Packing is one of those strange things… you’re either a natural, or you’re not. I confess to not being the world’s best packer. I start off with my empty suitcase lying open on the bed – there’s loads of room! I merrily plonk clothes and shoes inside – and then suddenly… it’s full! At which point I discover I haven’t got in half of what I need to take, so pull it all out and start again… after about the fifth attempt I am thoroughly flustered and end up cramming everything in and end up having to sit on the lid to try and force the case shut!
Like many things you can, of course, train yourself to improve your skills and I was interested to read a list of ‘top packing tips’ online. Some of them are so very obvious I can’t think why on earth I hadn’t thought of them before! So, here’s my selection of the best ones that I hope you might find useful…
Pack a sleeping mask and earplugs. These can be very handy on a train, when you're a passenger in a car or in your hotel or B&B bedroom.
Make the most of your empty suitcase space and roll your clothes, instead of folding them. Stuff socks, underwear, and accessories inside your shoes.
Take a sarong or pashmina with you – they can be so useful as a blanket, a scarf or a shawl on an evening out… you never know what the British weather will throw at you!
Kitchen sandwich bags can be used to hold your accessories, vacuum pack bags can be space savers, and bin bags have multiple uses (laundry bag, welly boot covers etc).
Pack a multi-socket extension lead. Although some places may be right up to date and have USB ports, many don’t, so it’s best to have an extra outlet to charge all of your electronics at once. This is very important if you need to work on your laptop or phone, as I often do.
Make photocopies before leaving home of important documents like travel and car insurance.
Do make sure you pack walking gear, maps and, dare I say it, water proofs if you are coming to Dartmoor! A small rucksack is also a good idea.