Some people relish the act of packing for a holiday or business trip and are organised weeks in advance. Others dread the task as a chore, wonder where to start, what to take and, equally important, what to leave behind and ensure it stays safe for their return.
Packing can be quite an art, so here are some things to consider that will make it easier, along with some idea of how to make sure your valuables are in one piece when you get home.
Check Airline and Import Regulations
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know what airline regulations are in place, but these can change rapidly in response to world or political events. The best advice is to check before you leave so you can pack accordingly and not be forced to either surrender items or pay a duty on them.
As well as knowing the regulations of the airline you’re flying with, make sure you know what you’re allowed to take into your destination country. If you’re travelling to various different locations on an extended trip, check and recheck for each leg of the journey.
As some import regulations can be quite obscure, don’t rely on common sense alone. Regulations can extend even to the mud on your boots if it is found to contain certain organisms, and to the types of food (even packets of snacks) you’re allowed to carry or pack.
Pack for the Climate
It’s easy if you’re going on a beach holiday to a single destination, but what about if you’re on an extended trip over a couple of months that straddles seasons, or you’re doing a round the world trip where you’ll need both warm weather and cool weather clothing?
Don’t try and pack everything you’ll need all at once and carry it all with you. Not only will you have extortionate luggage charges, you’ll have so much baggage you’ll spend more time worrying about your cases than you will enjoying yourself.
If you arrange your travel so the climate changes you go through are gradual, it will be easier to make the switch. Think in terms of layered clothing that’s easy to put on and take off as the climate changes.
Be willing to buy items on route, and try to avoid taking too many precious items so you won’t mind discarding them when they no longer meet your needs.
Keep a running list of items you have, and items you need. When you’re constantly packing and repacking for the next stage in your journey, it’s easy to forget something important.
Storing and Securing Your Household
If you’re going on an extended trip it’s wise to give some thought to security at home while you’re gone. This can mean doing some household packing as well as packing for the trip.
- Don’t leave valuables on display, visible through windows. Pack them up in boxes so they’re out of sight. The boxes could either be lodged with family or friends or put into self storage for the time you’re away. You can hire self storage rooms or lockers for periods starting from a week, so it’s worth it for peace of mind.
- Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on the place, watch for unauthorised people in the garden or anyone paying the empty house closer attention than is necessary from passers-by. Let neighbours know if you’re expecting deliveries, or if you have authorised anyone else to visit your house while you’re gone.
- Consider investing in timers for lights, so they come on at dusk and give the impression of someone being home.
- Another idea is to consider letting out your house through Airbnb or similar so it stays occupied.
Ultimately, the exact items you pack will depend on personal taste and travel arrangements, but hopefully having some indications of general things to consider will help you narrow down the choices you make, and take only what you’ll need and use.