You can not forget the two Ps. Smart Planning and Packing. They are vital to a successful vacation.
Websites like Tripadvisor or lonelyplanet are a great place to start, even if you haven’t pinpointed where you are going, by reading other travellers experiences. Once you have a shortlist of places you would like to visit, start looking at tours and try to gauge how much of a budget you would need. Looking at websites like Viator or ToursByLocals will give you a great indication of dollars required. ToursByLocals is a great tour website where you can arrange to have a passionate local take you on a guided tour of many different experiences, we had an unforgettable Mexico City architecture tour and cooking class with Heike A.
There are several things that we consider before deciding to go anywhere;
- check the Bucket Lists
- research where are the hottest places of the year
- airfare sales
- where can we afford to go this year
- is going between ‘Peak’ seasons more affordable with a similar outcome
- accrued Annual Leave/Vacation time from work (we often take unpaid leave which needs to be factored into costs)
- can the holiday work around public/bank holidays to give ‘free’ days off work
So many factors need to be considered when deciding where the next adventure will be. Believe it or not researching is what Moosh loves to do. It gives her a mission to act on and an exciting outcome to achieve. Often we can feel a need to visit somewhere just by looking at a picture or talking with friends.
There are so many different experiences and only you can decide what type of holiday you are looking for. Will you be travelling in a group, with or without kids? Do you want some down time to relax by the pool with a cocktail in hand, outdoor adventure, big city lights…..combination? Perhaps it is time to experience snow and winter activities like you’ve only dreamed, or does the idea of feeling white sand between your toes and watching colourful sunsets appeal? It’s your call, you decide what part of the world you will discover next.
Always check the various airline rules and regulations before you pack. As a general rule liquids must be less than 3.4oz or 100ml in a resealable clear plastic container
There are many schools of thought on the best techniques for packing. From our experience the top two techniques are as follows:
1. ROLL TO “ROCK IT”:
We often travel with just Carry On Luggage to save time at airports and get out to our sight seeing faster. This mean space optimisation is vital. Although hotly debated, we feel that rolling fits the most in small spaces. Keep the roles as tight as possible by pushing against the floor when rolling. It can be tempting to do it on the bed, but you will never get the rolls as tight compared to the floor. We also use an underwear pouch that can also be rolled. It makes the smaller items easier to roll and keeps them together.
Many hotels have their own in-house laundry services. We rarely take advantage of them (mainly because of the high cost). However, we almost always take the laundry bags provided. They are very useful for collecting dirty laundry and most are equipped with air holes that allow for efficient rolling to save space.
2. BUNDLE THE ENSEMBLE:
This technique involves folding like shaped items together. In our opinion, it is not as space efficient. But it can be great for planning your days. For example, you can fold the t-shirt you plan to wear for the day with the button up shirt you will change into that night. With advanced folding technique, a skilled folder can even get their entire days ensemble folded into one package.
OTHER GREAT PACKING TIPS:
Almost every airlines have different rules and regulations when it comes to checked luggage allocation and carry on limits. Research on your airline website well before packing. Just because your travel agent or online booking portal tells you something, doesn’t guarantee they are correct.
Regulations change regularly and often third parties are slow to catch up. Be diligent and safeguard yourself by confirming on the actual airline/train/bus or boat website well in advance. It could save you money, time and frustration.
We have tried vacuum “space saving” bags with mixed results. Perhaps after more trialling, our opinion will change on these solutions. We will keep you updated.
We highly recommend planning your wardrobe in detail. To be successful at packing enough clothes for 7 days within a regulation carry-on and personal bag you need to know what you will wear each and every day. Then only pack those items.
Think if you have specific activities booked that require specific attire. If you are swimming, you will need a bathing suit. If you plan to eat to expensive restaurants you will need a dress and/or collared shirt and jacket.
Look ahead to the weather forecast on the web. If a forecast isn’t listed far enough out. You can research the weather trends from previous years in the destinations. Most good weather websites allow you to search by location and date.
We often pack throw away clothes when travelling with carry on only. These might be socks with holes in them, faded t-shirts or other items that are generally past their used by date. When we are done wearing they are thrown out leaving room for taking home items and souvenirs.
When travelling for over 7 days we often schedule a wash day. This may be booking an apartment or Air B’n’B. Or finding a laundromat that is close to our hotel. One of our travel highlights even featured a Laundry day. The Vade’s were travelling in Europe and scheduled a laundry day in Berlin. Through some research, they found a laundromat that served beer and was in a fashionable part of town. Not only was the beer refreshing, but the people watching and restaurant they stumbled upon near the laundromat was outstanding.
PACKING TIPS – FOR THE LADIES
So you would probably be thinking how can a female travel for 10 days with just carry-on luggage? Believe us we thought the same, but it is possible and we are going to tell you how. Before we get started, Ladies don’t forget to utilise your personal handbag. We recommend a nappy bag from Mimco, it’s not your typical nappy bag so don’t knock it until you have seen it. Trust us when we say money well worth spent here as it passes for a handbag, but is larger (kind of sneaky but hey!).
