Lifestyle, Vacations & Staycations

How To Make Travel Easier – Tan Lili

What do you do when you don’t have much time to pack your suitcase, let alone prepare an itinerary for your upcoming holiday? Tan Lili shares some tried-and-tested techniques.

Hands up, those of you who have a love-hate relationship with overseas vacations.

Usually a week before the fun starts, there’d be a whirlwind of activity at work. From new deadlines and long-drawn-out meetings to a hell lot of things that demand your immediate attention at once, it sure feels like the world is conspiring to ruin your holiday mood.

Which is why these tips you’re about to read are so awesome. These tried-and-tested techniques improve the travel experience; save us plenty of time (which could be better spent on responding to that urgent email request); and, more importantly, serve to remind us that in spite of all that pre-vacay chaos, WE ARE GOING ON A HOLIDAY, BABY!

pouchPouch Everything

I have two pre-packed beauty pouches lying in my closet, ready to be thrown into my luggage whenever needed. One is a toiletry bag. It consists of travel-sized toiletries (toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, contact lens solution), a toothbrush, a contact lens case and a comb. The other, my makeup pouch, holds travel-sized skincare products, a pack of makeup remover wipes, a concealer and an eyeliner. At the risk of sounding pouch-obsessed, I also have a travel one that contains my passport, a lip balm and a mini tube of hand cream … and another pouch with my travel adapter already in it so I just have to throw in my phone charger before leaving. Hey, scoff all you want, but having these pre-packed pouches at my disposal has seriously cut my packing time in half!

Pack Like A Pro

When you don’t have the luxury of time for leisure packing, the last thing you want is to find out there isn’t enough space left in your suitcase for shoes. The trick? Follow these layers:

Layer 1: Shoes. Store them in plastic bags so they don’t dirty the rest of the items. To save space, pack your socks into the shoes.

Layer 2: Heavier clothing items, like jeans and sweaters. Roll them up as tightly as possible to save space and minimise wrinkling.

Layer 3: Light clothing items, like your singlets and T-shirts. Again, roll them up tightly.

Layer 4: Your makeup/toiletry/digital pouches

In-between: Fill up every nook and cranny with miscellaneous stuff, like your underwear.

Don’t forget to bring along a compression bag to store your dirty laundry. Those bags promise to suck the air out of every living organism on your clothes and leave plenty of luggage space for souvenirs.

pouch 3

Download These Useful Apps

With over a million apps available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store, there are bound to be at least a few great ones that deliver what they claim to do, like these:

  • TripIt (free on App Store and Google Play): All you have to do is forward your travel confirmation emails to TripIt’s provided email address, and they will create a detailed daily itinerary for you. You’ll be able to manually add or edit the itineraries, and access them even when you’re offline. If you’re a frequent traveller, you might want to consider upgrading to TripIt Pro (US$49/year) to get real-time flight alerts, refund notifications and more.
  • The Entertainer (free on App Store and Google Play): The Entertainer is actually a book of coupons sold in bookshops in Dubai, but the brand has launched an app equivalent that features thousands of one-for-one deals at various merchants, from restaurants to spa parlours. The bad news: because it was only launched this year, it doesn’t cover too many destinations, though they recently added shopping haven Hong Kong to the list. The good news: Singapore is on it, so we can all enjoy some pretty cool deals!
  • City Maps 2Go Pro – Offline Map and Travel Guide ($3.98 on App Store, $2.99 on Google Play): Thank you, creators of this fab app. There is, of course, a free version, but it’s limited to just five destinations of your choice. This paid one gives you unlimited offline access to the maps of destinations around the world, up-to-date information and tips from fellow travellers, pin existing places to the map and search for nearby attractions. Did I mention it has offline GPS services? Mind = blown.

Got some travel tricks you swear by? Sharing is caring, so share your tips with us below!

About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as (now, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.