Sue jumping up and down outside our orange tour bus

How to Pack Your Case - And What to Take

Author: Sue Rogers
Date: 24th March 2019

I’m not in the business of telling anyone how many pairs of knickers to pack or what sort of dress to wear. I’m not great at packing light, even after all these years. I have one friend who only ever travels with a daypack - a few toiletries, shorts, a tracksuit, two tee shirts and two sets of underwear. This is great for convenience when looking after your gear. But I like my comforts and I’ve discovered that some items are very handy to have while you’re travelling. I don’t take too many clothes. You can usually get them washed - at a price. And if you don’t mind them coming back a little battered and shrunk. It’s my toiletries that weigh the most – see Toiletries tips

I like my life to be as easy as possible. So, it’s essential to get a case that’s really lightweight. Four wheels for easy rolling and no strain on the back. Which rules out holdall type cases. These are harder to pack neatly and to find stuff in. I like to know where every item is - when you have a lot of gear you don’t want to have to take all of it out when you just need one thing. Especially if it’s a different lodging every night. So, I use packing cubes. They make best use of all the space and you can colour code them. Tops in one, trousers in another, dresses in a third and so on. If I’m in the same place for a little while and I want to unpack it’s easy to remove the cubes and stack them in the room. Plastic cuboids for toiletries and medical kits too. If I’m taking bulky gilets or coats I use compression bags so they take up less space.

This is what’s in my case:

  • Clothes in cubes - see above
  • Toiletries - see separate post
  • Medication and first aid kit - See separate post
  • Spare pens – the perishers get lost too easily
  • Passport copy – yes as well as the spare ones in my trolley - better safe than sorry
  • Extra purse/wallet – an additional place for currency or storing in hotel safes
  • Packing pouches - waterproof bags with lock tops for smaller items – underwear, swimwear, socks, shoes – different sizes and colours
  • Jewellery bag – with cheap jewellery I don't mind losing. Chains get tangled very easily, so wrap in Clingfilm
  • Laundry bag – drawstring – for dirty clothes
  • Lightweight/collapsible daypack – for day trips out walking or the beach when the trolley is too cumbersome
  • Umbrella - small collapsible
  • Spare sunglasses - I'm expert at losing sunglasses
  • Spare padlocks and light chain for securing your day pack and/or your suitcase in the room or to something immoveable if you have to leave it unattended (see Money Matters)
  • Duct tape - for repairs - especially suitcase tears
  • Swim goggles - in protective container
  • Sleeping bag liner - for dodgy looking beds
  • Cutlery –- for picnics and in room dining
  • Water bottle – with purifier
  • Travel ball/roller – to exercise my back and muscles if I get problems
  • Swiss army knife - it looks the part, but I've never found anything to use it for...

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