With organisational qualities bordering on obsessive, I decided that it was time to post my views on travelling. Every traveller wants their trip to be as smooth as possible, after all, you travel mainly to relax, to get away from it all and to enjoy yourself. The last thing you need with those aims in mind, is to get to your destination and realise you’ve done it again. You’ve forgotten the sun cream, the mouthwash and that thing you put on the bedside table which you were supposed to pick up on your way out of the door
With a few slightly less organised members of our team, I decided to hold a quick Q+A to figure out what they always end up forgetting to pack. It was shocking (to me anyway) how many didn’t even write lists before they travelled, either through not having time, or figuring they would just chuck everything in and hope for the best.
I’ve decided to take the hassle out of packing for you. I want to share with you my slightly compulsive packing strategies, and my opinion on the absolute essentials that need to be taken with you. As every good piece of advice starts at the beginning, I shall start with the beginning of your luxury retreat. Sorting out your carry on necessities, so that your only concern will be which cocktail to sip poolside. (FYI: my preference HAS to be a Bajan rum punch).
|SMITH + CANOVA TRAVEL WALLET|
1. Invest in a sturdy but compact organised folder containing all of your travel documents. The last thing you want to be doing is having to fish round your luggage trying to find that reference number that you scribbled onto a scrap of paper. Organise your documents by section and include: Flight Details and Booking Reference, Passport, Customs and Immigration Forms, Villa Information and Contact Details, Transfer Details, Currency, Travel Insurance Details and Credit Cards. It might also be useful to create a brief travel itinerary so you can find out any details at a quick glance.
2. A pen. It sounds stupid but it is so essential. On entry to most Caribbean islands you will have to complete a customs form on entry, and completing this on the plane will ensure any queues at the terminal will be as stress-free as possible. You do not want to be one of those passengers holding everybody up after an 8 hour flight, trying to scribble details on the floor of arrivals. TIP: Make sure it is a ballpoint pen, as other types tend to explode at high altitudes…
3. Most travellers on the thought of arriving into the Caribbean dress to accommodate the intense tropical climate, deciding on sandals, flip-flops or smaller shoes. Whichever airline you travel with, I really would advise packing a pair of very warm thick socks. Due to the altitude of your flight, the temperature in the cabin of the plane, and particularly the floor becomes a lot cooler and your feet will feel it!
4. Moisturiser, moisturising spray and lip balm are any travellers essential. Skin becomes dry and cracked due to the recycled air onboard and it is essential to keep skin replenished and moisturised before arriving at your warmer destination. Moisturising in advance will also enhance your golden tan and ensures that your skin doesn’t peel as soon as you arrive home.
5. Any valuables should always be carried in your hand luggage. Cameras, Phones, Tablets, Kindles etc. should all stay with you constantly to avoid any mishaps. They are also far less likely to get damaged if they are in your periphery, and contained within suitable cases.
6. A clear plastic zip bag (I’ve used a clear pencil case on many occasions!). All of the islands we represent follow the 100ml or less liquid carry on rule. Having your make-up, perfumes, tablets or anything else already contained within the clear bag will save so much time. I always advise a zip-lock bag as ordinary sandwich bags tend to spill everything, and it is very irritating having to find each item within your larger carry on when you arrive.
7. Natural sleep-aids and inflatable pillows are a god-send for long haul flights. Considering most return flights from the Caribbean are overnight, you want to ensure whatever section of the plane you’re sleeping in, that you get a decent night’s sleep. Taking sleeping aids at the start of the flight does tend to help and there are a plethora of these available in health shops. Earplugs and eye masks are also so underrated, allowing you to shut the world out and fully relax. Vitamins and electrolytes are also great for replenishing your body post-sleep.
8. Face or body wipes. Literally a shower in a packet. The dry conditions and recycled air onboard will leave you feeling groggy upon landing. Before leaving the plane, use this handy product to freshen and wake up so that you arrive at your villa enthusiastic and feeling alive!
9. Any medication that you may need is an obvious choice but you’d be surprised how many people pack these in their main wash bag within their suitcase which then gets stowed away.
10. Sunglasses are essential for your arrival into Barbados for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the change in lighting levels from the plane to the runway will leave your head feeling a little sensitive. Secondly, they tend to hide bags, red eyes and any other sign that you’ve travelled long-haul. Finally, you’ve just arrived in the Caribbean, it is an unwritten rule that you start living the high life as soon as you touch down, so why not dress to match?