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.
- The word luggage comes from the Middle English word ‘lug’, as in ‘drag’ – as anyone who still uses a suitcase without wheels will appreciate.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In San Francisco, you can laugh your socks off at the stand-up comedians while washing your smalls at Brainwash, 1122 Folsom Street.
- 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.