The pro's guide to perfect packing
This summer holiday, don't agonise over exceeding the check-in limit at the airport. ANJANA VASWANI got frequent travellers to share their secrets to perfect packing for every kind of holiday
Holiday with friends
Anil Purohit is an IT professional with a penchant for travel. He has chronicled his experiences in a soon-to-be published book titled Windows in the Street. Purohit has been to many wildlife camps with friends.
These are his tips:
>> When packing, keep the destination’s weather and attractions in mind.
>> Identify common items of use — mosquito repellent, toiletries, medicines, camera — so you can share and split the load.
>> Depending on the destination / experience, pack binoculars, audio recorders, etc in lieu of some clothes.
>> Check the climate. A hat and sunscreen lotion could be crucial.
>> I’d rather look out the window during a journey than have my nose buried in a book, so, for similarly-inclined travel buffs, I’d recommend you leave the books behind.
>> Travel light. If you forget to pack a hat, you’ll almost certainly live to tell the tale.
>> While trekking across the Western Ghats one monsoon, leeches had feasted on my feet so my shoes were soaked with blood and had to be discarded. Had I carried tobacco to smear on my feet, the leeches would have stayed away, but thanks to the omission, I have a story to tell, so don’t agonise too much over what to pack.
Holiday with family
Thirty year-old Worli resident, Mansi Zaveri holidays with her family at least twice a year, and with a three-and-a-half year-old old daughter, packing requires a good deal of forethought.
>> Be destination-specific. If beaches are the central attraction, focus on casual wear, swimsuits and slippers.
>> You can’t wear flip flops and swimsuits everywhere so sneakers, cargo pants with large pockets and some separates (blouses, skirts, etc) rather than dresses may be required.
>> Go easy on the luggage. You can’t go prepared for every eventuality and almost everything will probably be available wherever you’re headed.
>> If you plan to stay in hotels, remember to pack long-sleeved pyjamas — the air-conditioning can be fierce.
>> Carry what you need to keep your child entertained but opt for books and colours rather than noisy toys.
>> Basic medication is a must and if anyone in the family has a specific health condition, do remember to pack an ample supply of his / her medication.
>> A backpack is essential for the baby’s things and that bulky camera.
>> Let fashion take a backseat. Opt for comfortable clothes instead.
>> Limit the light-coloured T-shirts. Pack darker colours when travelling with kids, so stains won’t show.
>> A few snacks are alright, but it’s good to let your child explore the local culinary traditions.
Holiday with partner
Chembur-resident Anuradha Shankar and her husband are determined to visit as many places as they can within India. Planning is the keyword when it comes to holidays, the 37 year-old says.
>> Sports shoes are imperative for long walks.
>> You want a good camera with you to record these moments. Don’t forget to pack the charger, spare battery and memory card(s) with this.
>> A map of the place is useful but also ask locals about places to see and dine at.
>> Carry books to read up on the history of the place you are visiting.
>> Have emergency contact details in your wallet.
>> Carry Paracetamol and band-aids but don’t go overboard with medicines. You’re unlikely to need too many and they’re best avoided on holiday, anyway, as you don’t want to be drowsy.
>> Clothes that are fancy or wrinkle easily are best left out. Jeans are your best bet — they can be worn anywhere and don’t need to be washed every day. They come in handy whether you’re exploring the terrain, riding the bus to a nearby attraction or dining at a nice restaurant.
Horticulturist, Anusha Babbar, holidays on her own at least once a year, aiming to visit every national park she can around the world. She shares her packing tips:
>> Carry just two pairs of pants and don’t worry about what you’re going to look like.
>> You’ll need a good pair of walking shoes and a pair of floaters, but try to limit it to that — no more than two pairs of shoes.
>> Carry a spare battery for your camera and the battery charger.
>> A headlamp can be really useful. You never know where you’re going to get stuck — your car could break down or you could be stuck at a beach on a
>> A light rain jacket is always good. If for nothing else, it may come in handy to protect your camera.
>> A foldable hat is a lifesaver.
>> Maps are crucial. Do research your destination well before you take off.
>> Jewellery. You definitely don’t want to be worrying about that.
>> Don’t carry suitcases. Opt for a backpack instead and one that has a zip that goes all the way around. Don’t get a bag that only opens at the top because you’ll have to pull out everything when you need something from the bottom.
>> While you should carry basic medicines, keep that list short and simple.