It’s hard enough choosing what to pack for a vacation when it comes to clothing – after all you want to look your absolute best all the time – but having to choose which gadgets should be on your list of essentials can be even trickier. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking laterally about multi-use items that you should take with you to save space and help make you look fabulous from dawn till dusk and well into your romantic evenings.
Dress it up
When it comes to clothing there are two essentials to add to your climate-appropriate wardrobe – a little black dress and a sarong. You can’t go wrong with the dress, as it’s a classic that will stand you in good stead no matter where you’re going. A sarong is so adaptable you can wear it as a day dress or a beach wrap for cooler evenings or a turban, plus you can use it as a towel and simply wash by hand afterwards – remember to pack a sink stopper and some travel laundry soap and if you pack a travel clothesline your sarong will dry quickly and easily in the sun or near a heating source.
Remember to include sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare – you don’t have to be in full sun to find these are beneficial. It’s helpful to pack a hard case for sunglasses as they can break easily if rattling around in your purse or bag.
Clean and easy
Standard toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste and soap can be purchased in smaller travel-friendly sizes and you should remember to include sunscreen. Instead of packing razors, depilatory cream or facial hair removers, replace them all with one of the easy-to-use ‘Yes! Hair Removal by Finishing Touch’ gadgets, which are painless hair removal devices suitable for all areas of your body – face, underarms, bikini area and legs – just like those seen on TV. It comes with rechargeable batteries and charges very quickly.
If you’re planning a hiking trip or backpacking excursion you may also want to include something for your feet. PedEgg Power will remove calluses and cracked or dry skin leaving you with a smooth finish, so you may not need any additional moisturizer. A hanging toiletries bag is very convenient if you’re in hotels or hostels with small bathrooms where shelf space is limited.
Travel hairdryers are smaller and lighter than standards ones and many can be folded up for packing but don’t forget to choose a dual voltage model, as European electricity voltage is twice as powerful as in North America.
Memories for keeps
Recording your adventures when on vacation is a great way to keep those memories alive and let the folks back home know how you’re doing and where you are. A smartphone or tablet will allow you to take photos and upload details of your travels when you have access to Wi-Fi or a phone network. Even better, there are lots of useful apps you can download before you leave to help with hotel bookings, directions and finding local eateries, as well as translation programs in case you struggle with a foreign language. If you’re worried about dead batteries and will have access to a USB port, pack a short charging cable that will allow you to charge your phone via a laptop or equivalent.
For vacation reading, leave those heavy books at home as most tablets have a decent e-reader facility so you can save space by bringing just one device. If you’re traveling with young family members you could bring the fun and economical My Phone to entertain them – it’s programmed with seven educational activities and games to keep toddlers amused. Remember to make sure your favorite tracks are on your device so you can listen to music on your journey and add your headphones to any cables or chargers you have decided to include.
For destinations abroad, particularly Europe, bring an outlet plug adaptor so you can plug in your devices wherever you happen to be – spare batteries are also a good idea in case you find it difficult to purchase the correct type when you’re away.
Shine a light
It’s always useful to carry a light especially when visiting a place you don’t know well after dark and a good way to do so is to use a key chain flashlight. This is compact and easy to carry on your person, plus it produces a bright beam of light – very useful when searching for something, such as your room key, in the evenings.
If you’re planning on staying in hostels or sharing a room add earplugs and a sleep mask to improve the quality of your sleep. Remember that not every hostel has locks on doors, although some have padlocks for rent, however, if you pack your own personal padlock you can set a combo that’s easy to remember and it won’t take up much space in your baggage.
What to do about makeup
For many women this is a tricky one because we all want to look our best on vacation, however, it’s possible to pare down your collection and opt for multipurpose essentials only. For example, lipstick can double as a blusher or if you really want a separate blush a cream version will save you having to pack any brushes. Mascara lasts for about three months so if you plan on picking up a fresh one before you go away choose a slender brand. BB cream is a traveling woman’s best friend as it replaces moisturizer and primer, as well as foundation and serum. It’s also an effective sunblock so don’t leave home without it.
Finally, many people make copies of their essential documents when traveling in case they are needed at any point. It’s a good idea to keep copies in your bag and to email digital copies to yourself or a family member in case the paper copies get lost.