Whether you are going to sunny Spain or chilly Canada, every suitcase should contain the same base essentials. You should always try and keep your luggage to a minimum to save money and to reduce the loss if your case goes missing. And for that reason, things like cameras, tablets and phones are not on this list – purely because you should keep those in your hand luggage, and with you.
For all those electronics in your hand luggage, you need to keep them charged. If your camera takes batteries, pre-equip them with rechargeable ones and bring along a battery charger – with an adaptable plug if needed.
There is a distinct possibility that you’re going to fill up the one currently sitting in your camera, so bring along a spare just in case that happens. Also, make sure you have a proper case for them; having them floating around, even in the camera case, can seriously damage them. Get a waterproof case and keep those memories protected.
Even if you’re at the top of the Alps, or in Toronto for Christmas, you never know when you’ll need a dress. Get a simple sleeveless sundress or maxi dress, and dress it up for dinners and drinks, and dress it down for a day out.
Just like the dress, a pair of jeans is a must. A little bulkier but worth the space. Even hot places have chilly days, and as your body gets used to the hotter weather, you’ll feel the chill (almost) as much as the locals. Plus, for night time walks, they are just the thing, pack your comfiest pair, and you won’t regret it.
For the same reasons as the jeans, you’ll want to pack a jumper. The thickest might depend on where you’re going, and what time of year. And you’ll want to pack more than one if you’re heading to Alaska, but slipping one into your case could be a god-send on a chilly evening.
One pair of heels for that unexpected night out, dinner reservation, or just to stroll in. Pick a versatile pair that will look great with anything you wear, and you automatically have a perfect going out outfit.
Even the snow can give you sunburn. No matter where you are in the world, SPF should be part of your daily skin routine anyway. You might just need to get a higher factor and a larger quantity depending on where you are going.
If you’re travelling somewhere where you’ll be using a new currency, people often forget that as soon as you land on home soil, you need home-money to pay for a taxi, parking, or just a coffee. Make sure you keep a few dollars/pounds/yen/whatever your currency is, tucked away in your luggage.
A GPS or bluetooth tracker could be the best money you have ever spent. Attach it to your suitcase, and be able to track your suitcase if it gets lost or stolen. Hiding the tracker inside the case would stop thieves from removing it, but it could also prompt security to search your case looking for the little, electronic device.
Obviously, you will be packing underwear – but pack more than you need. Not because you might have an accident, but because each time you swap between bikini to undies or have a shower post-swim, or in preparation for a night out, you’ll need a fresh pair. So you will end up going through more pairs than the number of days you’re away.
Like shopping bags or even those disposable sandwich bags – these are for your dirty clothes and muddy, or sandy, shoes when you’re repacking at the end of the trip. By sectioning your dirty clothes from clean, you’ll stop the clean clothes needing a wash, and with preventing your case from gaining an unclean smell – which will be passed onto your luggage on your next trip.
Of where you’re going, in your own language. Google maps are great but isn’t always reliable – especially if you’re half way up a mountain. So take a map, know how to use it, and then at least you have it in case the world reverts to 1990 overnight.