Taking a holiday should be fun and relaxing.  Unfortunately a lot of people start building up some stress while preparing for it – worried of packing too much, or not enough, of forgetting something, or annoyed by the time it takes them to pack.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here are some tips to simplify your travel preparations and make the process more enjoyable. 


Develop a comprehensive packing list with sections based on your destinations/activities e.g. scuba diving trip. The best time to develop it is when you travel.  Take note of what you took, how much you used, what you forgot etc. so that you can make adjustments for the subsequent trips.  Type it on your computer or like me create a list on Evernote.  The good thing with Evernote is that I can access my list and update it any time through my phone and that there is a checkbox feature so I don’t need to print my list when I need to pack. 

Develop a list of things to do before leaving. For example, identify who will care for your pets and plants during your absence, plan for the first few meals after your return (or even better cook and freeze them), empty the fridge and the garbage bins, activate out of office messages, back-up computers, switch appliances, lock windows and doors, etc. Here’s my own pre-travel checklist. 

Start gathering the items a few days before your trip. That will give you time to wash the items that were in the laundry basket and that you want to pack.  Print your packing list and tick the items off your list as you gather them.  Store them temporarily in the guest room or an empty cupboard.  Put aside the clothes that you will wear during the trip.  Pack when you have assembled everything so that you can optimise your packing.

Get Organised & Beyond Singapore Prepare Trip

Keep your toiletry bag pre-packed if you travel frequently.  Take stock of what’s left after a trip and replenish it right away.  Store it with your luggage. 


Scan your vital documents such as passport, ID card, driver license and the front and back of your credit cards with the emergency contact number. Keep a copy on the cloud so that you can easily access them from any electronic device if they were lost or stolen.  You may want to do the same with your travel documents (tickets, hotel reservations etc.). 

Get Organised & Beyond Singapore Prepare Trip

Keep your valuable items (passport, travel documents, jewellery, medicine etc.) in your carry-on bag. Have a change of underwear in case your checked-in luggage arrives late.

Use transparent sealable bags to separate toiletries that are used in the shower from cosmetics, make-up and first aid kit. Not only it limits damages in case of spillage, but it also makes retrieval easier. 


Use the concept of the capsule wardrobe. Select a few bottoms and tops that can easily be mixed and matched and that are versatile enough so that you can dress up or down.  Stick to 2 or 3 colour themes.  Select clothes that can be layered so that you can adapt to various temperatures.

Limit the number of shoes. Avoid packing a pair of shoes that will only be used in one occasion.  Wear the most bulky shoes and pack the others.

Use travel-size toiletries or travel-size containers in which you can transfer your toiletries and cosmetics – you can find some at Muji, Howards Storage World or The Face Shop to name a few. Make sure to label the containers.

Travel light

Image sourced from Muji website

Same applies to medicine.  Where possible, take only the number of tablets you need for the duration of your trip and the leaflet and store them in transparent sealable bags. 


If you travel with children, pack a “busy bag” with books, drawing notebook and supplies, stickers, travel-size board games, small cars/airplanes, figurines, soft toys and some of their favourite music to keep them occupied during the trip.

Travel sane

Image sourced from Pinterest, saved from dreammore.squarespace.com

Planning goes a long way in making the whole traveling experience more pleasant and less stressful.  And to enjoy the benefits of the holiday a bit longer, take it easy on your return by planning a day at home to recover from the trip, empty your luggage, go through your post and emails etc.  Happy holidays! 

Get Organised and make room for life!



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