Top 20: Best things to pack for a holiday ...
1. Noise cancelling head phones - Boarding a plane is like a box of chocolates - you never know what or who you're going to get. If you are next to a screaming baby or a heavy snorer, these headphones will become your best friends. 2. Notepad & pen - Technology is great, but nothing beats pen and paper to write down tips you hear along the way, exchanging details or impromptu drawing to combat any language barriers.
3. A printed itinerary - Customs is becoming increasingly strict and many places require you to have printed itineraries and hotel bookings. I have learnt that lesson the hard way and trying to find an internet cafe with a printer after a long haul flight is not a great way to start or end a trip. Don't think that you can get away with just showing them your iPhone!
4. A camera - this one might be obvious but with smartphones becoming more popular, people are becoming less inclined to pack a quality camera. Good luck trying to make that 'totz amazeballs' instragram photo look good blown up in the pool room.
5. Extra memory cards - don't be left with no memory on your camera, better too many photos than not enough.
6. Paw paw ointment - this little red tube is full of goodness. It is a lip balm as well as an insect bite, burn and rash cure all in one. It even cures nappy rash... hey, you never know.
7. Multi vitamins - there is one thing worse than being sick, and that is being sick while travelling. Berroca is a good way to start the day as it is packed with vitamins so you can get on the front foot and avoid getting sick. It even helps with self-inflict illnesses aka. hangovers.
8. A book - ads and kindles might be convenient, but when your battery is flat or you're stuck on the tarmac, you'll regret not packing a good old fashioned paper back.
9. A rain coat - Good weather is never a sure thing so you have to be prepared for wet weather. Don't sit around complaining that rain ruined your holiday.
10. Warm socks - Even if you're going to the Middle East in summer, you must pack these. There is nothing worse than being caught on a plane unable to sleep because you're so cold. They can also double up as a camera or sunglasses case or to put delicate new purchases in.
11. Travel money cards - No one enjoys forking over cash for credit card fees and currency conversion fees and they can add up quickly. Save yourself the money and hassle and get some prepaid travel cards that act like credit cards without the ATM withdrawal fees. You can also buy them in advance if the exchange rate is in your favour.
12. iPad - long lay overs or planes without entertainment can become bearable with an iPad loaded with your favourite TV series and movies. You can also download the Kindle app and load up your Lonely Planet guide instead of lugging it around.
13. Snacks - plane food is the pits and I have a theory that is clogs your digestive system. Do you think airlines want 200 plus people all needing to go to the bathroom on a 14 hour flight? I think not...
14. Small bag - a long day of exploring a city can be a drag with a huge, heavy handbag. Pack a small one so you can travel as light as a feather. For the men reading - man bag stigmas go out the window when travelling, embrace it.
15. A Turkish towel or sarong - These are the perfect travel companion as they are light, take up minimal room and can become everything from a scarf, pillow, towel, sheet, or something to wrap yourself in when visits temples or mosques.
16. Hand sanitizer - I recently read that the NYC subway system carries bacteria that can be linked to several types of cheese and the bubonic plague. I want to sanitize my hands just thinking about that.
17. Face wipes or wet ones - these are God sent for those holidays when showers are few and far between. They are also hand cleaners, face cleaners and toilet seat cleaners.
18. Tissues - from sad goodbyes to emergency toilet stops, tissues always come in handy.
19. A watch - travel is one time that punctuality is completely necessary. Don't miss a flight because your phone died.
20. A large lightweight bag - make sure it can be folded into a tiny ball. It is unrealistic to think you won't go shopping at least once on a holiday. Save yourself the hassle of the last day rush around trying to buy an extra bag to carry all your new purchases home.
Oink oink, Truffle Pig.
P.S. I am assuming you are all smart enough to remember a passport and tooth brush!