The Sharp Traveller’s Guide to Packing

The sunglasses left on the beach; the hat left on the hotel nightstand. As much as you do a thorough “exit sweep” of your travel stops along the way, somehow the luggage home is always lighter by an item (or two) because things just get misplaced. It’s tough to keep track of everything, particularly for long-ish trips that require many little items. 

The reasons for this happening could be: Jetlag – all that grogginess doesn’t exactly get anyone in the frame of mind of remembering what went where. It could also simply be having your mind on the good times of vacationing, rather than what’s been placed in the third corner pocket of the carry-on.

That is why it’s important to be cognizant ahead of the game of the unholy trinity of traveling: the possibility of losing something, breaking something, or forgetting something. It could wreck your holiday, and all because of a simple oversight. So how can we ensure that our travels are free of these avoidable mishaps? 

For one, it’s good to know going into the vacation what happens to be commonly lost or forgotten. Hotel reception areas are often the repository of boxes of cell phone chargers, accidentally (and frequently) neglected by guests. It’s a tell-tale sign to keep careful tabs on that device, especially to avoid the hassle of having to hunt for, and buy, another one on what was supposed to be a stress-free getaway. If you’re in a particularly touristy area, or a remote locale, there’s the added dread of paying a premium for a replacement. (It also goes a long way in explaining why so many airport kiosks sell phone chargers: they know it often slips people’s minds to pack)

Still another seemingly small item that often disappears, is easily broken, or forgotten, is sunglasses. (Again, another airport merchandise staple). It’s an annoyance to lose, notably if they’re your favourite, a gift, or quite pricey. Frequent travelers know to keep items like these in the same spot, or the same pocket, to minimize the chances of anything happening. 

Suffice it to say: pay special attention to where your passport is at all times, keep it safe, and have a photocopy, and a photo of it in your phone, in the unfortunate event something should happen to it. If you feel safer keeping it on your person, keep it tucked in a fanny pack, or wrapped in a bag on the beach, lest it become sandy or wet. 

When flying, try to avoid checking luggage, which can get lost. Rather than pack full luggage, pack tight and small, and find nearby laundry facilities (easier if you’re staying in someone’s home), in order to keep everything in a quick and easy carry-on. The worst that could happen to a carry-on? It gets jostled in the overhead compartment. Those potentially breakable souvenirs, or anything fragile, can be wrapped in clothing to cushion any jarring.

On the topic of being on the plane, always remember to check and double check those items you’ve tucked in the pouch in front of you – a book, a phone, keys - not helpful to leave behind in the crush n’ rush to leave the plane. (Also, remember before the trip, you can earn bonus PC Optimum points for flight/hotel bookings on PC Travel).

Create a list of travel items.  Keep it, and modify it for future trips. It’s helpful to reference it before departing, on both ends of the excursion.

With these tips, go into your trip with peace of mind.

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