World Tourism Day: Packing Tips

Shutterstock / Kostikova Natalia © tourism

Today is World Tourism Day, traditionally a celebration of one of the world’s most important economic sectors.

Tourism allows people to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other. While the coronavirus pandemic has greatly impacted the global market, we’re all looking forward to a time when we can start travelling once again.

Here, we’re revisiting an article Lorna Cowan wrote for us back in 2018, giving her top tips for packing your bags.

The luggage industry has undergone a revolution in recent years.

Materials are lighter and tougher, and swivel wheels mean we can now walk beside our suitcases rather than drag them. Much kinder to our backs!

Most of us have a variety of bags for different occasions. But whatever style you choose, if you’re travelling by air, you’ll need to comply with airline regulations — which vary from company to company.

Some airlines, for instance, allow two carry-on bags of different dimensions. Others only allow one. And there are government restrictions on some flights, so do check before you pack.

Head off on a no-fly cruise and you’re free to take as many evening outfits as you wish.

But add an airline into the equation — or even a train journey — and you might have to think again.

I’ve taken connecting local flights in small planes with limited luggage allowance, and done a special-occasion trip on the Orient Express, where passengers are restricted to one luggage-wagon bag and a small carry-on. Potentially tricky if you’ve just got off a cruise ship!

The packing

Then there’s the packing to contend with.

As a travel writer who is often on the move, I have a photocopied checklist that I use for every trip.

First come the essentials like passport, tickets and credit cards; phone chargers, cameras and medication.

Next are key items of clothing, plus accessories such as sunglasses and spare reading specs.

And below, a blank space to list specific outfits and footwear.

Try adopting a mix-and-match colour scheme for maximum outfits with minimum items.

Navy and cream are great staples that can be offset with bright tops and scarves.

A pair of comfortable walking shoes is essential for sightseeing, whilst pretty flat sandals or pumps will see you through most situations.

Anything missing? Just relax and enjoy browsing the local boutiques!

Be a savvy packer

  1. Keep medication and valuables in hand luggage, then stand your ground if you’re asked to put your bag in the hold.
  2. For minimum creasing, roll clothes rather than fold and keep a few plastic bags for dirty washing or wrapping a bottle (take wire ties to seal the top). Shower caps make great covers for grubby shoes.
  3. If travelling with a partner, put a few key items of clothing in their luggage. Pack small items like chargers and hairbrushes inside shoes and always put the heaviest items nearest the wheels.
  4. Don’t carry heavy guidebooks. Photocopy the relevant pages or load them up on an electronic reader with your holiday novels.

Stay safe

  1. Be street smart and carry a cross-body bag. And men, don’t put a wallet in a vulnerable back pocket. Buy a man bag or travel waistcoat with secure pockets.
  2. Always take a photocopy of your passport, keeping it separate from the original, and leave one at home. Scan a copy on to your computer, too.
  3. Don’t put all your credit or debit cards in the same place. Only take out the card and money you need, and leave the rest in the room safe with your travel documents and house keys.

Travel restrictions may still be in place. Please check latest advice before planning your trip.

Looking for your next travel destination? Click here for some inspiration.

For more on World Tourism Day, click here.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.