Pandora’s Suitcase Recipe

As a matter of interest , my well travelled – very well travelled!!! – inlaws asked me to teach them how I pack after their arrival at our home – once again – “overpacked & harassed” (we have vacationed with them by Air, Camper, Car & Barge – to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kruger, Welsh Canals, UK and they have seen how easy a well organised 7 kg suitcase can be).

THIS IS MY SYSTEM …………………………………

It does vary according to time & destination eg a 10 day holiday will have a slightly different version to the method I will explain, to a 6 week tour….. and, of course , seasons. However – just replace short sleeve with long sleeve, pashmina with large very warm scarf, wooly socks, thicker trousers etc.

INGREDIENTS : –

1 x 7 kg Carry-On Suitcase

COLOUR CODE YOUR CLOTHING – MIX ‘N MATCH. Admittedly you will not look at them again for 6 months after your trip – you will be “so over them”!!! (……. but, hey, that’s okay πŸ™‚

20 – 25 x Transparent plastic Zip Lock Bags (3 x Small THIS IS PANDORA’S SECRET!!!

Day Wear (sight seeing & swimming)

Night Wear (campfire & bed)

Footwear (one closed in pair & one sandal/slip slop)

Hairdryer (sorry – but it is a necessity!)

Undies & Socks

Light Waterproof Jacket, a warm Tracksuit Top + Scarf / Pashmina. – Please shop for a nice smart’ish tracksuit to fit into both Jacket & Tracksuit Top requirements – (this is great for air travel – neat & comfortable & I advise you to wear your heaviest shoes)

Swimming Towel (a bit worn as lighter & fast drying)

Prescription Medicines (plus copy of script incase customs decides to be difficult – they usually aren’t tho). – I buy (if its an English speaking country) my list of First Aid Kit items at destination. (if not English Speaking – as I am – then I DO squeeze in necessities)

Eye Glasses – (plus extra old outdated pair incase you sit on / lose “new” one – this has proved to be the most important advice I give) Sunglasses

Make up – ladies (if you wear – I always have SPF facial cream plus SPF foundation being very fair skinned)

Toiletries (I recommend tiny travel sized everything eg hotel bathroom “gifts” – and purchase biggies in destination country) plus earplugs & eye patch if you are a fussy sleeper (airways don’t supply nowadays)

Adaptors / plugs / insurance paperwork / typed list of contacts – incase your phone – computer is stolen or lost / penssss (not penis you silly!!!) (seriously – pens hide when needed) & tiny notepad / chargers / power pack / car chargers (for phones & gadgets)

Belt for Trousers / Shorts / Dress-Frock – (Hands up who knows what a Frock is??)

Binoculars / Torch / Camera / Phone / Tablet / Ear-phones – (we don’t all need to hear both sides of your conversation – or your music on our vacation)

Day Pack / large compartmentalised Handbag

1 x (2 if you can fit) plastic Coat / Clothes Hangers

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PREPARATION : –

Select clothing for 5 DAYS ie – trousers / shorts, belt, shirt, undies, shoes & socks – set out on bed

COLOUR CODE – COLOUR CODE…. please folks

Fold and layer & then roll the set over (like a swiss- roll cake)

Slide into a Transparent Zip Lock Bag – size approximately 60cm x 60cm. (upon your return store them in your 7 kg Bag for future use) . If bags are too large – fold over …. if too small ho hum – problem! LABEL DAY # 1

# PACK sets for 5 days & label # DAY # 1, DAY # 2, DAY # 3, DAY # 4, DAY # 5. Variations of shorts / longs / a dress perhaps / you might want to make one of those days your Tracksuit.

Zip Lock Bag No. 6 – scarf / pashmina, tracksuit pants, sleepwear (only 2 sets – wash one – wear one)

Zip Lock Bag No. 7 – undies & swimming cozzy (to protect your bras ….. ladies – pack undies into & around cups to make as square as possible)

Zip Lock Bag No. 8 – socks

Zip Lock Bag No. 9 – toiletries (& make-up in small ziplock inside No. 4)

Zip Lock Bag No. 10 – goes in Day-Pack / Handbag containing sudoku / reading matter / / Kindle, copy of documents (id, passport, air tickets, insurances, few important contacts with address – incase you are inspired to send a post card – I always send to my elderly Dad & another friend – who still appreciate good old fashioned snail mail), drivers licence & your passwords (can you sign into google / email / phone if you get logged out somehow???)

Zip Lock No. 10 – prescription medication

Zip Lock No. 11 – charger leads, torch, extra camera sd card etc

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ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET…… PACK

Pack your shoes first – also in a Bag. Then pack the toiletries / socks / hairdryer / undies on top.

Pack vertically.

Keep them in order – day 1, 2, ….( day 3 might not work and you will swop for day 5 – but do the sets because it keeps your mind FOCUSED DURING PACKING. There is always so much other “stuff” to do in the last day or two – one nearly goes demented with overload & this is why packing is a disaster for most people.

In the top flap pack another Lg Zip Lock for your dirty washing (you also want to put it somewhere – if it accumulates – don’t want it mingling with the snobbish clean clothing ……. & ….. you want to Identify contents!)

Don’t they just slip in beautifully, logically & you can glance over what you need in an instant!

If you are ON THE RUN, MOVING EVERY 2 OR 3 DAYS – RINSE YOUR CLOTHES-OF-THE-DAY asap. Shake out vigorously , hang, “iron” with hands. Repack into Zip Lock Bag 1, 2 …………………

NB : Just be disciplined each day – 10 minutes is all it takes to fold & repack into ZIP LOCK.

I am posting this now but will return……. to revise if necessary……………….

Next up will possibly be my mini FIRST AID KIT ……