By Jane Efagwu
Vacations are the most anticipated parts of the work year for most people. Every day, we spend hours in traffic on our way to work after which the day starts to feel like it is done already only for us to realize the day is only about to begin Every day we spend about nine hours at our various work places trying to perform one duty or achieve one goal or the other. Our days are constantly punctuated with various meetings, deadlines and assignments. We get home feeling stressed and worn-out and guess what? We still have do a repeat performance the next day. As a result, the three days that make up the weekend aren’t even enough to regain the energy exhausted during the working five days. Plus the weekend always moves faster than you know it! In this situation, there is only one thing to do: VACATION. Take a break! Gather your loved ones and go to that exciting holiday destination you’ve been itching to go all year. Just let go and feel the cool water and warm sun on your skin as your body truly relaxes and regains itself from the stressful habits.
While it might sound fun and exciting to travel to a new place and create those everlasting memories, it is important to get one thing right: PACKING. Packing is one of the underrated steps taken when preparing for a vacation because you are too busy booking plane tickets, hotel suites and all that, you forget that you need to pack in the right way because a good baggage is a good package and I’m not even talking about the design of the bag. You don’t want to pack the unnecessary times and leave the major ones out of the bag. This could lead to a strained vacation when you realize you didn’t bring that bikini for the beach but you brought two sweatpants along instead. But have no fear, that is why we are here. Check out our list of things to consider when packing:
FIRST THINGS FIRST…
Make A List- Obvious right? Not really. Sometimes, when packing we remember the important items we want to pack and leave out the other auxiliary items which help the former to function properly. In order not to be “preferential” during your packing process, just make a list. Run through your days at your house and the days to be spent at the resort or vacation spot to compare and see which item will be going and which item wont. For example, picturing yourself waking up will mean you need to pack a toothbrush, sponge and towel for your morning bath. Make sure you check with your plan for any activities that might require certain items. If you have plans to go hiking, then those hiking boots need to be on the list you’re making.
Versatility- You know the saying “less is more”. By this, I mean pack less items that will serve you more. Dual purpose items are the key in this situation. Pack items that can apply in various tasks and functions thus reducing the amount of things you actually pack. For example, a pair of jeans and a shirt is great outfit for a stroll. If you add a jacket and a pair of heels, it becomes a simple outfit for a night on the town. That way, you’ve killed two birds with one stone.
Baggage Limits- Depending on the means of transportation you wish you to use whether by air or road, one thing is certain: baggage limits. The more baggage you bring along, the more cost you incur. You will have to pay extra for that extra trolley of yours or you’ll be forced to remove some items which can destabilize you because you weren’t prepared for that part of the trip. So avoid extra costs and tasks and stick to the limits set.
Bag Space- Keep in mind that you’ll want to go shopping at your destination so you will definitely bring more items than you took in the first place. With this in mind, do not fill up your boxes entirely. Reserve space in your box for the items you hope to buy when you buy later. This way, even after your shopping, your box is still within the required box size range.
Check out the weather- Knowing the weather in the area you will be visiting, helps you know what you’ll need for the trip. You don’t want to pack sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats when it is going to be pouring all day. The weather can greatly influence the contents of our baggage so check it out before you pack and plan.
Pack some meds- Health wise, a lot can happen during vacation. Climate related illnesses, skin allergies, throbbing headaches or worse, all three! These can potentially ruin a good vacation if you ask me so pack a small bag with the necessary meds you might need in case of such things happening. Also in the country or city, you’re going to, medicines or drugs may be limited to prescriptions which will make things a little more complicated.
WHEN IT COMES TO CLOTHES AND SHOES…
- Roll your clothes into each other. For example, use a folded pair of jeans (folded at the side) as a base then place carefully folded clothes on the jeans and then roll them in like you’re rolling dough. This straightens out the clothes and also saves space.
- As said earlier, pack versatile clothing. Pack multi-purpose clothing that can serve during the day and also at night with slight addition or change.
- Shoes are one of the most confusing items to pack because you never really know what to pack. However, just the most basic and versatile footwear you have. Pair of slides, slippers, heels, sandals and heels are just what to pack (for both men and women). Pick out of these and you’re good to go.
- The shoes should be arranged neatly under the bag as a foundation for the clothes. Saves space and ensures a well-arranged bag.
- If you need to pack socks, just stuff them in your shoes. You’re welcome!
- Group your clothing. Roll shirts into shirts and into gowns to ensure coordination and easy unpacking.
- Don’t forget you gadgets and their auxiliaries. Don’t pack too much either. You’re going for a vacation not technology conference. A laptop, cell phone and an iPod are just fine. Remember their chargers and earphones where necessary.
- Cosmetics and Makeup: Avoid packing so much of things to avoid getting to your destination and seeing everything in a huge spill. Your favorite brand of cosmetics or makeup maybe out of reach in the area so pack it along but so much, still. Pack only what you need so you can discard what is finished after the vacation and save space.
- Don’t forget clean and versatile underwear. Although very underrated, it is still very important. Pack your faves which will leave you feeling good under your outfit.
- The important things stay on top of the bag. By important, I mean things that will be needed from time to time during your journey.
- Place a name tag on your bag. This is to avoid a painful and avoidable mix-up at the bus terminal or airport. Travelling bags look really similar so it is really easy to mix up. Name tags help you identify and differentiate your bag from others.
- Pack a hand luggage. This is because of the possibility of your luggage getting lost or mixed up. Pack your diamond engagement ring, passport, digital camera, novel, designer sunglasses, a pair of underwear and a clean shirt and jeans into your hand luggage. This is just to be on a safe side in case if anything unplanned occurs.
- Cross-check. Since you made a list, it should be easy to tick off what has been packed and add what hasn’t. It is just to be on the safe side.
ONE MORE THING…
Don’t forget to enjoy your vacation!