The other day someone asked me about the things that I always pack when I travel, and for my packing tips.
I used to travel for about 2 weeks a month on work trips, and the last four and a half years this mostly involved me commuting to Paris a few times a month as my team was based there. I have had to be really efficient about packing, and over the years have fine tuned the things that I absolutely have to have with me. It used to take me minutes to pack for those trips, and packing generally for any trip now takes me almost no time. This is because I have a routine when packaging, and a set of things I always take. This post shares these. Some are obvious, and some probably say more about me as a traveller – and person!
The 9 Things I take on every trip I ever do.
These are the things you will find I have with me no matter what trip I am doing, no matter where I am going.
1. My Saint Christopher Necklace. Given to me by my parents for Christmas when I was 13, I wear and take this always. This is more habit than religion or superstition, but I could never travel without it on.
2. Ears. By which I mean ear plugs. I am obsessed with noise on the plane or even more in hotels and cannot sleep without having ear plugs in. As the ones you get on planes are not always to my liking, I now always use Bio Ears. I used to use those yellow plug type, but after I started to suffer from tinnitus (not linked to the earplugs!), I stopped using them and started using Bio Ears (made by Cirrus Healthcare) after I was sent some.
Now I am hooked on them. They are soft silicone gel like plugs that you mould and cover your ear hole without going inside the ear. They are used by swimmers to keep water out, but they are amazing as era plugs and really shout out noise without putting anything into the ear. I now swear by them.
3. Eyes. I am also obsessed with light when trying to sleep (Yes, I know I am weird). So I always pack my trusty British Airways First Class Eye Patches – as they are made of soft fluffy fabric and not the sweaty stuff most others seem to be made of.
4. My iPhone (obvious one I guess!)
5. iPad. There are 2 reasons for this: (1) I can then do Face Time with home before bed and not only save money, but see Mark and show where I am and (2) I download “The Times” newspaper everyday so I feel connected and up to date with the UK, and get “proper” news!
6. Speakers for my iPhone. Although being obsessed about noise and light, I cannot live without my music when travelling and always pack my portable speakers to be able to play my own music. I cannot cope with endless CNN and turn my music on when I get to a hotel room, and only turn off when put my ear plugs in!
7. My 4 first aid supplies. Imodium for dodgy tummy, Paracetemol for headaches, Plasters for cuts and gel for mouth ulcers (don’t get them often but a real drag if you get them while travelling). I always take these in hand luggage after I had terrible stomach upset on a very long haul flight and the only way I could get some Imodium from the crew was for them to radio their on-call doctor in London to approve them giving me some from their first aid kit!
8. Camera. As I make videos of every room I stay in for my blog, podcast and YouTube Channel.
9. George. This is a small bear that I have had for many years and comes on every trip as a bit of a connection with home. If you watch my videos you will usually see him somewhere in the room…..
This is my packing routine.
1. Create a folder with my tickets, passport and currency in.
2. Decide the size of case I will take. Part of this involves making a decision if I will only take carry-on luggage or check in. Unless flying long haul, I try and do carry on when flying in Europe only, as waiting for luggage can be as long as some flights!
3. Put out the things I always take on every trip. The list of those below.
4. Work through in my mind getting dressed for the trip, and putting those clothes out. Then each day and what type of thing will need for each stage of the day. Deciding how many “sets” of things I need (like how many T-shirts or socks or underwear or work shirts etc).
So that is me and my packing quirks and routine. I find having some connection with home is really important for me, especially when I travel so much! What do you take and do?