To some, packing is the exciting build up to your trip, for others it is nothing but a dreaded nightmare. Travelodge UK recently carried out a survey which revealed that 26% of people find packing stressful; so much so that at least this many people don’t actually pack for themselves, getting their partners or parents to do so instead.
What's in your backpack? It's all about being prepared. Image courtesy of Tom Benson on Frontier Madagascar Wildlife Conservation Adventure
The survey also discovered that Northern Irish packers are far more organised than those from the East of England. Are you one of the 21% who make a list before packing or are you more of a haphazard hope for the best kind of packer?
Whatever kind of packer you are, whether you enjoy it or hate it, it is an unavoidable and highly important part of travelling. There will probably always be something that you forget or something that stays in the bottom of your bag never to be used. But here are some handy tips that will help you pack for your next adventure.
1. Pack Light
Or at least as lightly as is possible for your particular travelling needs. Don’t take more than you will need, especially with toiletries – take shampoo in smaller bottles if that will be all you’re likely to use. You need to bear in mind airline weight restrictions, which vary between each one, and how far you might need to carry your bags. It’s also a good idea to under pack – to save space for all the things you’re likely to pick up on the way.
2. Prepare for Leakages
Sounds obvious perhaps, but it’s always a good idea to wrap up anything that might leak so that if it does the worst is avoided.
3. Balance your bag
Particularly if you’ll need to be walking around with your bag it will be a good idea to make sure you’ve balanced the weight to make sure you won’t end up being pulled to one side or the other!
4. Prepare for rain
Take waterproof sacks or bags and keep anything valuable in them. There will be nothing worse than finding your phone or camera have got waterlogged and stopped working a couple of days in to your trip.
5. Roll your clothes
A better alternative to folding as it means less creasing and allows you to get more in! If rolling seems just that little bit too haphazard for you, try folding various items together to achieve similar benefits.
6. Take a wash bag
Especially if you’re going for a long time or will have to be taking your washing somewhere to be done, it will be a lot less hassle if you have a bag of some kind that you can store and carry all of your dirty clothes in.
7. Keep your stuff safe
Both to deter thieves and to keep your insurance intact, it might be advisable to padlock the bags that you are checking in. It’s also a good idea to separate up your money and other valuables so that at least if you lose one lot, you’ve not lost everything. On another note, if you’re a budding film-maker or photographer and are using old style film, be aware that the x-ray scanners can have an effect on them if they will be passing through them too many times.
8. Don’t pack your passport
Okay so passport is an obvious one and most people would know to keep that with them but this also goes for other things that you may need in transit or on your arrival. If you fancy being extra organised packing in some kind of order – with what you’ll need first on top and so on will save you rummaging through and creasing everything up when you arrive.
9. Be prepared
This is a tricky one if you’re trying to also pack light – but it can be done. A good concise medical kit is essential as well as some good old duct tape and safety pins for all breakages and tears. And don’t forget a Swiss army knife or equivalent with as many appendixes as possible – so many different uses all in one small item.
Frontier offer kit lists to those travelling on their projects to make packing that little bit easier. To see all of the projects on offer visit the website.