Packing Tips from a 60 Plus Nomad!

There are so many packing tips (and tricks) in this world, and everyone has their own special method of packing; something they have created through trial and error and that works.

This post therefore, is a continuation of the packing tips here on this site, and in the post I made on Sixty and Me … you may already use some of them or they may be new to you; or you may think it’s all a load of old cobblers! The choice is yours …

Zip-lock bags

This week I received an email from an Aging Disgracefully aficionado who reminded me that throwing jewellery, knickers and undies into zip-lock bags are definitely the best way to pack these items; so easy to find when you arrive at your destination.

Shoes

Packing your shoes (individually) in zip-lock bags or old plastic shopping bags keeps everything clean and, if you choose, you can slide medications or vitamin bottles or small shampoo bottles, or whatever, inside each shoe; the shoe shape stays.

Shampoo, conditioner, etc

I’ll say it again; pack these in plastic or wrap them in plastic wrap to stop any possible leaks. The pressurisation can cause some bottles to leak as the contents expand.

Dirty clothes

Obviously you can rinse out knickers, undies and smalls in your wash basin, unless you’re in Borneo or the jungle in Belize, or some other place with few mod-cons! (Packing some detergent sachets is a good idea). Anything larger, take an hotel laundry bag and slide the dirties in the bag … make sure you fold them flat! I usually put mine in the lid of my suitcase.

Electronics

Anything … mobile phone, charger, tablet, ipad, laptop … anything that contains batteries, should be in your carry-on luggage. Security inspect them all and if, in your packing frenzy, you leave them in your suitcase, tell them at the check-in desk. Nothing will happen, but if you’ve mentioned it, there won’t be a problem.

Money

Depending on where you are going, if you take cash, make sure you have it close to your body. There are pickpockets everywhere. I never have much on me and usually keep it in my bra, which makes it difficult to spend. I also have little wrist bands where I keep my cards. Or you can use a cross-body bag with plenty of zipped pockets, or a money belt. This really has nothing to do with packing per se …

Passport or ID

Again, always keep it with you although this does depend on where you are in the world. A picture drivers licence is usually enough if you get pulled over for speeding (for example).

Clothes

This really does depend on where you’re going, if you’re travelling solo or with friends, and the type of trip your are taking. For example, you’re not going to take flimsy clothing to visit the Pyramids in Egypt, or beach wear to visit Iceland. So, check up on the climate, the societal/cultural requirements, what you will be doing,  and then decide what is appropriate.

I am NOT a fan of rolling clothes. I am constantly being told packing this way takes less room to pack, but I don’t find it to be true. I always put something large and thick on the bottom of my suitcase, and then fold my clothes very flat; I put cardigans and small items like that in plastic bags; swimming costumes too. Folding flat gives a good chance of not looking as though you just crawled out of a rag bag when you reach your destination.

If I am going somewhere hot, I always have a hoodie in case it turns cold, and I throw in one of those plastic ponchos in case it rains! In fact, you can buy one wherever you are; they’re cheap and cheerful and you’re not looking to make a fashion statement.

Sun Screen

Buy it before you leave home and throw it in your bag. You may be surprised at how difficult it is to find sun screen in some countries; if language is a problem, it becomes even tougher, so take it with you and wear it … every day! Even when the sun isn’t shining, packing it is no real drama.

Vitamins and minerals

Take them with you; quicker, easier and less troublesome.

Check Google before you leave to see which items you can buy at your destination and which you can’t. It will save you irritation …

Feet

Make sure they’re in good condition before you leave and take any salves or special orthotics or whatever with you.

Pillow and dressing gown.

This is one of my things but I ALWAYS travel with my own pillow. If I can’t fit it in my bag, I will carry it … nothing is getting between me and my pillow and a good nights sleep. Although, it’s very squidgy so packing it has rarely been a problem.

Same with my dressing gown (or robe) which I have been known to wear on a flight when it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase! It is Deep Plum, unbelievably warm, and has a hood; it doubles as a blanket and if I am travelling somewhere cold, or somewhere that is likely to become cold, I take it with me … like my fluffy slippers!

Shoes at Security

This rightly belongs in another article about flying … long-haul and short haul … but it’s always good to be reminded to wear easily slipped on and off shoes for going through security. Many shoes contain metal in the sole and the beeper doesn’t like this …

Well, there is probably even more that I could add, but this is probably enough for today! As usual, we would all love to hear any packing or travel tips you would like to share with us … so please, email or just comment on this post.

 

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