How to Pack – 10 Top Wrinkles

An expert traveller’s guide to packing

Travel expert Kate Simon gives us her Top 10 travel packing tips for any trip:

Do you fold or roll? It’s the question I’m always asked when people find out that I’m co-author of Lonely Planet’s How to Pack for Any Trip. Frankly, I do both – wondering as I haphazardly roll and fold why anyone ever thought I was enough of an expert to write a book on the subject.

Yet, I guess my years as travel editor of The Independent on Sunday did teach me some tricks – and researching the book certainly taught me a few more. Here are 10 favourite travel packing tips, ideas and facts I’ve picked up along the way.

  1. The word luggage comes from the Middle English word ‘lug’, as in ‘drag’ – as anyone who still uses a suitcase without wheels will appreciate.
  2. Top travel kit 1: Crumpled City – waterproof, tear-resistant cloth maps of selected cities that you can stuff in your pocket, hankie-style. Just don’t do what my mate did, leave it on a trattoria table to be swept up with the serviettes by the waiter.
  3. It’s not just phones that have GPS locaters, soon most suitcases will have them. Watch out, too, for luggage that will follow you round the airport and even check itself in.
  4. Top travel kit 2: So bad it’s good, the Ostrich Pillow. You’re sure to get a good night’s sleep in this comedy headgear reminiscent of a deep-sea diver’s helmet, not least because nobody is likely to disturb you if you’re prepared to wear it in public.
  5. Every frequent traveller has one, The Mother Bag, ready-to-go core kit that’s never unpacked – washbag, travel adaptor, ear plugs … the things you always take on your travels.
  6. Top travel kit 3: Still on my Christmas list, portable shelving that you pack then just lift out of your suitcase and hang in the hotel wardrobe.
  7. Beware the fate of James McElvar, member of boy band Rewind, who dodged luggage fees by wearing six T-shirts, four jumpers, three pairs of jeans, two jogging bottoms, two jackets and two hats – and ended up in hospital with heat exhaustion. Don’t be tight, check in your bags.
  8. Top Tip 4: Everyone knows that old trick about hanging a creased piece of clothing in a steamy shower room, but the key is to give the garment a couple of sharp shakes and pull it into shape, too.
  9. In San Francisco, you can laugh your socks off at the stand-up comedians while washing your smalls at Brainwash, 1122 Folsom Street.
  10. And while we’re on the subject of smalls, top tip number 5, never leave home without twice as many pairs of pants/knickers as days you’re travelling!

How to Pack for Any Trip, by Kate Simon and Sarah Barrell, Lonely Planet, £7.99.


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