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2014-06-15 08.38.48Do you waste time scurrying around in search of items that have to be in your travel kit and then forget essentials while packing? Whether it is a long distance trip or going away for the weekend, you will always take similar items. I love simplifying things. Everything should be easy to access and to pack away. Everything you own should have a home.

I store items that I use for travel in one drawer. I have assisted clients organising their essentials in a ‘travel bin’ or on a shelf from where they source the required items for a specific trip. This makes packing simple and more effective.

1.    Travel, suitcases and bags

I find it much more convenient negotiating my way around airports or rail stations with a small sturdy suitcase with an extendable handle and swivel wheels, with a carry-on bag that fits over the handle of the suitcase. Then I only have to deal with my large handbag. I pack a small handbag in my suitcase for daily outings. I tie a brightly coloured fluorescent ribbon to the handles of my luggage for easy identification.

Do yourself a favour and buy yourself the best travel pillow you can afford. I never slept comfortably on a flight until I bought a memory foam pillow. Even though it appears bulky, it fitted into my ‘carry on’ and was absolutely worth the expense.

Store your Luggage on the top shelf of your cupboard within reach when you need to pack.

2. Store these in your Travel drawer

  •  A brightly coloured travel Folder – you will find it easily in your bag, for tickets, passports, visas, international driver’s licence, etc.
  • Ziploc bags – different sizes. Large ones can be used to keep clothing that you washed and had not dried for your next stop.  Smaller ones for other items in your carry-on.

Different Sizes transparent Zipper-bags. When packing use these bags in your carry-on for :

  • Prescription medication, with a copy of the original script
  • daily or weekly pill organisers
  • Self medication for headaches, diarrhoea, constipation, heartburn and antihistamines. You can’t cater for every eventuality, but you can always stock up as you need. If you go to the sticks then of course you’ll have to take more.
  •  An eye mask and earplugs which are extremely helpful if your fellow travellers insist on watching movies throughout the night and
  •  A small First Aid Kit with plasters and antiseptic lotion.

A Toiletry Bag for:

  • Small to 100ml labelled transparent containers – decant laundry detergent, moisturiser, cleanser, shampoo, conditioner before you go to minimise weight. Add a hairbrush, toothpaste and toothbrush in a container, ear buds, dental floss, which can also be used for minor repairs
  • A universal basin plug.
  • a small mirror,
  • Nail Care Kit with tweezers, small scissors,
  • duct tape,
  • Sewing kit. I find that these small items are easy to forget if they are not all kept in one place.
  • Fabric Shoe Bags keep your shoes breathing and prevent dirt getting onto your clothing
  • Laundry bag to store your worn clothing, to rinse when time allows.
  • Extras: I also keep luggage tags, travel locks, binoculars, and flashlight in my drawer for easy packing in my suitcase.
  • Travel accessories like Hairdryer and chargers for electronic devices.

 3. Camera essentials:

Water tight bag with camera and lenses, charger, extra batteries and SDS Cards or any other storage.

 4. Travel books, Maps and a Travel journal

5.  Compile a plastic folder for

  • Health and Travel Insurance,
  • Prepaid vouchers or coupons
  • Train &  bus tickets purchased online
  • Emergency info for abroad and at home.

Most of these are ready when I start packing, adding stuff to my toiletry bag as I get ready for my trip, making sure that as I use each item, I pack it to avoid leaving it behind.

I mentioned before that I take two handbags:

  • The larger one I use for the journey, containing my passport, wallet with foreign currency and travel wallet, Bright travel folder with plane tickets, glasses, smart phone, charger, notepad and umbrella.
  •  A smaller one with a long shoulder strap, I use only for day outings and concerts containing; passport, glasses, smart phone, tissues, lip balm and umbrella.

I trust that you’ll enjoy travelling light, knowing where everything is and finding it, without going into panic.