People, we are told, are creatures of habit and our travel lists probably contain their fair share of items that we habitually pack. But may be its time to bin a few of them and replace them with new ones? To help you decide what goes in and what now may be left behind, here’s our recommended list of what’s worth packing and what’s not.
Tempted to pack a few traveler’s cheques? Our advice is don’t bother. Yes, we know that back in the day these were the best way to keep your travel money safe but times have moved on and with debit, credit and pre-paid currency cards now widely accepted, travelers’ cheques are pretty pointless.
Torches used to be a handy item, especially when camping, but nearly all mobile phones have built-in torches so perhaps use that instead. Unless, of course, you’re going night skiing or trekking through areas with no access to a phone charger.
Passport covers have two purposes in life; to protect your passport and to irritate customs staff who will insist that you remove the passport from them. In which case, add to that list of irritated people all those waiting in the queue behind you.
Your old travel alarm clock could probably take a break and stay at home too. It served its purpose when mobile phones weren’t around but now they are…
And finally the chances are you may still want to pack your old spork. Our advice is just don’t. The combination spoon-fork fails at every level; its neither a good fork or a decent spoon. And we’re confident that wherever you go this Christmas there will be better cutlery available.
So what goes in to your luggage instead? Power banks are probably a travel must-have. Essentially a portable battery that gives your mobile phone a boost they have tumbled in price and size.
Some people swear by their travel kettle. Few hotels outside the UK have in-room kettles and the idea of going without a morning cuppa could ruin most people’s holiday.
Noise-cancelling headphones are pretty useful too. They don’t eliminate all sounds, but they do block out engine noise and significantly muffle other sounds, including those made by babies and in-flight tannoy announcements about the duty-free shop now being open.
Finally, consider packing a filtering water-bottle. The bottles have built-in water-cleaning cartridges and use technology to filter out viruses, bacteria, pathogens and parasites from contaminated water – so they’re ideal if you’re camping or visiting destinations where water quality is a concern.
What’s more, they’ll save you mountains of cash at the airport. And by taking your empty bottle through Security then filling up from the airport’s free water fountain, you can develop a smug glow all of your own.