Trudging along from the regular 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, longing for weekends and feeling so drained that a vacation is just what we need! And when you have been dragging your feet for too long, a slightly long trip may be just the thing to give you the spring back in your step. Before you rush out the door, go through our list and make sure you have everything you need.
1. Emergency kit
You’re thinking first aid kit, but no this is first aid on steroids. Take everything. We mean everything. All possible medicines you might need for a headache, indigestion, stomach ache, foot ache, gum ache everything! Band-aids are a must, you will have shoe bites and random cuts and bruises, do not take your chances. Try to stick to tablets and capsules, not syrups. Ladies, take your sanitary napkins and tampons, even if it is not your time of the month, we don’t want these kinds of surprises and hunting for a chemist shop in a foreign land is not the best idea of a vacation.
2. Limit liquids
Inconvenience number one, finding hygienic and clean public toilets. That too in a brand new place. Limit your liquid consumption while you’re on the go to avoid any uncomfortable situations.
Lock your suitcases. Use luggage tags and travel light. Always check the weight of your luggage, you don’t want to be throwing out things at the airport. Also, in your hand baggage, carry all essentials, an extra set of clothes and snacks. Travelling in itself can be very expensive, don’t add on to it by buying bags of chips and cookies.
4. Limit shoes
I know I know, it’s a difficult thing to do. But seriously do not fill up your bags with pairs of shoes. Wear a pair of comfortable all-purpose sort of shoes and carry another fancy one with you. That’s it. You will walk around a lot, you don’t want to be with battling with blisters on what is supposed to be your relaxing getaway.
5. Minimalism is the way to go
Ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? Google it. You pick a few basic pieces and one or two statement pieces. They should be comfortable and make up a lot of looks. Enough to not your insta feed seem repetitive and keep your suitcase nice and light! Same goes for makeup, take a few basic things. Stick to a BB cream, lipstick, kajal/eyeliner. You can also use contact lens cases to store a small amount of your foundation if you want. And pack it in a small pouch to keep it together. Also remember the tiny bottles of shampoos, conditioners, and lotions you stole from your hotel on the last trip? Don’t act like you didn’t. Take those or if you’re very finicky empty them and pour your favorite products into them. They’re small and perfectly sized to last you the trip without eating up much space.
6. Packing tactics
Don’t fold your clothes. No, I am not crazy. Roll them. They won’t get wrinkled and you will save a ton of space! Keep breakable items like perfume bottles inside your shoes, pack your delicates in ziplock bags and stuff them in your shoes, if you’re carrying sneakers. Use a plastic wrap on the mouth of all the bottles of shampoos, lotion etc before screwing on the cap to avoid spills. If you’re carrying things prone to wrinkling like blazers, turn them inside out and then fold them. We all know the horrors of tangled necklaces, right? Well, you can take a sheet of Press n Seal plastic wrap, lay out all your neckpieces and carry them with you, tangle-free! For small earrings, you could put them through buttonholes to keep them together.
These are the items you MUST have on you at all times and in your hand luggage. Do not leave without these items at any cost. Here’s the list: Passport, jacket, long sleeve t-shirt, sanitizer, pepper spray, wallet, tickets, sunscreen, an extra pair of glasses/contacts whatever you might use, umbrella, cash, card, refillable water bottle, portable hotspot, chargers, adapters and your emergency kit.
8. Money Matters
If you’re going on an international trip, talk to your bank before you leave. See what forex options you have and have a rough budget allotted for the trip so you’re not always doing math while getting breakfast or returning home to an empty bank account.
Look up everything about the place before going. Don’t be clueless when you land there and struggle to find your hotel. Book your hotels/hostels beforehand, know how long it will take you to get from one place to the next, ask your hotels if they provide any sightseeing offers for tourists. Most places organize it for you but you can do it by yourself too. Check what all places you want to see, make a proper itinerary and pencil in times for food too. Call all the places that might need a reservation/booking or even if they don’t, just check when they will be open so you don’t land up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
10. Phone Plans
Get free roaming plans. You do not want to add to your expenditure by paying for every time someone else calls you. Refill your data pack to the fullest if you’re on prepaid. Visit the customer care center of your service provider and ask about options. You will be using your phone extensively, especially the data. It will be your saving grace for all the Googling you will do when Maps will be your best friend and for all those Instagram worthy sceneries and food.
11. Food and Water
I’ve talked about snacks and water earlier in this post. But this is about what to do when you get there. It is a fun idea to experiment, but don’t be too drastic. You have the whole vacation ahead of you, stick to the ingredients you usually do eat to not upset your stomach. If you are going somewhere where you’re unsure of the kind of water they are serving in restaurants, ask for mineral water but don’t carry the bottle if you don’t finish it. Refill your bottle. The environment will thank you and so will your back.
12. Physical Map
I know what you’re thinking. It’s the 21st century, I rely on google for what to eat for dinner, I will never use a physical map. Yes okay, but if you are going to be away from a power outlet for extended periods of time then continue using your phone data will kill the battery and eventually even your power bank will get drained out. So using a physical map might help then and also, with your phone out the whole time you become an easy target for potential thieves, just be careful.
A book, ONE. Not a stack. You’re thinking I’ll carry my Kindle, but hear me out. If you are traveling alone, this is a really bad idea. A Kindle is extremely likely to get stolen if you just leave it on your table when you go the washroom or to get food or something. Just take a small, thin book. It will save you from awkward conversations, promise!
14. Damage control
A few things to keep in handy in case of rips, tears or cracks. A sewing kit, safety pins, and duct tape. Keep these handy and you should be able to handle any unfortunate accidents, well mostly.
15. Have FUN
Unless you’re a travel blogger (which by the way is so cool!), this is NOT your job. Do not treat this like work, if you don’t feel like going to all 30 sightseeing spots, don’t! Walk on the beach, let the waves take your stress away, sip coconut water and aloha your way into a fresh you!
We hope this list helped you lighten the load, so go on. Book your tickets, have a happy journey!