Travelling is a pleasure so keep it that way. I’m sure you’ve had those awkward moments when one fine morning you turn your suitcase topsy turvy yet don’t find a clean set of clothes to wear. This, exactly on the day when you are scheduled to visit a glamorous castle in the mountains kissed by heavy mist and your handsome boyfriend is just ready to pop the question amidst the romantic setting.
Well, well, well! No more such embarassing journeys for you. Travel light is the mantra for you especially because it’s the rule of the day. Don’t forget the lengthy security procedures at international airports, lack of porters and trolleys, energy sapping long distance walks between terminals, constant packing and unpacking, and all the other situations that you can think of.
Here’s how you can minimise the chances of spoiling your trip and revel in the mirth of a new place and its people:
** Decide whether you want to carry a bag along or a suitcase. I generally carry a backpack although a shoulder bag is equally useful. Personally, I prefer to divide the load of the bag on my shoulders and the back. A shoulder bag ‘tilts’ me on one side after some time if you know what I mean. My backpack is lightweight but it’s also very sturdy and its rugged material has survived many ruthless seasons. My bag has a set of wheels too so I just wheel it along when I am on a good and even road.
I’ve not been very happy with suitcases especially if I am traversing on Europe’s cobblestone roads or climbing up stairs on a Slovenian station and the like. Only I know how I carried my heavy suitcase up the 30 stairs at the Ljubljana station just before I boarded the Eurail. And Croatia’s cobblestone roads were not really kind to my suitcase either. My suitcase proved to be pretty much useless during these trips and terrains. Now you know why I prefer to carry a backpack?
** Mix and match your clothes so that in spite of a minimal portable wardrobe you still manage to look your stylish best. Skirts, jeans and trousers are your best companions for at least a fortnight-long trip. Carry t-shirts, fancy tops, ganjis and tube-tops to match them all. For instance, a white t-shirt will be perfct with the skirt, jean and trousers. So, there you go! That makes three changes for you.
Avoid single colour wardrobes. Instead, carry beautiful prints, stylish accessories and trendy footwear to add to the holiday spirit. Depending on the weather experiment with a scarf, hat, stole or even a bandana! But please don’t compromise on your inner wear and sock. They require a daily change. No more discussion on that!
** Don’t neglect your footwear. Travelling light does not mean you compromise on the basics. In the event that one pair is stolen or damaged or even wet, you always have a change with you. No need to walk on rough terrain on delicate slippers or totter on high heels! Pull out your saviour and continue your leisure trip in comfortable shoes. Aand if you don’t consider it a burden, carry a pair of hip and happening footwear. Who knows you may be invited to a gala dinner or a discotheque?
** Compartmentalise your stuff. Make space for everything—toiletteries, clean clothes, soiled clothes, footwear, socks, innerwear and even your medicine kit! Roll your clothes. This not only creates space in your travel kit but also saves your clothes from wrinkling. Elsewhere on this site you will find great tips on how to roll your clothes for a journey. Make good use of those tips.
** Wear your heavy stuff such as jeans and shoes. If you are in a cold zone, layer yourself. That way you can stay warm and protected while going easy on luggage weight.
** Before you pack, learn everything about your destination. Places to visit, its currency, the public transport system and more importantly, its weather. Weather conditions of a destination determine your contents to pack. If it’s snowing there, no need to carry your linens or cottons. Just pack in a few inner wear and stylish warm clothing. Likewise, a summer getaway will warrant the use of a hat and summer clothes accessorised stylishly by sun glasses and fancy footwear. Sunny or not, make sure you are well-prepared.
** Carry some snacky stuff with you. It comes handy if hunger pangs raise their head between meals. You’ll need it if you’ve climbed some 100 odd steps to reach an ageless castle, trekked to a famous mountain top or even walked around for 3 hours in a world museum! A bottle of water is your constant companion anywhere and everywhere in the world. Yes, that’s a fact no one can dispute. So, make space for one, even if it’s a small bottle. Stay hydrated! You don’t want to faint at the entrance of the Buckingham Palace, do you?
Well, I hope this helps you when you are preparing for your next sojourn. More tips and suggestions coming your way soon! Watch this space for more…