Diaries of A Traveller

Farirai Macheka • 14 December 2018

Planning to travel over the festive season? The temptation to move with your entire closet, library and shoe rack is incredibly high but let`s be real, you don`t need everything you stash in your bag. We love living in the easy and convenient lane. Stress- free travel is one of our ultimate goals. Whether you are packing for a weekend getaway or a family trip we have some packing tips that will make you look like a pro and help you travel light.

Toothbrush? Check. Passport? Check. The Children`s medical aid? Check. Packing misfortunes range from forgetting your toothbrush to forgetting your passport (when traveling across borders). Packing for the entire family can be a daunting task. A great way to keep your stuff organised and to ensure that you don`t forget anything is to come up with a checklist. Make a separate packing list for everyone and ensure that you cross or highlight items that you would have packed. A travel checklist will guide you on what to pack not leaving anything important. A stitch in time saves nine, prepare the checklist ahead of time to avoid panicking.

Involve the kids
Travelling with the entire brood can be exciting at the same time daunting. Trust us, you will get there and you will survive. To make the process easier and more exciting when travelling with kids involve them. We all need a little pair of extra hands. Pack the clothes by day. For example, if it’s a five (5) day trip pack a complete set of clothing items for the duration of the trip. Tap into the minimalist in you by not over packing. When it comes to shoes two (2) pairs will do. There is no need for each person to pack their clothes in individuals’ bags. Pack the children`s clothes in one bag.

Fold or Roll 
When packing there is need to maximise on space and rolling clothes tightly helps to create space. Your clothes can be arranged and compressed so that you can fit everything in less bags. Rolling your clothes helps minimise wrinkles. T-shirts and cotton clothing can be rolled and wrinkle prone clothes like blazers can be folded. Rolled up clothes should be placed at the base of the suitcase and folded clothes on top. This helps you stay organised and to easily locate your clothes – particularly if you are going to be ‘living’ in a suitcase for the duration of the trip.

Share Toiletries
On toiletries is where the power of sharing comes to play. We share everything. If you are heading to the same destination share all toiletries and pack all cosmetics and toiletries in one bag. Ensure you cater for every family member`s needs. If one of the travelling members uses special soap or toothpaste ensure that they are covered. This is the case especially when it comes to kids. Buy disposable things before the trip e.g.  pack of cheap toothbrushes. This will help you create some space in your bag and you are guaranteed of travelling light.

Leak proof bottles
Shampoo spilling on your clothes? Liquids leaking over your clothes can just spoil your trip and derail your plans of flaunting your latest pastel coloured shorts, or your crisp white shirt. Pressure has the tendency to pop bottles and caps open. So before you embark on your journey, ensure that you leak proof the bottles. Unscrew the lid, and add a piece of cellophane (or small piece of plastic) over the lip of your bottle. Pack them in a leak proof toiletry bag, preferably one with plastic lining to minimise the potential risk of any leakage – we have found using a six (6) pack cooler bag to put your toiletries in very handy as well.

Embrace technology
Some trips can be long and very tiring. The family needs to be entertained. Pack the kids’ favourite toys, colouring books and other essentials to spice up the trip. You probably own the latest Samsung S9+ or IPhone XS - use the smart devices to your advantage. They are called smart devices for a reason. If you are avid readers, turn to eBooks, instead of globetrotting with a backpack full of books. These wonderful devices can keep everyone entertained for hours and provide an endless supply of entertainment.

There is incredible freedom which comes with minimalist packing. Bon Voyage!