No Time to Waste: Savvy Packing Strategies for a Quick Break

If you’re planning a weekend break, you’ve probably got relaxation on your mind—and that means you won’t want to drag around a heavy suitcase with you.

But traveling lighter involves using some smart packing strategies so you only take exactly what you need and use up less space doing so. Here are some tips to get you started.

Get Some Help from Your Hotel

After you’ve booked your hotel, call up before you pack your bags and ask them if they can lend you anything once you arrive. Hotels will often do this for guests, usually when guests have forgotten essential items, but you can use it to plan ahead.

For example, if you stay somewhere like the SpringHill Suites Marriott on your next trip to Virginia Beach, you might be able to borrow a hairdryer, and you will almost certainly find some shampoo to use. So leave what you can at home, and travel lighter on your weekend break.

Check the Weather Forecast

One way to waste packing space is to take lots of clothing for cold or wet weather that you don’t end up using. To prevent this from happening to you, check the weather forecast before you go and only pack what you need for the weather you will encounter.

Download a Packing App

There are lots of packing apps that you can download to your smartphone or tablet, and these aim to help you pack smarter and lighter without forgetting anything.

Usually, you will enter in details about your trip, including where you are going, the nature of your trip, and any activities you will do, and the apps will then tell you what you need to pack.

Some apps you might want to try out include PackPoint, TripList, and Packing Pro.

Roll Up Your Clothes

When it comes to packing tips, one of the smartest ways you can save space in your suitcase is to roll rather than fold your clothes. Although your natural inclination may be to fold up your clothing, if you roll your items they are likely to take up less space—and they will probably be less crinkled when you take them out.

The best way to do this is to lay all your t-shirts in a pile and then roll them up together. You can then use string or an elastic band to fasten them.

Use Hidden Shoe Space

If you are packing any pairs of shoes in your suitcase, make use of the space inside these to pack smaller items. For example, you could keep items of jewelry, socks, and other small things hidden inside the shoes to use up the otherwise wasted space.

Carry Things with You

Finally, if you’re really pushed for space, why not just carry those extra items onto the plane? If you have a jacket with large pockets, you can easily store a few extra items on you so they don’t take up space in your suitcase.

Travel Lighter on Your Weekend Break

Follow these packing strategies to ensure you travel lighter on your next weekend trip. From taking only what you need to using smarter strategies to fit more in, follow these and you won’t have to worry about carrying around a heavy suitcase with you on your break.

My taste of Thailand

If there is one place that I truly love in the world, it has to be Thailand. The place known as the land of smiles is like an idyllic paradise with white sandy beaches, the warmth of the Andaman Sea and an extraordinary culture that incorporates beautiful temples, wonderful dance and costume and a love of one of my favourite animals, the elephant.

I have visited Thailand on numerous occasions, managing to combine relaxation on those beaches and Thai massage, with tourism, enjoying the sites and sounds and smells of an exhilarating land. Phuket is by far my favourite place. I love to eat the street food that you find off the beaten track in Patong, and then enjoy the Thai boxing bouts whilst avoiding the snake charming that often takes place in between bouts. The street markets and shopping are full of weird and wonderful items, from fake labels that are often difficult to tell apart from the real thing, to wood carvings, pewter and silver and incredible Batak fabrics made into dresses, sarongs and throws for the home. I always come home with a suitcase full, and now have many in my wardrobe that I have been wearing for years. Thailand is a place where you can have a bespoke suit designed and made within a couple of days for less than the price you would buy one from Matalan. It is a shopper’s paradise, even a trip to the incredible Wat Chalong temple, one of the biggest in Thailand, also saw a street market set up along the paths that lead to the temple.

I was recently asked by Destination2.co.uk to name the one place in Thailand that I would recommend as a must visit destination for anyone who was planning a visit. This was a tough choice to make as there are so many wonderful things to see and do, from the elephant orphanage in Chiang Mai, to Phuket Fantasea, which has one of the biggest floorshows in the world, along with the world’s biggest buffet restaurants. But in the end I opted for Koh Panyee, the Muslim village on stilts because it is, quite frankly, like no where else on Earth I have ever visited.

Koh Panyee (also sometimes spelt Ko Panyi) is a fishing village in the Phang Nga province of Thailand. It is easily reached from Phuket, and you can do day trips that are combined with a trip to the James Bond island that featured in ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ (we did lots of silly Bond poses when we visited, which led to our guide saying ‘it is time to come back to the boat now Mr Bond’). Koh Panyee was built by Indonesian fisherman and is entirely on stilts, making it a strange and rather wonderful place to visit, and in particular, to enjoy a lunch in one of the many restaurants that look over Phang Nga Bay.

For me, the idea of a village built on the sea, rising above it on stilts, is a mystical, magical one that is a must visit. Thailand has many wonderful experiences to offer the tourist, but this must rank amongst the best of them.

Have you ever visited Thailand?

5 Tips to vacationing with pets in the Lake District

Whether you have children or not, it is not uncommon for a dog, cat, or other pet to become a member of the family. Pets can be loving, comforting, loyal, and committed to you and your family for the entirety of their lives, so it is not surprising that humans often reciprocate the same feelings towards their pet. It is because of the close knit relationships and strong bond that humans have with their pets, that they would like to include them in everything; including going on holiday. Many places are conflicted by this, however, as not everyone fancies their pets the same way. If you are planning to go on a holiday with your pet, look no further than the Lake District. This dog-friendly area is keen on pets and will welcome them with open arms. Here are some tips to vacationing with your pets in the Lake District.

 

  • Hire a guide. Hiring a guide will help you navigate the Lake District with your pets in a stress-free manner. The guide will know what restaurants are pet friendly, which tourist attractions are welcoming to pets, and what transportation services to use. A guide will also prepare you for what you need to bring with you when you go out sightseeing with your furry friend.
  • Stay in pet-friendly accommodations. Let’s face it. Finding accommodations that will accept you and your pet for an extended period of time are quite hard to come by. That is why most people choose not to travel or they leave their trusty four-legged companion with friends, family, or in a boarding facility when vacationing. Whether you have the desire to stay in a 17th century cottage or a former police station, the Lake District has a number of accommodations that allow pets to stay with you.
  • Plan your day with your pet’s needs in mind. When traveling with your pet, you will need to think about their needs and plan your day accordingly. Very much like traveling with a child, you will need to take into consideration whether or not your pet will need a break from exploring around mid-day or if they will be able to put up with a day full of marathon activities. By keeping your pet’s needs in mind, you will be sure to have a great time and avoid any injuries or fatigue.
  • Pack lots of water and snacks. Be sure to pack a lot of water and some snacks for both you and your pet. You will want to take some time to hydrate and eat as to not fall out from exhaustion. Not to mention, the more you hydrate and stay well-fed, the more you and your pet will be able to experience together. It is also imperative that you pack extra doggy bags, towels, and napkins in case there is an accident while you and your pet are out exploring.

 

Take time to rest and recharge. A long day and exciting day in the Lake District is a guarantee which is why it is so important that you and your pet take time to rest and recharge before you set out for another adventure the next day.