As with anything, think about where you’re going, what will the weather be like? Will you have access to a washing machine? Obviously, your items will depend on where and when you are travelling and what you have planned whilst there. The key is to be simple, and bring only what you know you’re going to need.
Now what we recommend wearing on the plane is boots, team these up with tights, T-shirt and a jumper. Boots, you might be thinking you are crazy to wear these, but think about it when you go through security you need to take your shoes off and boots are easy to take on and off. Now when you are on the plane, let’s be honest we all take our shoes off and when you need to go to the bathroom you can just slip your boots straight back on.
Most long-haul flights will have toothbrushes and toothpaste if you ask them. However, just in case we do recommend you keep your toothbrush and a travel size toothpaste and mouthwash.
Easy and as simple as that.
What to pack in your handbag;
- Face wipes are great for cleansing your face on-the-go and you can use them to refresh your body.
- Tissues, never leave home or your hotel without these. Many public restrooms, unfortunately, run out of toilet paper
- Tinted moisturiser this will give you light coverage and don’t forget to look for those that have SPF
- Lip balm this is a definite ‘can’t live without’ item. Lips are usually the first to dry out. We love Hurraw Balm, it’s organic and vegan
- Gum, chewing gum for take-off and landing will help you avoid blocked ears
- Mascara this will give you that quick pick me up for tired eyes
- A face mist is perfect to rehydrate your face, Moosh’s choice is Jurlique Rosewater-balancing-mist
- Hand cream
- Take an empty water bottle that way you can fill it up once you get passed security
- An iPad or tablet – for us we like to keep notes for our blog
- your phone, yes yes we know it is glued to your hand
- Headphones, we love our Bose in-ear noise cancelling, “…..what crying baby?”
- Neck pillow, there are so many options out there, our choice is the memory foam ones
- Hate to state the obvious but passport, boarding passes
- Card holder (don’t forget to call your bank to advise them of your travel plans)
- Hand sanitizer
- For those that are health conscious, pack some healthier snack options
- A book or magazine should you wish to read, or for those digital lovers, your kindle
- A pen for filling out those immigration forms (ever notice how the Flight Attendants never have one you can borrow?)
- Camera – for all those candid shots of the sky when you are coming into a city
- If you are going to be getting off somewhere where it is cold, beanie, scarf and gloves are must item for your handbag
What to pack in your “Carry On”
Now for carry-on luggage; and think about the items you choose, as in will they all work together? You might not think it, but we all somewhat like to look good while travelling. To avoid over packing, we suggest laying out your items of clothing and plan what you will wear each day.
- Packing cubes, these are available at most outdoor stores and we purchased ours from Kathmandu. They come in various sizes and it is easy to separate your clothes and underwear. We roll everything to the size of the cubes and don’t be afraid to jam pack them.
- You need a good pair of walking shoes we like Onitsuka Tigers, they are small, lightweight and most importantly they are comfortable. (a key tip, keep the shower cap from your hotel and you can place dirty shoes in here so they don’t dirty anything else in your case)
- A pair of heels for those nights out, pack at the corner of your case. Don’t forget to put some socks in each shoe, yes you can fit a pair in your heels too and no it won’t stretch them.
- Jacket, we recommend only bringing one with you and again depending on the weather you are heading to will depend on the thickness of your jacket. Always bring a trusty cardigan with you if it is extra cold it can go under your thicker jacket or if it is warm, a cardigan will go a long way for those cool nights.
- A washbag, you can put all your dirty clothes in there
- Dryer sheet placed at the bottom of your suitcase will keep your clothes smelling fresher
- If you are planning on a night out on the town, you will need a dress or two
- Jeans, an essential part of travelling. We love Saba Rae jeans, they are super comfy and lightweight
- Tops, now think long sleeve, short sleeve and our suggestion would be 5 tops
- A smaller crossover bag for the days spent sightseeing
- USB wall plug
- 3 bras should see you through
- We would suggest 7 pairs of underwear
A Girl’s best friend (packing)
We do our best to not forego our beauty regime while travelling and here is how we manage to maintain it. Jurlique has gift packs that are the perfect size when travelling and suitable to different skin types. Now you could be thinking I don’t use Jurlique, don’t worry most beauty counters have offered throughout the year where they give you bonus products that are smaller.
Can’t live without products while travelling is;
- Bronzing powder (key tip, place a cotton ball or pad on your bronzer and blush to keep them from cracking)
- Foundation (key tip, squeeze this into a contact lens container)
- BB Cream is a winner if you are not a fan of foundation
- Makeup brushes
- Cleanser, depending on your skin type we use Jurlique clarifying-deep-cleansing-gel
- Moisturiser with SPF, again dependant on your skin type
- Eye cream, Moosh loves Jurlique herbal-recovery-eye-cream
You may be wondering why we choose Jurlique products, well it is a South Australian company, they don’t test on animals, they are committed to minimising their environmental footprint and their products are amazing. Enough said really.
All liquids, aerosols and gels that you intend on taking in your carry-on luggage must be under 100ml and placed in a clear plastic bag. We use a snap lock bag and always take some spare with us.