Unlike most women, I used to travel light whenever I go on trip, either day trip, overnight business trip or backpacking with friends/sister. Here is my packing list for those travels:
- ESSENTIAL: passport, tickets, address book, mobile phone (in the old days, we don’t use mobile, but we rely on public telephone booth), credit card, and international ATM card, in exchange to cash.
- CLOTHING: one pair of trousers that I use and an extra pair if I travel more than 3 nights. Disposable underwear, that will reduce space along the way, and I don’t need to do any washing for this things.
- CLOTHING ACCESSORIES: none. I don’t need any hat or scarf or anything alike.
- ACCESSORIES/JEWELRIES: none. As I am a messy person, I tent to loose things, this is only to reduce to probability of loosing my accessories.
- COSMETICS AND TOILETRIES: only the basic one… nothing very special and I don’t really wear makeup. Bear in mind that most of my destinations were not in the middle of a jungle where I could not find any daily supplies.
- OTHER THINGS: pocket camera, map (just to prepare myself not to get lost), travel alarm clock, a pair of very comfortable shoes which I wore it day in, day out.
As I am not a fussy person, and I don’t need a special treatment nor health problem, thus I don’t really need much. One tote bag was enough for a 3 night business trip or a dirty weekend abroad.
Now things changed, as an expat, my home is away from my home country. Whenever I go back to my home country, I could not stay at my Mom’s place, as she has no room for me anymore, and I still need to pack my cloth and other things, which means going ‘home’ is similar to going for holiday, and this could last not only a few days but a fortnights or maybe a month by itself. Another thing that add to my travel preparation is the fact that I am not traveling solo anymore. I have to pack for two persons, my husband and I, and yet, I still like to travel light…. thus, what I did is try to pack for the both of us in one medium suitcase…. yes, only one
However, as we live on the funny part of the world from our loved ones, I need to consider:
- Local climate/weather, as out here (that is in Doha) 9 months of the year the temperature is HOT, HOT and HOT. Clothing wise maybe not so different from Indonesia, but it’s totally different from UK (where Keith got his relatives) or Australia (where our kids currently resides).
- The occasion of the trip, such as attending business trip, family wedding, normal holidaying/sight seeing or attending traditional/religious activity or even a combination of all of them.
- Activities of the trip, whether we will just visiting family and stay low keys, or involving different activities together.
- The length of the trip, whether 2 or 3 days, or a months or more.
As much as the excitement of going for holiday, this time this is what i ends up packing for only a 5 days trip back to UK, attending my husband’s relative:
- ESSENTIALS: passports, tickets (and other paper works in a folder, mobile phone, and travel wallet, where I will put all other cards, (International ATM, Credit Cards, and maybe cash.
- CLOTHING: a couple pairs of trousers/jeans (in case one is soak wet of British weather), a couple of cocktail dress, (as we are attending a couple of formal parties), sets of undies as no disposable panties available in the place I live.
- CLOTHING ACCESSORIES: I need to pack all these things, hat, belts to go with each attires, and scarfs to match with the shirts
- ACCESSORIES/JEWELRIES: it’s a must now, to go with all the pretty dresses that I will wear to different parties. Being a wife of a Brit’s expat I need to look fashionable, trendy and all that jazz.
- COSMETIC & TOILETRIES: also required now, just to make sure that inside the nice dress is also equally as nice. Because I am not use to wear make up, I ends up taking my whole collection of cosmetics, regardless, as i don’t really know what to do.
- CAMERA: what was a pocket camera now has grown into a proper photography gear, which each time I travel, I got confuse which lens I should take and which camera bag should I carry. Not to mention other external stuff: charger, memory cards, tripod, filters, etc.
- SHOES: now this is a new excess that I have to carry in my suitcase: I need to take a few pair off shoes apart of the pair that I will wear during the trip: party shoes, comfortable shoe for walking as well as trainers for other sporty activity.
- OTHER STUFF: the good news, maybe I don’t need to take map, nor I need to take alarm clock. But I do need the modern gadget: Sat Nav and iPad to have us navigate around and do other things.
Now, can I still travel light? are those 8 items a necessity for a just 5 days holiday? I think the answer is yes and no. Yes if you