A big part of the what-annoys-you-about-long-haul-flights thread has been around how much stuff people like to travel with.
I’m on the as-little-as-possible-within-reason side of the fence, mainly because I have a morbid horror of baggage carousels. But I am fascinated by the extremes of people who travel either with a tiny carry-on (that doesn’t even look full) or 6 massive cases requiring a fleet of trollies.
So my question is: what is absolutely vital and is always in your suitcase? What can’t you live without? I’m assuming everyone takes clean pants, so let’s exclude those from consideration.
Top of my packing list is always earplugs and eyemask – not just for the plane (though undeniably useful) but also because wherever I go hotels seem to have missed the point that sleep is better in darkness and silence. And a tiny notepad – because it doesn’t need a charger and no-one wants to nick it.
When I travel I always take my lap top and smart phone or my Tab. Even on holiday I need to be able to communicate with potential clients or my partner. Another must for me is a pair of black shoes that work with jeans or a pair of casual slacks.
I try to be a minimalist when I travel and check one soft bag (partially full) and my small carry-on backpack. Even for a month I just bring enough clothing for a week and wash my clothes. In many parts of the world it’s almost impossible to travel with more than one bag and a carry-on. Ever try to navigate the stairs of the Metro in Paris, Madrid, Bangkok or the streets of Yangon with more than one bag? If the escalator is out of order in London you are going to kill yourself trying to get to street level from the deep tunnels. So travel light!!!!
With the what annoys you thread, I think it is the volume of the stuff people get away with carrying on, and more importantly the fact they are blatantly disregarding (and being allowed to by airline staff) the rules which the majority have followed by carrying just one small bag on board(which as an Englishman grates on my innate sense of fairness! lol)
In general I like to travel light, as I backpack most of the time, flashpack occasionally, so I never want to take too much. Like Time I never take more than a weeks worth of clothes (maybe the odd extra item depending on climate).
A new novel is always a must, although I have to admit that lately an e reader has started to replace my much bulkier paperbacks of old!
I have to say though I’m exactly the same with a little notepad! I always buy a new one (pocket sized) plus a new pen every time I go away! I love writing and it allows me to jot my thoughts down any time I like!
Other than that my pacsafe is always in my pack. It’s bulky and heavy but essential!
I always take a small pocket sized first aid kit too.
Right on Michael! One carry-on of 7 kg only! No exceptions unless you have a medical reason!
Yes to the raincoat! My partner say’s: why do you always carry a raincoat? My response is just incase it rains!!!!! Da!
Book and headphones.
My Swiss Army…. Belt.
Silk eyemask makes any humble bed luxurious, gaffer tape for all your fixing needs, sarong as multipurpose bedsheet, scarf, dress, towel.
In an attempt look reasonably smart for a recent research trip, I crammed a miniature travel iron into my backpack. I’m prepared to be judged for this, but it’s definitely become one of my essentials! Along with a camera, and some sort of waterproof shoes. There’s nothing worse than squelching around in flip-flops when the forecast isn’t quite as sunny as promised…
One of those electric-shock zappers you can get to stop your mosquito/sand fly/bug bites from itching! Absolutely vital. Although, once on a bus trip in Peru a couple of tiny Peruvian girls became fascinated with the ‘zapper’, stole it from me and began terrorizing myself and my friends! We were helpless, stuck on a bus for 3 hours (it wasn’t amusing after the first 20 minutes) – not so good!
Kindle, ipod, sun cream, insect repellent, scarf/sarong. And thanks for the reminder Clare – after years of making the same mistake (ie not bringing them), eye mask and earplugs are getting bumped up to my essentials list too. Don’t see the miniature travel iron making the cut though…
Books and headphones are really a best companionship….