Pack light is the mantra for holidays – particularly those involving airlines increasingly unwilling to let travellers carry much without charging extra
Following a few easy tips, you can halve the amount you take on holiday and make sure you’re never caught out by a lack of essentials
What to take: be harsh for your holiday packing, and apply the ‘if it’s not worn on holiday, it’s binned’ rule – you will end up travelling light!
Useful items: rubber bands and kirby grips can be used for many minor holiday problems, from emergency hem repair to keeping documents and bags of sweets together
Essential items to keep at hand: paracetamol; immodium; antihistamine; a spare pair of pants and socks (if you arrive late, or lose your luggage on holiday, at least you can feel half-decent for a little while); toothbrush (but check your plane allowance for toothpaste); small change for your holiday destination, for drinks and tips upon arrival
Washing; a travel-size wash will take care of cleaning your holiday clothes, while hair conditioner doubles up perfectly well as fabric softener
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Packing: socks should be packed into shoes, and underwear can be reduced to half its size by placing it into several small Ziploc bags and squeezing all the air out
Books: coordinate with your fellow travellers and check whether your holiday destination has a book-swap
Mosquitoes: many hotels will provide coils you can burn, while you can’t go wrong with a Mosquito-Click for soothing itchy bites. (Mosquito bites can be soothed by keeping a cold, wet towel in your hotel mini-bar, and applying it to the bites before you go to bed. Also, mosquitoes seem to love scents, so if you suffer badly have a shower before you go out f or dinner, and resist putting on any lotion, perfume or deodorant – although bear in mind your fellow holiday-makers!)
Shirts and dresses: remember to fold neatly and hang in a steamy bathroom as soon as you arrive on your holiday, and this will smooth out the worst of the creases
Security: a small (combination) padlock will deter any opportunistic thieves, and can be clipped off easily should customs wish to inspect your bag
Shaving cuts: a dab of alcohol, of women’s toner fluid, can help stop the bleeding, so you don’t need to pack aftershave if you don’t want to
Sun-tan lotion: if you are really short of packing space, sun-tan lotion sticks, designed for children, work brilliantly, and can be slipped into your shirt pocket. One warning, though: because of their high protection factor, they may leave white residue on your skin after application.