spa packing list

For someone who travels as much as I do, I remain a terrible packer. I am only capable of  putting together tiny amounts of hand luggage or vast over-stuffed suitcases.

The perfect capsule wardrobe eludes me still.

There was the time I smugly turned up at the airport for a two week long trip to Malaysia and Cambodia with a hand luggage-sized backpack, containing a few T shirts, shorts and one sundress.

Within a day of being immersed in the humidity of KL I had run out of clean clothes, and was being laughed at in department stores, as I looked for XXL T shirts and bras larger than a C cup in the women’s sections. I ended up buying mens Ts on that trip.

Or on my three week trip to Thailand this last December where my large Tumi case weighed 32kg when I got to the airport, necessitating a major repack and hand baggage shuffle. I was quite cross about this, because weight is one thing I normally can guesstimate, but I just ran out of time packing and had to manically shove things in the case at the last minute.

This uselessness at packing is partly because I am psychologically incapable of packing for a trip in advance. Busyness and a one bedroom apartment – so no room to start a packing pile in advance – also contribute to the last minute packing thing.

And, somehow, I always seem to forget something vital, spending a fortune at airport prices – if I am lucky enough to remember before I fly.

On my current trip I left my headphones on the office floor RIGHT NEXT TO MY CASE, and forgot my flipflops and my FitBit – all of which I needed as I was going to a wellness clinic, and had a very stressful hour running around Gatwick on a crowded Saturday trying replace everything.

So I’ve created a Google Docs spreadsheet, which is open to anyone to look at and download with my packing kit for every eventuality. I’m not suggesting that this is the answer to everyone’s packing needs, and I’m sure some people might laugh at some of the things I’ve included, but better safe than sorry, I always say.

My spreadsheet can be accessed on Google Drive here.

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22 comments

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Thanks for posting the packing list. It’s very helpful! I know I will probably smack my forehead when I hear the answer but what is MBT’s????

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Trying to stay in a 23kg allowance is hell. Two things I swear by… never by a suitcase with expandable bits (you’ll be tempted to use them) and thats maximum 76cm ideally 72cm AND invest in a portable scale to weigh before the airport to redistribute.

Packing with a my toddler is harder…. toys weigh a ton. Or with my dachshund Milo, dog food and bed….. nightmare

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Hello Sasha,

I have a similar system, called ‘the embarrassing book’, mainly because I’d be embarrassed if anybody discovered how OCD I am packing! Basically it contains lots of lists of things to pack for any given situation, honed over the years. I think I’d weep if I ever lost it…

Suzi x

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I love packing! I plan, sort, cull and weigh my carry on bag for days. I have been known to photograph every mix and match combination including accessories then email myself the photo when that outfit is worn. Keeping track of what you actually wore is really valuable for planning your next capsule wardrobe (easily done by looking back at your snaps.)

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If you’re travelling to somewhere humid then my best tip is to take a few sports bras – they wick away sweat, can be easily rinsed and dried, and don’t feel too grotty after multiple humid wears.

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This post is so useful. I wonder, have you ever considered writing a book containing all your accrued knowledge of destinations, tips on packing for certain destinations et al. I’m sure it would be most appreciated by all, especially those that don’t have your wealth of travelling experience.

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Here’s a tip: Pack the items you will need first in a clear plastic bin (trash bags, toilet paper, chargers, etc.). This way, those items will set themselves apart so that you’re not searching through dozens of boxes for toilet paper. That could be bad!

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It’s great that you share with us your packing list and we can download it as well. I am not a good packer, and I am always looking and asking for additional help. Greetings

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