You will most likely have a problem with packing if you have landed an overseas job. In all your excitement, you’ll have packed everything you think you need, until you come down to earth with the realisation that you’re over the baggage limit. Here’s our tips on how to pack your bags like a jetsetter. Begin with the end in mind – in this case, pack with the destination in mind. Does your destination have two or four seasons? Will you be staying for longer than a season? Do you have special needs? What activities will you be doing once you get there?
Imagine How your Day Goes
I mentally go through my day and envision the things that I use and list them when I pack for a trip. Like pack those slippers that I use in the bathroom, my toothbrush/toothpaste, facial wash, and so on. Imagine your end of day as well and the things that you need to get a good night’s sleep. I had a high school friend who packed his “friend” because they’ve never been apart and he can’t sleep without his wabbit. God forbid you forget something like that.
List it Down
You’ll never know how important a thing is until you need it and it’s on the other side of the world. I begin my list several weeks before the actual trip, jot down things as it occurs to me, and just pare it down to the essentials once I’ve begun the actual packing. By essentials, I mean cutting down on the number of clothes and shoes. You won’t need that much, believe me. Choose monochromatic mix and match pieces if your fashion conscience is screaming out in horror.
Finally, I check off each item as I pack them, that way, I know which item is still missing. I also bring this record so that I have an inventory of the things I brought with me.
I always bring an umbrella and a jacket even in the height of summer. Let’s face it, the weather these days are pretty much unpredictable due to global-warming. On my carry-on, I also bring a scarf and a tubular sarong/malong – think Buff but on a much bigger scale. Buy one if you can. The malong doubles as a blanket, towel, sleeping bag during long layovers, a changing room, and even a privacy screen when I had to do my business in the bush on a bus trip in Cambodia! Another must have is wipes. They are so handy in cleaning up messes. Even if your connecting flight got delayed, you won’t feel so crummy with these on hand.
I can’t reiterate the importance of putting the heavy loads at the bottom of your luggage. That being said, the toiletries (in a quart Ziploc bag) need to go on top because you don’t want to rummage through to the bottom of your pack just to get them. Rolling your clothes is also a good idea, as well as putting them in a bag. This way, even if your shampoo bottle bursts, your clothes are protected from any accidental spillage. The bag can also be squeezed and the air let out so you’ll be able to squeeze in more souvenirs. Just make sure to pack wrinkle-free fabric. Another tip is to tie a colorful ribbon on your checked-in luggage to make it easier to see on the carousel.
Finally, pack your hand-carried luggage in a way that you can survive on its contents for three days. This way, you’re ready for any eventuality even if you got stranded on an airport or your checked-in baggage got lost.