Expert Packing Tips for the Festive Season

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The holidays are fast approaching and Pieter Beyers GM for Insight Vacations, one of South Africa’s leading tour operators, offers his top tips on packing for your holiday.

Pack for the weather
“Firstly,” says Pieter, “you need to look closely at what you’re going to be doing on your holiday as this will dictate what you pack and how much you pack.” For example if you’re going to be travelling in Europe this December you need to pack for the weather and the best way to do this is ensure you have thermal underwear and clothing you can layer that will keep the chills at bay.

When touring through Europe in winter you will be very comfortable on the Insight Vacations coaches with their climate control and aircon, but you will be making stops along the way to view spectacular sights such as the Swiss Mountains or the Christmas Markets of Munich. “You want to be wearing layers so that you remain comfortable and enjoy the sightseeing,” says Pieter, “so be sure to pack clothing like cardigans, scarves, hats and gloves that can be put on or taken off along with a coat that is fit for the European winter.”

By the same token if your holiday takes you to warmer climates you won’t need as much in the way of warm clothes but may want to include clothing in light weight fabrics and a waterproof jacket in case it rains. “Our coaches are equipped with brollies to ward off the rain but bring along a rain coat that doubles as a light jacket for cooler evenings.”

Bring along something smart
On holiday you will no doubt have meals at good restaurants or special nights out planned so pack for these occasions. “It’s always a good idea to have a smart jacket and collared shirt that can be worn with chinos for gents and for the ladies, a smart cocktail dress with a pretty wrap will work well in most five star establishments and restaurants”, continues Pieter.

How many pairs of shoes?
“I’d recommend no more than three pairs of shoes. One for smart occasions, a good pair of comfortable walking shoes for the sightseeing and excursions plus boots for winter holidays and sandals for summer holidays,” says Pieter. Taking along too many shoes can make your suitcase heavy and always remember to pack your socks and belts inside your shoes to save space. This also helps to keep your shoes from being crushed.

Best way of folding clothes?
Pieter’s top two tips are to roll up your clothes such as t-shirts, jerseys and trousers to make more space and to use a shirt organiser for collared shirts. Your clothing will have minimum creasing when you get to your destination, and you save a lot of space. “I always pack my shoes in the corners of my suitcase as it tends to offer more of that crucial space we all need and I never travel with my suitcase at full capacity. I like to leave some room for gifts and souvenirs.”

LAG’s
While some airports are more relaxed with the Liquid, Aerosols & Gels ruling, it is better to be prepared for this Transport Security Association law by carrying some extra zip lock bags that you can use for your LAG’s in your carry-on luggage. The maximum volume is still 100 millilitres per item and every piece must fit into a zip lock bag that measures 100mm by 100mm. “I always travel with my chargers and daily medication packed into my carry-on luggage. Ladies should keep their jewellery with them too. There is always a possibility that your luggage doesn’t arrive at the same time you do so to have your necessary medication and a charger will go a long way to keeping your sense of humour should this happen to you.”

Don’t wrap those presents
And lastly, if you are bringing gifts for friends and relatives I recommend not wrapping them. If your luggage is searched due to strange looking shapes on the x-ray machine you will need to open the present to prove it is not harmful. By not wrapping them you’ll save yourself time and money.

Insight Vacations offers the art of touring in style and they have over 112 perfectly planned escorted journeys to Europe, Britain, the Eastern Med and Morocco in their 2016 portfolio. Call them on (011) 280 8435 for more information or to book your next holiday or visit www.insightvacations.com. On social media join the conversation using the hashtag   #InsightMoments.


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