Holiday packing tips

Trying to pack everything in your suitcase
Rushing to get away on vacation? Here’s some tips for holiday packing and what gadgets to take:
  • Check the baggage allowance for the airline you’re travelling on. An increasing number have a ONE checked-in bag allowance and will charge like roaring bulls for a second one.
  • Finish packing 24 hours before you are due to fly.
  • Chances are you will over pack. That 24 hours will give you time to reassess what can be taken out.
  • Take one colour story, so you minimise the clothing items.
  • Always leave some space for what you are about to buy. Because you know you will.
  • Pack socks and small items inside shoes.
  • Pack dirty clothes into a plastic bag.
  • Pack shoes inside plastic bags to minimise dirt from the soles getting on your clothes.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes in flight and take a spare pair of knickers, cleanser and moisturiser and clean t-shirt for a long haul.
  • Hand sanitizer because aircraft toilets are are notoriously unclean after about the first two hours.
  • Small amounts of toiletries packed in ziplock bags in case they leak.

Do you really need all your gadgets? If you’re on holiday, you might want to take a break from being endlessly connected. Otherwise, here are my tips for keeping your hardware to a sensible minimum.

  • iPod with your favourite music for those chill out times.
  • Take a universal travel adaptor.
  • Wear a watch and set it to local time before you land. I always wear a watch while travelling. It saves me digging into my bag to check my iPhone and it doesn’t need charging.
  • While in Europe recently, I saw people using iPads to take pictures. The iPad mini is better for travelling. It’s smaller, super light, fits in your hand, has a modest 5 megapixels front-facing camera. It doesn’t have a flash and there have been complaints about its proprietary USB connector – you have to use its cable instead of a standard micro USB.
  • Do you really need to take your massive multi-zoom, endless angles camera? In some places you will be a target for thieves, and let’s face it, they’re heavy and delicate. I often use a small Canon PowerShot A495. If you have a cool new smart phone, the cameras are so sophisticated now, that may be all you’ll need.
  • I take a small Netbook rather than an iPad, partly because it’s easier to type accurately on a proper keyboard.
  • Ditch the gadgets and write postcards instead of emails. Seriously. There’s still a small thrill of getting a quick note in the handwriting of someone you know who is far away. And there’s less chance of boring them silly with a long epistle of where you’ve been sightseeing that day.
  • Then pour yourself a stiff drink. I always do.

Christmas cocktail

2 measures good quality chilled vodka
1 measure Cointreau
1 measure red Vermouth
1 measure unsweetened chilled cranberry juice. Shake well in a chilled cocktail container (reducing the need for ice which just waters down your drink) then pour into a martini glass. Cheers!

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