Probably the least fun thing about travelling after everything is planned and payed. I tend to forget at least one thing every time I travel, and even when I've remembered everything I always have this icky feeling in my stomach that tells me I've forgotten something important...
I've tried to make a list, but mine is loooong, so I'm wondering what you put in your suitcases for any trip? How about the hand luggage?
Any smart packing tips?
My list always looks long, too - but it's mostly filled with small things I've learned not to leave behind (like bandaids, a needle, a hair elastic, and so on). But unless you're going to a country where stores or supplies are hard to come by, you can always pick up things you're missing along the way. It may cost you a little more, though. Try to weigh how much you need the thing, how heavy it is to carry, and how easily/cheaply it can be purchased. That may help to ease the load a bit.
My hand luggage has gotten smaller and lighter since airports have become more strict about what you can take onboard. I now by travel-sized items (after losing my luggage for a few days twice, I no longer pack contact solution and toothpaste in the checked stuff) and put them in the required 1-quart ziplock bag, plus I bring a small change of clothes, my bathing suit if I'm headed to the beach, a book, my passport and wallet, kleenex, a pen, sunglasses, my guidebook and all the addresses/e-tickets/reservation info I need, and a sweater for the plane. It sounds like a lot, but I end up with plenty of room left in a pretty small 16-litre backpack.
I travel with a small suitcase (a Samsonite thing with 360-degree wheels - best luggage ever!), so as for tips, I'd say make your pile and remove 10%.
Put as little as possible, in your luggage. If u have a lot, getting from here to there with it is a pain.
I usually just take a bag the size of what most people would call a day pack. Sometimes 2 bags like that.
U really only need 2 outfits, and a pair of sandals(or boots) and a pair of hiking boots(but only if u hike) and socks. Maybe a jacket, if u are going someplace cold.
Bring sun cream, in case it is not easy to get, at your destination.
Bring shampoo, soap and whatever toileteries u use. But only the basics.
A couple of handy items, like a knife, needle and thead... but dont overdo it, with bringing too many of these things. U can buy them anywhere, if u realise u need them.
Bring a moneybelt, and put passport, whatever form u carry your money in, and tickets in it.
Bring your guide book and one or 2 books in English to read.
Dont bring anything else, unless it is very important to u. U dont need to. eg. some people may consider it very important to them, to bring a camrea.
Start packing several days, before your trip. Dont put the things in the bags, until the last day. Just put them together and add to them, when u remember something u forgot. That is what I do, and it works for me.
I remember someone saying their Granny taught them this:
Two days ahead: Pull out all your clothing you plan on taking and place in your suitcase.
One day ahead: Place all sundries, travel books, reservation copies etc. in suitcase
Day of departure: Take out half of the clothing you've packed, half of the other stuff in the suitcase and DOUBLE the cash you're taking!
Works for me!
BTW, I'm also a fan of the carry-on suitcase. I've not checked luggage in years.
On our Honeymoon my husband and I flew to New York, boarded the QM2 for a Transatlantic crossing, spent a week in London then another week in Ireland, then 2 more days in New York. That was quite tricky with formal gowns for the QM2 and highheels all the way to jeans and walking shoes for the UK and Ireland and everything inbetween. I'm proud to say that we both managed with just our two carry-on bags. (There was no way I was going to check bags and be in the same outfit for 6 days on the QM2 where my luggage would never catch up with me until I hit land!)
LadyMacWilly ^..^ ~
best advice I was given is roll your clothes dont fold, they take up less space