Aalé Mowjee, a cosmopolitan expat Pakistani, is one of our favourite overseas Pakistani bloggers. Her site, Absolutely Aale, focuses on high-end travel, wellness and beauty. Stylish and down-to-earth we love her authenticity and passion for travel and life in general. She shares her top holiday five packing tips and they’re all things we can totally relate to.
My top 5 holiday packing tips
It puts a smile on your face. A spring in your step. You suddenly go in to productive mode, trying to tie up loose ends because you are going on HOLIDAY. Back in the day, ‘holiday’ was known as ‘holy day’ in Christianity and it really shows you how much ‘holy’ is associated with time off from everyday life!
Going on holiday is your (hopefully) uninterrupted time to spend in a place you enjoy, or somewhere new where you get a chance to experience a different culture, cuisine and activity. Most importantly, it’s YOUR time and that’s exciting.
But when the dreaded task of packing creeps its way up in the TO DO list, a lot of us tend to get in to a real ‘tizz’ and often end up packing more than we should, not using some of the things we take and forgetting something or the other. Well, worry not. I’m sharing a few of my tips to help you pack smart with less stress so you can focus on enjoying the good bits of your holiday!
- Keep a pre-prepared travel essentials pack. This is a game changer and makes packing 10 times easier. I’ve broken travel essentials down in to 3 categories. I recommend using travel cubes for these:
Tech. Adapter, chargers, camera, iPad
Make up & Toiletries. All your face, body and hair products (pack 100ml versions of the liquid items). Don’t forget to include things like dry shampoo, sun screen, after-sun care, insect repellent (depends where you are going of course), shaving foam, razor, mouthwash, exfoliating gloves, make up wipes, sanitary pads/tampons. Also, it’s a good idea to put cotton wool in between make up products such eyeshadow or pressed powder to stop them cracking on the flight.
Medicines & Household items. Any regular vitamins, medicines. Paracetamol, plasters, safety pins, electrolytes in case of food poisoning or dehydration. A small box of washing up powder and a stain remover spray also might come in handy.
- Limit yourself to 3 pairs of shoes and bags. Okay, I have to admit I still have a bit of a problem when it comes to shoes and bags (doesn’t every girl?). These take up the most space and I often don’t use all of them. The key is taking shoes and bags in versatile neutral tones that will go with all your outfits, and focusing on only what you really need. The essentials include one pair of heels, flats and trainers. In terms of bags, you just need a practical everyday bag (I find cross bodies are the easiest when you are out and about), an evening clutch and a beach bag (again depends on where you are going). Also, it’s a good idea to use water/stain resistant spray on your shoes and bags before travelling.
- Plan your outfits. I’m not the best at thinking ahead, but trust me this is worth it! About 2 days before travelling, I think about the weather, the kind of places I will be going to and the activities I will be doing, and then I plan each outfit in terms of clothes, jewellery and shoes. If I have time, I try a few outfits on to see if the whole look works (some people even take a picture) so I remember how I put the outfit together. I will often take staple pieces that I can wear with multiple looks e.g. a black and white skirt or a pair of grey leather leggings. You end up packing less and don’t spend as much time getting ready, which means more time enjoying your holiday J
- Roll, don’t fold. I absolutely hate ironing on holiday so I roll my clothes to minimize creasing. It also helps maximise space in my suitcase and gives me better visibility of what I have packed. It really annoys me when I can’t remember if I’ve packed something and I end up having to take out all my clothes because I can’t see what I have put in…now I know better.
- Pack essentials and valuables in hand luggage. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I always carry my valuables (especially jewellery), toiletries, medicines, a spare change of clothes and something warm (I always freeze during flights) in my carry-on luggage. Anything could happen, so having key items with you at all times is a great way to ensure your holiday isn’t ruined in case of an airline losing your checked in baggage or anything else going wrong.