The pro's guide to perfect packing

Apr 29, 2012, 10:19 IST | Anjana Vaswani

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

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:

Illustration/ Amit Bandre

Pack this:
>> 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.

Ditch this:
>> 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.

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.
Pack this:
>> 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.

Ditch this:
>> 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.

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.
Pack this:
>>  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.
Ditch this:
>> 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:
Pack this:
>> 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
moonless night.
>> 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.
Ditch this:
>> 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.

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