscreen; no point in fretting over ‘poor skin’ while travelling.
- Basics like shampoo/conditioner/deodorant are available in most towns. So when luggage allowance and carriage is an issue, buy at the destination or duty-free.
- Carry several plastic bags of different sizes – handy for wrapping up soiled clothes, dirty shoes or just carry things.
- Put together copies of travel documents in a file and tuck it away in the bottom of luggage; backup.
- Stash some extra money in luggage; this is the emergency fund.
- Always pack some snacks – for the road, aeroplane, anywhere.
- Carry a water bottle, always.
- Avoid ‘might need’ items.
- Pack clothes that complement each other; you should be able to team each top with every bottom. So take time to lay out an entire outfit before you pack it.
- If in doubt about fits, try outfits before packing them. Choose from the same colour palette.
- Check your clothes for any flaws like rips or holes.
- Always carry 1 good traditional outfit – a salwar suit in my case – and one LBD or its equivalent.
- Unless staying with a host, pack wrinkle-free clothing. Don’t carry 2 weeks of clothing just because you are at a homestay or with a host. My logic – if staying for a week, then carry clothes for 4 days. You are travelling; you are not expected to wear a new outfit every day.