Posted by: travelrat | May 31, 2018


I’ve just got back from a couple of days away, and I like this kind of trip for its simplicity of packing. Just toss some toiletries, a change of socks and underwear and a clean shirt into a small overnighter, put my camera gear and tablet into my backpack and I’m away.

If you’re going away for longer, then we are into the world of lists … and endless asking ‘Do I really need it? It depends on where you’re going, what you’ll be doing and how long for. Only one thing is certain. If you need to carry your stuff any distance, it’s surprising what you don’t need.

A lot of travel articles, and many blogs will carry features on ‘Handy Tips for Packing’ or something like that. One, I swear, some time ago, advocated drilling holes in your toothbrush handle to save weight.

My philosophy on packing goes something like this:

Take a suitcase, holdall or backpack.

Put stuff in

Try to close the lid.

If it won’t close, take stuff out until it does

If travelling by air, weigh the package

If it exceeds the airlines limit, take more stuff out.

A more serious rule is … ‘If it would break your heart to lose it, don’t take it’

If you travel by air, you’ll be familiar with the idea of cabin baggage and hold baggage. It works for other forms of transport, too. On trains and buses, you’re often separated from the larger items, which are stowed in the luggage compartment, and you take (I hope!) a small bag containing your ‘Wanted On Voyage’ items to your seat with you.

Stuff you particularly value goes in this bag, too … my cameras, for instance, never go in the hold baggage. One guy I know even goes to the lengths of taking his memory cards out of his computer and cameras, and putting them in his wallet.

‘The cameras can be replaced’ he says ‘the stuff I have on them can’t!’

Good advice if you have to evacuate the aircraft in a hurry … but, surely, statistically, he’s far more likely to get hos pocket picked?

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