In the past few weeks, I’ve had to take one short trip after the other, and while I enjoy the adventure (people-watching, sight-seeing, exposure to different culture, and trying out new cuisines) that typically comes with traveling, packing (and especially unpacking), for a trip can be overwhelming.
Thankfully, with special credits to my mum, I now have what I call my “READY-TO-TRAVEL LIST.”
And in this post, I’ll be sharing with you how I organize the list, some of my travel bag’s contents and general tips in making your trip more comfortable.
In my opinion, it’s better to be over-prepared for a trip than to be under prepared for it.
PS: This post is not intended for those who love to travel really light. I’m a “comfort-first” type of traveler so I like to travel with as many necessities as possible, plus a few extras.
And by the way, I will focus more on the female traveler but guys can pick up some useful tips as well.
FIRST THINGS FIRST.
1. The Occasion for your trip:
Simple enough right? but forgetting to pack one or two very important items is easier than you think.
For instance, you don’t want to leave behind any of your credentials or forget to pick out a formal attire while traveling for an interview.
The reason for your trip should determine a good percentage of the contents of your luggage.
2. The Duration of your trip:
How long will the entire trip last? A few days, a week or more?
This will help you with simple logistics like how much cash you need to hold for your upkeep, to the number of clothes and toiletries you should take along.
3. The Mode of Transportation:
It’s also important to consider whether you’ll be traveling by car, bus, train, plane or boat, if it’s by public or private means, and if you’re traveling alone, or in a group, with friends/family or strangers.
Knowing the details of how you’ll get to where you are going, helps you to plan what size/number of luggages to carry and how to secure them.
If you’re traveling by plane for instance, you know that carrying extra luggage will cost you an arm and a leg, plus some contents (eg over 100ml of liquid/gel products) may be confiscated as carry-on luggage.
4. The type of Luggage:
You need to also determine the type of luggage that will be efficient (in terms of size) and also convenient (in terms of carriage) for your trip.
For a short trip you can use any (or more) of the following: A handbag, a back pack, a small traveling (duffel) bag, or a suitcase.
5. The Destination:
Where you are going will also determine to some extent, what you should put in your luggage.
For instance, If you are going on a vacation to a temperate climate like Europe, you need to go with coats, mufflers and solid boots. If on the other hand, your destination is a warm climate (e.g. Barbados), you will need sunglasses, hats, and some cozy slippers.
Also where you’ll be staying (whether at a hotel, a friend’s house, a hostel, or with distant relatives) will determine some of the items to take along.
The last time I went for a camp meeting, I had to go with my own everything (from bed-sheet to toothpaste), but that wasn’t the case when I spent a few days in Lagos, because my sister had most of the items already.
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR TRAVEL-LIST:
The rule of thumb is to have a list ready, before you put the first item into your traveling bag or box. That’s the only guarantee that you don’t leave something remotely important behind.
I typically organize my list into three categories:
This includes your personal care products like toothbrush/toothpaste, soap/sponge (and a soap case if you like), body lotion, roll-on, body-spray/perfume*.
You can put most of the items listed in a toilet bag.
Other items to consider are: hair-spray/gel, hair brush/comb, toilet roll, plastic bag, small towel and a shower cap.
*if you’re going on a really short trip, you can even spray your clothes in advance instead. I do that a lot.
ii. Clothing/Foot wears
– Night gown/Pajamas, Wrapper, Handkerchiefs
– Bathroom slippers, Sandals/Flats/Heels as needed*
– Underwear (Bras, Pants, Shorts) multiplied by the number of days you’ll spend. It’s always good to pack an extra or two, just in case you stay an extra night.
– Attires: Everything you’ll wear especially for the main occasion of your trip eg Casual wears for a picnic, Traditional outfit for a wedding ceremony etc
*I like to be as specific as possible, so I write out the details of each footwear eg Nude flats, Black heels etc
– Sufficient cash/ATM card: Trust me, you don’t want to be stranded on an out-of-town trip😂
– Make-up (Powder, lipstick, gloss etc)
– Face wipes, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, hand tissue, lip balm etc
– Accessories (Wrist-watch, jewelry, handbags etc)
– Gadgets (Power bank, phone chargers, iPod, headphones etc)*
– Snacks/Drinks (Chococolate, Plantain chips, Biscuits, Gala are easy to chew without getting messy). It’s more cost effective to buy the items before your trip. A bottle of water and pack of chewing gum are “must-haves” for my road trips.
– Note pad/Journal and pen (to write with), Bible/Non-fiction Book/Novel (to read)
– Torch (Naija factor)
– Medications (if necessary)
And don’t forget to take a plastic bag to put your dirty laundry.
*Safety first, if it’s a short trip and especially by public transport, you don’t need to take all your gadgets (tab, laptop) along.
After you’ve prepared your list, put ALL the items in a single place (on your bed preferably), then begin to transfer each one into your bag(s). Tick each item off your list until you’re done packing.
Remember to use a padlock or a good lock combination for your luggage if you’re traveling by public means. And don’t forget to “pee” before leaving your house. I bet Nigerians will understand…lol. 😉😅
That’s how I organize my luggage for a short trip.
Did I miss anything?
So how do you prepare for a short trip? Do you make a list or not?