In exactly two weeks, it will be time for me to pack my suitcase, embark for Sicily and return for a while, as they say, where I came from. Since I haven’t been back to my city since last summer, for this Christmas, I thought it would be a good idea to take it a bit more comfortable, thus avoiding the usual sad touches and escapes of recent years. I will stay a little more than fifteen days. It’s about time.
Happiness aside, from the imminent departure has lit the bulb of a post full of advice on what to pack, aimed at many (many to tell the truth, indeed I know almost everyone) who enter into total panic whenever you have to pull out of the closet the trolley and begin to fill it before a trip.
I, on the other hand, have never suffered from suitcase panic. On the contrary. For me the euphoric state of the journey begins at that very moment, when I first have to make local minds to decide what to take in the suitcase and then, piece by piece, fill it. Result: my trolley is always ready in record time that rarely exceeds twenty minutes. It can be said that the suitcase is now an automatic action. I use a lot, but a lot more to plan all the other aspects of the trip (reservations, itinerary, movements). The moment of the suitcase, for me, besides being pure happiness, is also very short. And things don’t change that much if, instead of the usual hand luggage, I have to fill the 20 kg trolley to embark.
The secret is to plan, and this is the first piece of advice I give you on how to pack your suitcase. Before you pull the trolley out of the closet, open it and fill it with things in bulk, take ten minutes to sit at your desk with pen and paper, concentrate and throw down a nice list of things to pack that you want (or need) to take with you. Writing a list will help you a lot to 1) don’t make mistakes, 2) don’t forget anything (or at least nothing important), 3) don’t exaggerate with the things to take away with you (in reality this is an error in which I fall every now and then; but among all the mistakes that you can make is the least serious, right?).
In this way you will see that, journey after journey and trolley after trolley, packing will become faster and faster operation and fun for you too.
Having said that, I will move on to the concrete suggestions. First of all I’ll leave you four lists that I’ll call “universal”: the beauty case, the technology, the underwear and the various and possible ones. Four lists of things to pack that you will always need, whatever your destination and whatever the length of your holiday.
Immediately afterwards, I will make some more specific considerations about what to pack depending on the occasion: is a two or three day break waiting for you? A longer trip? A nice holiday by the sea?
Let’s see together how to fill the trolley without effort and especially without falling prey to unnecessary anxieties.
What to pack: 4 universal lists
WHAT TO PUT IN THE BEAUTY CASE
The first universal list of things to pack that are good for any trip is the dreaded beauty case . In some ways, beauty is one of the most important things: losing it or making a mistake in it can be unpleasant, not so much for the eventual lack of availability of the products in the destination we are about to reach for the costs that cosmetics usually have. In any case, however, always remember that you are traveling: if you lose your beauty or forget about creams and creams at home, relax! It is not a tragedy. A solution is found, you only think about having fun and enjoying your holiday.
That said, I always put in my travel beauty case:
- Mini size toothbrush and toothpaste
- Mini size eye and face cleanser
- Mini size air freshener
- Mini size solution for contact lenses
- Samples of face cream and eye contour (the latter not always)
- Detergents and various soaps, always in mini size (bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner, intimate soap)
- Hair comb: actually I usually put it in my suitcase but not inside the beauty (it doesn’t fit). Let me point this out in this list only as a matter of thematic affinity
- Make up: the minimum necessary to not go around like a witch and settle down every now and then
- Make-up cotton pads (as many as the days provided for the holiday)
- Tweezers and razor (for journeys exceeding three days)
They seem like a lot of things but it’s not like that, trust me. Furthermore, keep in mind that when I say “mini size” I mean really small bottles and flasks. The important thing is that in total all together do not exceed the amount of a liter if your beauty case has to go in hand luggage. If, on the other hand, the beauty is intended for large baggage to be loaded in the hold you are more free to abound.
THE TECHNOLOGICAL OBJECTS TO PUT IN YOUR SUITCASE
Technology is definitely one of the most fun lists to make when it’s time to decide what to pack. In my case, they never fail:
- Mobile phone
- Mobile phone charger
- Camera Chargers
- A spare memory card for the camera (I recommend it especially after my experience in Portugal: on the last day of travel my camera had a memory so full that I couldn’t even take a picture)
- Power Bank (one of the most successful purchases, as far as I’m concerned)
- Laptop with its charger or tablet (useful for example if you plan to work)
- Travel hairdryer (if you are sure not to find it in the room you have booked for the holiday)
- Adapter for electric socket (obviously depending on your destination).
Here the game is easy. It’s about packing:
- Intimate shirts or so-called health shirts (for those who use them)
For underwear I adjust it like this: for trips lasting a maximum of 4 days I pack a change of each garment for each day of vacation. For longer journeys I count on hand washing or using the washing machine (when there is).
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Another list of things to pack that I really like. Mine always includes:
- Personal documents (passport and / or identity card, driving license if I have to drive during the journey, ATM and / or credit card)
- A book
- Sun glasses
- Notes, prints and various travel info (hotel and / or rental car booking receipts, flight boarding passes, map of the destination’s public transport, notes on the route to be taken, and so on).
