Lounging by the pool all day gives me a lot of time to think up random things to post. It's a little late in the summer to do a post on packing, but it's something I take quite a bit of pride in, and I figure better late than never. Plus we live in sunny old Singapore, so chances are our travels aren't confined to the summertime.
It's really quite a silly thing to take pride in, but honestly, I love making everything fit neatly into small places, without getting wrinkled, in an extremely organized fashion. There's nothing more mortifying than that situation where airport security insists on checking your luggage and unsightly things like underwear come flying out into the face of the surprised customs officer. Urrghhhh.
There's also my unfortunate habit of overpacking that I can't seem to be rid of (witness the amount I packed for a 4 day getaway to Phuket in which most of my time is spent in a bikini), coupled with the fact that I insist on traveling with small suitcases because I don't want to look like the kiasu over-packer (you can spot those from about a mile away). All these factors put together makes me quite the fanatic packer. I've mastered the art of packing everything for a two-week trip to a cold country (boots, jackets, ski gear and all) into, at maximum, two medium sized suitcases. *pat on back*
So here's my guide to getting it right:
First up, the essentials -
1. Zip lock bags - shirts, sweaters, underpants, swim wear, toiletries, chargers…. shoes go in dust bags… basically everything outside of pants, dresses and jackets. It also makes it much easier to unpack since everything's already organized.
2. Travel-sized everything - Sephora has a great range, otherwise head to Muji for their travel-sized PET bottles and fill them up on your own. I keep my travel toiletries in cosmetic cases under the sink so I can just grab the case and go without having to worry about whether or not I've got everything.
3. Hard-cases only - soft cases may offer more space by being expandable but you're much more likely to have one of those disastrous shampoo accidents.
Next up, the sequence -
1. Pants/jeans on bottom (folded at the knee)
2. Sweaters/tops/toiletetries/shoes (all in ziplock/dust bags, organized into squares)
3. Delicates and Dresses up top (laid flat, unfolded to reduce wrinkling)
4. Jewelry in individual dust bags, smaller/expensive items in hand carry, everything else packed between layers of soft clothing.
Keeping a checklist of items you regularly bring on trips is also a good idea. I love the Travel List iPhone application (left) that lets you create lists for different destinations. If you're worried about running out of outfits while on the go, the best way to avoid it is to plan the outfits and pack accordingly (I have a friend who takes photos of each set so she doesn't stress about mixing and matching). Alternatively, pack according to colour scheme and you'll find that everything matches almost magically!
And there you have it friends. How to pack like a maniac :)
Mrs. Lilien also has a lovely guide to packing - though I'd find it hard to travel in her style as I seldom fly first class. Though I think I do decently considering the fact I normally fly cattle class.
I know for a fact that quite a few of you are well traveled little globe trotters - any tips and tricks to share ?