If you're anything like me, you take wayyyyyyy too much when you travel. Those "just in case" items.
I'm a chronic over packer and never use or wear half of what I take.
I have a few solutions, although I cant promise it will help you decide not to take the handbag that Aunty Rita gave you in case you bump into her on your travels.
1. Make a packing list. In advance. There are loads you can google on the internet.
2. Pack clothing that mixes and matches. And pack layers.
Consider investing in a couple of tops made of lightweight superfine merino wool (www.intimo.com.au) that wick away moisture and resists odour - this means they can be worn again and again without washing.
Its worth looking at the labels on items for easy care and quick drying options.
3. Google the weather where you're travelling. No point in taking the ski mask if you're going to the Bahamas. I know you know this.
4. Use packing cells like these ones i use. That way you can roll your clothing and fit more in. Rolling clothes instead of folding takes less room and your clothing ends up less creased.
Even if you have a garment that needs an iron, most hotels will supply one. If they don't, either hang the item in a steamy bathroom or dampen it and then smooth it out and dry with a hairdryer which will have exactly the same effect.
Packing cells also help keep you organised and keep like with like.
Stuff small items, like socks, into shoes, to make the most of space and, if you're going away for a while and really do need a lot of clothes for all weathers, consider buying a compression bag, either an automatic one, or one that works off a vacuum cleaner, to suck out all the air before putting into a suitcase.
Always include a sarong or a pashmina/scarf, which makes a versatile cover-up or even a bedsheet, or just keeps you warm on the plane.
5. Take a day pack. You'll need something light to carry with pockets and zips. Something comfortable for your shoulders and a decent size but not too big.
A lightweight small bag is a necessity, either a little shoulder day-pack or a bag with a strap that can be worn across the body, for going out at your destination. Avoid a bag with wheels as this will limit where you'll be able to walk – up and down stairs or across cobblestones – and can quickly become a nuisance.
6. Choose sturdy luggage but bear in mind the luggage allowances for airlines and cruise ships.
7. Leave glass bottles at home. Make little travel packs of your favourite shampoo, conditioner and any face and skin lotions into small plastic travel bottles and buy a sample size of toothpaste.
Avoid the temptation to take tablets in case of constipation, loose bowels, stomach ache, dysentery, cream for bites and rashes, Band-Aids of all shapes and sizes, and a selection of bandages creams and scissors. You can buy them there..
8. Grab something to keep all your info together in like a passport organiser.
9. Technology. Don't forget the charger. You can pre make a great playlist or download a movie to watch before you go as youre travelling. Invest in a universal charger and cables that can keep everything going.
A small torch is a must as are ear plugs, or headphones. And grab something to keep these all in and organised.
10. Last but the most important. Make sure you have Travel Insurance.