How To Pack Like A Pro

I’m starting to learn a few things about how to pack when doing international travelling. I hasten to say that most of these lessons have been learnt from past mistakes.

On my first overseas trip, one could quite easily have fitted a tyrannosauraus into my suitcase. I cringe when I confess that my boyfriend at the time and I took along matching his and hers suitcases. We actually did! In France, a hot tempered French coach driver became enraged when I couldn’t follow through on more than “Bonjour Monsieur” in French”. This, and possibly the sheer SIZE of our suitcases, resulted in him unceremoniously powerlifting our ‘matching duo’ and violently throwing them into the luggage compartment, breaking my case’s wheels in the process. Il était un grand désastre! What made matters worse, was the fact that these cases were on loan to us. Said boyfriend, ever the gentleman, lugged his and my wheel-less monstrocity up and down stairs, escalators, elevators, on and off trains all around a busy, bustling and burgeoning Paris. The travel bug bit me hard upon my return…and it’s no wonder the boyfriend hurriedly vanished from my life shortly thereafter!

So, taking a reasonably sized suitcase that swivels and has wheels that move when you do, is most definitely a good idea, especially when you are travelling solo. This trip, I shall be proudly sporting a Cellini suitcase that I borrowed from my older sister. I don’t speak Cantanese and Mandarin, so hopefully, the wheels will stay attached to the suitcase.

Am I going to have my suitcase mummified in bubblewrap at the Port Elizabeth airport before departure? My father says that it is a waste of money and that it is not a theft deterant, but I disagree, so bubblewrapped it will be.

Am I going to ask for an ‘upgrade’? You bet I am! Why not travel business class if you can?! If not, hopefully I will get to share the close confines of economy class with someone interesting seated next to me. If not, I shall whip out my book and read.

Previously, for some unknown reason, I always tried to take along as much hand luggage as is permitted! Anyone watching me juggling my hand luggage would have thought that I was a one man circus act! This time, I’m sensible taking along a small backpack which leaves both of my arms unencumbered. I’m learning!

Then, when it comes to WHAT to pack? Well, that’s quite a toughie when you are going to be away from home for six weeks and you have a varied itinerary. Sjoe, and 20kgs isn’t a generous luggage allocation for someone with as vast a wardrobe as mine. Nice clothes are my one weaknes. Well maybe, clothes and coffee!
So, this time, I’ve sensibly opted for neutral colours and unless an item of clothing can be mixed and matched more than twice, it hasn’t made the ‘come with’ cut! Bright headbands and lipstick will have to provide colour, and luckily they don’t take up much space.

I’ve learnt that by rolling clothes items before packing them, you not only end up with them less creased at your destination, but you can fit more into your suitase. Having said this, what fits when one departs doesn’t necessarily fit when one returns. Why is this? I usually have to resort to sitting on my suitcase to get it to close. (oops, maybe my sister shouldn’t read this).

Scorching heat and humidity awaits me in Asia. If I don’t melt, I’ll share my adventures with you.

I guess I may need to carry a parasol in one of my free hands!Wish me well as I wave you goodbye.