Travelling as much as I do, I’ve been caught paying excess baggage far too many times than I care to admit. Short of going out and buying one of those (semi expensive) travel weighing gizmo things, here are a few things I have learnt to make sure I never have to pay those extortionate fees again, including what I packed for a weekend in Bristol with my bestie.
First and most importantly, always, always check the airlines baggage limits on both the hold luggage and heights and weights of cabin bags. Never assume airlines have the same allowances. On a flight from London to Beijing I could take 36 but on the way back I could only take two 22kg suitcases and I ended up having to buy a new suitcase in order to not pay the fees. If you are only going for a weekend and sometimes even a week, do you really need to check a big arse suitcase into the hold? Here are a few tips:
If you are staying at a hotel or with a friend, most likely they will not mind you using their shampoo or toothpaste so try and skip packing them all together. That said, always bring a medium sized towel because you never know when you might need it and it is the number one rule of travelling the Galaxy after all.
If you insist of taking something, take travel sized or head to the pound shop and buy those small toiletry bottles to decant your favourite conditioner into. You’ll be saving up so much space and don’t have to worry too much about shampoo explosions when you open up your bag.
When it comes to make up, take the bare essentials you can get buy with, the less the better. For example, I might take eye primer, BB cream or foundation, powder, bronzer, nude lippy and a small eye shadow palette, just I case I want to get fancy.
They have toiletries in every country and if you find you really need something, you can get it fairly cheap in the local super markets.
The fewer clothes you take, the less time you fuss in the morning deciding what to wear. Try planning your outfits before you go away and packing those. Your back will thank you later and you’ll be able to enjoy just getting up, throwing something on and taking on the city.
And no, you don’t need to take that extra pretty going out dress, just in case you decide to go somewhere super fancy. For that matter, don’t pack anything ‘just incase’ unless you are going to the artic and you fear 10 jumpers won’t be enough.
If you are going to a different country, always make sure you have the adapter. I love this one from Satechi because you can use it to charge USBs and it plugs in everywhere! Don’t forget your phone charger and make sure you can call, roam internationally.
Do you need to take your computer? Unless your job is on your computer and it’s a working holiday, you don’t really need it. I can’t tell you how often I have taken my heavy Mac and never took it out of its sleeve. Instead take a tablet or Kindle to catch up on YouTube or your favourite TV programmes.
Speaking of Kindles, we all like to read something while we relax on holiday so to save space, download a few books on to your tablet or kindle instead of packing real books. As nice as they are, books are not travel friendly :(. If you will be reading on the beach, invest in a water proof case with anti glare to keep sand and water away from those precious gadgets.
I am personally against taking hair dryers on holiday too. Usually a hotel or a friend has one and I feel a holiday should be a time to relax and embrace being you so if that means having your hair a little bit wavy for a few days, let it be natural and grab a cheap curling mouse from your local super market when you arrive. Your hair will thank you for it later.
Above all, when packing, always ask, do I really need that? If you can’t think of a reason or time you will use it, perhaps leave it back home and travel lighter.
Here’s what I took for my trip to Bristol, I went from Saturday to Monday
Travelled in: Jeans, Mickey Jumper and comfy undies
In my case:
eye shadow pallet
Eye shadow brush
In my hand bag:
I used my friends toothpaste and shower gel (thanks!). If I was travelling abroad I would also take an adaptor and sun cream and a good pair of walking shoes. You’ll be surprised at how little you can get buy with and would wonder why you packed the kitchen sink in the first place.
What are your travel must haves and what could you not travel without? Did I leave anything off the list?
If you have any travel tips or questions ask me on Twitter @teatalestravel and don’t forget to share if you found this helpful!
Over and Out!