- Various accessories (I usually carry only one or two pairs of earrings with me)
- Drugs of first necessity (such as aspirin, for example. I advise you not to forget it, especially if you travel in winter or cold destinations. Bring also lactic ferments and something for a stomach ache, with the hope of not having to use at all).
What to put in hand luggage (or backpack)
Keep in mind that everything I have listed so far in the four lists of objects that I have called universal falls quietly in my hand luggage. Also because I travel almost exclusively with that alone.
In my small trolley (so to speak, the trolley that I call small is the one that for Ryanair should not exceed 10 kg in weight and the dimensions of 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm. The same for which now you have to pay a supplement for bringing it into the cabin with you) then there are all the objects of the four universal lists plus the clothing changes planned for the holiday.
For advice on what to take with you about clothes and clothing, I refer you to the following paragraphs.
The choice between the trolley and the backpack is rather personal. A matter of taste, practicality and comfort. And it also depends on the capacity of your backpack. Mine, for example, is not large: things can stay inside to spend one or two nights out. For very short trips I prefer it: I find it much more practical to carry around a backpack on your shoulders than to drag a trolley.
For journeys exceeding two nights, however, my faithful companion remains the trolley.
What to pack for three days
Here is another sore point for the many who do not like to pack: what to pack for a weekend or a long bridge (let’s do a maximum of four days)?
Thinking back to the baggage I prepared for Lisbon, for a total of 4 days of travel, my advice is to add as many clothing changes to the objects of the 4 universal lists as there are vacation days. Example: if you are out for three days, bring three changes.
I, to be honest, prefer to abound with the change of shirt / sweater but I never wear any change of jeans / pants or shoes. But this too is a personal choice.
If you are about to leave for a cold destination or if you travel in winter, don’t forget the umbrella, as well as a scarf, gloves and a hat. In this regard, however, I advise you to always take a look at the weather forecast before you leave: in the case of my trip to Lisbon, in fact, I slightly exaggerated with accessories and woolen clothes. Being late November, I expected to find a more autumnal than spring climate (as it was instead).
Finally, last tip: don’t forget to pack your pajamas!
What to pack for a week
Preparing your suitcase for a week’s journey can be a bit more challenging if, for example, you have decided to carry your large luggage to be loaded and now you have to fill it.
In general, even in this case the things to take on the road they are more or less the same. Let’s say that with the big baggage you can have more fun: in addition to the items on our four universal lists, you might think of bringing as many clothes changes as there are vacation days. Indeed, if I were you I would do just that, above all for not having the thought of having to do washing machines or hand washes during the holidays. In a large suitcase, then, there is also space for an extra pair of trousers, for changing shoes and, why not, for a pretty handbag for going out at night. And the products to put in the beauty can be larger than the usual skimpy travel vials. Indeed, at this point you might think about buying bubble bath and shampoo directly on site instead of bringing them from home. Within a week, walking,
As always, don’t forget to pack an umbrella, gloves, scarf and hat (for winter travel) and pajamas.
What to pack for the sea
The time has come to dream a little. And to fill the most beautiful suitcase of all, the one full of things to take to the sea . Like the one I filled in August, first for Salento and then for Sicily, then.
In the past, when it came to packing my suitcase for the sea, I have to say that I have always had a good time with only hand luggage (even for one or two week trips). Maybe a small trolley plus a backpack. Summer clothes, in fact, are so light that they take up very little space in the suitcase.
What to take on vacation? Obviously the four universal lists are valid also in this case. And then:
- Swimwear, claro!
- Comfortable and fresh clothes to stay on the beach.
- Flip-flops and rubber shoes for swimming (I’m a big fan of them)
- The beach towel (around you will also find very thin ones that take up little space in your suitcase)
- Sunscreens and after-sun, of course! They are also available in mini size on the market.
- Beach hat and sunglasses
- The umbrella, for safety, I would bring it (and for obvious reasons I would let loose gloves, scarf and wool hat, unless for beach vacation you do not intend to go to find the sea in winter, which is still a show).
- For the evening, remember to pack a long-sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt or a light jacket, if the temperature drops.
- For the same reason also a pair of closed shoes.
- And as always the pajamas (or what you wear to sleep in hot periods).
I should have told you everything. The essential things are certainly not lacking.
What to say, at this point my suitcase for Sicily is almost done. Writing I have practically already planned the configuration of my legendary trolley.
I hope my tips on what to pack come in handy. Or that you are reassured and have a sigh of relief.
You will have seen that I have kept to the “classic” trips, not considering special occasions such as exotic destinations (for which you might have to add to the list of things to pack also mosquito sprays and mosquito repellents and various insects) or trips to mountain in winter (on which I do not pronounce because I have no great experiences).
Keep in mind the suggestion I gave you at the beginning of the post, the one on the list to be written. It will help you, you will see: you will avoid confusion and you will clarify your ideas better. You will save a lot of time and reduce the margin of error.
Suitcase and anxieties aside, however, the really fundamental thing is one: you are about to go on vacation. The best is yet to come.
I greet you by leaving you my Christmas present for your next trip: whatever destination and period you choose, by booking your room in the hotel, apartment or B & b from this link you will get a refund of 15 euros directly on your credit card at the end of the holiday ( and I will be rewarded with the same amount). Great trips to everyone!