Who doesn’t crave those long family trips & unwinding tiny weekends with a bunch of friends? Travelling satiates the dropping levels of anxiety and stress in any human being and revitalizes one’s soul. It prepares one to combat the upcoming incessant demons in one’s daily life. But they say when you travel alone, you discover a bit more of your own self. You put your life to symmetry and add poise to it. It is needless to say that you achieve a better sense of stability. You meet new people, add and lend a part of your respective selves to each other, observe the similarities & difference in the lifestyles. So it is important you should gift yourself with one such trip at least a year and guess what is equally important? Yes, you got that right! Packing. It is the most exciting part of travelling and if done the wrong way, may turn out to be the most daunting part too. While packing light or heavy may depend on the duration & kind of your trip, there are few thumb rules that you should swear by while packing when travelling solo.
This is most crucial part of packing. In line with the route map of your trip, even if you have managed to accumulate all necessary stuff, you really can go bonkers if you place things like towels and toiletries right at the bottom. Keep such items for last (so they show up first), in order of your packing. Rest you should layer the clothes in an order you want them to wear in the days to come (especially for an official seminar or workshop spanning over 4-5 days).
A COMBO OF BIG AND SMALL BAGS
One, the primary bag should be hard, sturdy, properly locked and preferably a dragger. Try to limit the number to two (big and small). Second, a combo of foldable totes or slings may also form part of your luggage so you may carry them during the daily excursion, while your main luggage can rest in your hotel room for the day. Backpacks are the best options if the trip is short.
COMFORTABLE CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR
Leave those stilettos behind. Keep it simple with a pair of wetproof loafers coupled with a pair of flip-flops (if you can manage the entire travel in just sneakers, even better!). Please spare yourself of the outfits which take like ‘forever’ to get into. Wrinkle-free cotton tops and shirts and a pair of denim is my ‘go to’, in all circumstances.
Whether you trek through the unformidable mountains, or hover over by the beachside in gorgeous Goa, the super tasty homemade granola bars, nuts & citrus candies come handy between the meals in a day. It quenches your hunger pangs at an unearthly hour when you don’t have access to roadside takeaways and dhabas and keep your food cravings at bay.
It’s good if you’re surrounded by a number of ‘Use me’ signs but in case if you’re not, please use these paper/renewable bags until you find a dustbin to dump it all in. Be good, decent and spread the positive. Also carry foldable jute/fabric bag to go shopping around your destination and refrain using plastic/polythene that a shop may offer to you.
KEEP STOLE/SCARF/HANDKERCHIEF HANDY
You don’t want to be entangled with your hair swinging vigorously up in the air, amid those fast and furious bumpy bus routes, full of dust and dirt. Neither do you have the energy to battle those bugs & flies around the plush green terrains! What comes to your rescue are these thin scarves/stoles stuffed in one sweet little corner of your ‘handbag’. Easily wrappable around the neck and head, they act as a boon in such ‘not so friendly’ situations.
No matter how strong and immune you are, travel has its own way of treating you. Which makes it a smart idea to have elementary first aid kit containing basic painkillers, paracetamol, antiseptic, bandages and doctor’s tape, handy I personally follow this habit of carrying good old ‘Zandu Bam’ religiously by me side to keep me off any unexpected sinus attacks.
SPARE LOCKS, TORCH & SMALL ROPES:
As long as everything is sailing smooth, the relevance of these things never surfaces. I remember the obnoxious walk back to my hotel after a late night dinner when there was a power failure in Auli (Uttrakhand) due to incessant rains. And since they don’t occupy a large part of your luggage, it’s not a bad idea to bung them in for good.
TISSUES & WIPES
Comes to instant use when you accidentally get your hands dirty or when you drown in your own sweat when hastily climbing up a terrain. Situate them in one accessible part of the luggage, like in the side pockets.
There is a sense of accomplishment that you observe when you come back home after a successful solo trip. You got things to tell your mom as to how you’ve grown up and can be on your own. Boosts your confidence and the repertoire of your knowledge enlarges a lot. I hope we have covered all necessary points and if you think I missed on something, do write your add-ons in the comment box below. Keep travelling!