The one thing about having family scattered across multiple cities, is that you’re bound to be hopping on a plane, bus or car and heading off to see them every now and again. While it’s exciting, making sure you’ve packed everything you need, and might need should something unexpected happen, can be a nightmare – especially when you’re trying to limit the weight to 20 kg of luggage, with air travel. And when you’re Indian, there’s always hand luggage for food (of some kind) that needs to be taken or brought to family (of some sort). So how do you balance keeping space for all this and making sure you have everything you may need? It’s tricky but there’s a small list of travel essentials I have with me to make it easier, and affords me peace of mind.
There isn’t anything that makes space in your bag more easily than this. Each cube can hold quite a few items – you can organise your clothing according to what you’re going to wear each day or according to types of clothing items. Either way, when you’re done packing all your clothes in the cubes, you’re left with ample space in your bag for other things. Also, your bag will be so neat and organised, you won’t feel like opening anything. I just end up admiring my packed bag for a few minutes, when I’m done using these (yeah, I am a neat freak, and seeing things organised brings me immense satisfaction). Packing cubes seem to be hard to find in South Africa. Amazon has them for around $25. It’s worth it.
Our gadgets are our life. Or, at least that’s what it has come to for some of us. And the idea of losing battery power, whether you need your phone, tablet or laptop at that moment or not, is worrisome. After doing research, my husband concluded that the Romoss power banks offer the best quality, performance and value for money. We’ve got the Solo 3 6000mAh, which has two ports (1 high-output and 1 regular), and a torch. but there are power banks with higher capacities. Check on takealot, or sometimes OneDayOnly has great deals on these (I’d say keep a lookout on ODO and takealot’s Daily Deal for a while first, before buying). The great thing about this is that it’s small enough to fit in my handbag, so it stays with me everywhere I go.
Dedicated 2-Pin Plug
You’ll have to charge up that power bank at some point, or your phone/laptop/use your hair dryer which requires a 2-pin plug, or if you need to charge up your device while at the airport. We have a 2-pin plug that remains in our suitcase, meant solely for travelling. This is such a lifesaver – and it’s so cheap too. Definitely a no-brainer.
Second Set of Toothbrushes
My husband and I have a second set that remains in its toothbrush casing and in our toiletry bag so we don’t have to stress about this. The idea came about when I forgot my toothbrush at home (even after writing it down on my list of items to pack). I felt so silly for forgetting something so simple. And then it hit me – why am I taking the only one I have when I could just get another toothbrush for travelling only? And so we did. It’s a cheaper version of my current one, which means that if I forget it anywhere (ever again), I won’t feel so bad about it and it wouldn’t be much of a loss.
No matter which airline you fly with, you’re still at risk of a delayed flight. Unexpected delays can be incredibly frustrating, and the worst part is finding a way to kill your time. I load onto my laptop or cellphone, or both, TV series and movies (even if there’s nothing new out, I don’t mind watching old repeats), and make sure I have a spare pair of ear phones with me. I actually do this not only in anticipation of a delay, but to pass time en route. Getting to and from Cape Town is almost a minimum of 1h50mins of travel time each way… which is a long enough time to be bored out of your mind. And somehow being bored is almost as tiring as being active in that time, so I rather sit back, relax and enjoy an episode or movie.
Which travel items are essential to you? Share your tips, I’d love to know!