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The Perfect Packing List For Your Upcoming Vacations

Minimalism is the key!

Travel
| Womenontheirowntrip.com| UPDATED: November 10, 2017, 11:19 AM IST
The Perfect Packing List For Your Upcoming Vacations Image for representational purpose only (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ anyaberkut / Istock.com)
In every Mario Miranda cartoon depicting travel, the stereotype harried skinny male walks with a tiny briefcase, followed by his overweight wife, who has mountains of baggage! So, that's the image we have of Indian women traveling, a waddling woman with a ton of unsightly luggage.

But, that's so far from the truth. Yes, a woman can be indecisive when it comes to what she wears! She sometimes goes with the adage that more is less and packs everything, including the kitchen sink! However, in my opinion, this is not the truth. I like to think that I pack smart and would like to share some tips on how to carry minimal luggage but still have everything you need.

The first thing I would like to suggest is that one separates travel into 4 distinct categories:
• Travel for fun/ vacation
• Travel for work
• Travel for a celebration (wedding/engagement)
• Travel to visit family/friends

When one travels for fun/vacation:

The mindset is easy and relaxed. Look at the destination you are going to and plan accordingly. So, I could further break vacation down into 3 categories- beach/ mountains or monuments.
The beach category is easy. if it's a week away, plan for 7 day outfits (which could be dresses or shorts and tees, a couple of wraps and swimwear) and 3 evening casual dresses. Sandals, flip flops, sunscreen and you are all set. Keep it simple and casual.

The mountain category: check the weather, see if rain is predicted or it's just cold... and plan accordingly. If it's rainy and cold then add a rainjacket/ umbrella and appropriate footwear. Remember that shoes need to be quick dry if you plan to carry only one pair. For the cold, pick sweaters, a scarf and a jacket. You can repeat the jacket every day and change up the sweaters. 3 pairs of jeans, 6 tshirts and you should be good. For the evenings, you can stay with your jeans and wear colorful dressy sweaters and dress shoes. Remember to pick sweaters and jackets in bright colors to add a touch of zing to those holiday pictures!

The monuments category: The key in this scenario is to remember that many temples and monasteries around the world expect you to dress respectfully when you visit. So always remember to pack a scarf, a long sleeve shirt and jeans or trousers for visits to temples/monasteries etc. You don’t want to get there and be turned away just because you have on shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt!

Travel for work:
This requires a bit more planning than a vacation obviously but you don't have to stress. I often travel for work and most trips stretch to two weeks but I never carry more than 5 days clothes and do some laundry to get ready for week 2. Make sure you plan one week's set of work wear, with accessories like earrings, neckpieces, and scarfs etc. And always have two pairs of work shoes. You cannot show up every day in the same shoes. Also, plan one or two dressy but professional outfits in case you have work-related dinners. I also carry 2 sets of gym clothes and my running shoes. Then, I throw in a couple of t-shirts and a pair of jeans and am good to go! I make sure to do laundry once a week and am all set. In fact, I also do a laundry load the day before I fly home so I don't have to deal with dirty clothes when I get home.

Travel for a celebration/ engagement/wedding: This kind of travel is the most stressful for me, but I have learnt that planning helps greatly. First of all, plan how many functions you need to attend and pack for each one, from clothes to shoes to accessories and even bindis. Put each functions outfits in a separate paper bag so you don't get confused. Also plan enough casual clothes for the non-function times. You can't sit around with gold jewelry and a heavy sari all day so have alternate clothes to quickly change into to relax and hang out in. Please be extra careful with jewelry and stuff as the last thing you want is to come home poorer than you left!

Traveling to visit friends and family: This list is much more relaxed as you can wash clothes at their homes and always borrow toothpaste or shampoo or anything you have forgotten. It’s always prudent to carry just what you need as you can always borrow stuff from family and friends. As long as you don’t forget to pack a gift for them!

Packing can be very stressful but a tip is to maintain a standard list of what you need:
Toiletries, Medicines, passport, tickets, credit cards/cash and sunscreen/sunglasses, should form the core of each list and then you can layer on, depending on where you are going and the kind of activities you plan. And remember, if you forget something, it’s not the end of the world, you can either buy it or do without it!

Happy travels!!

Author: Liane Ghosh, For Wonderful World Getaways
First Published: November 7, 2017, 3:09 PM IST
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