What to pack: a handy guide for your next holiday

What to pack for your next holiday

Few things are as exciting as planning a holiday—the research, must see destinations and the anticipation of new adventures and relaxing experiences. The same can not be said for packing. One of the last things on the ‘to do’ list before a holiday, packing is a necessary chore to get you where you want to go.

So here’s our handy guide to make packing a little easier, saving you space in your bags and time on your holiday.

Pack what you can manage

Remember that airlines and tour operators will have size and weight restrictions on your luggage, so it can be a good idea to weigh your bags before you leave. All Australian Journeys request a limit of 5kg for carry on bags and 20kg for suitcases stored under the coach.

However, the best rule of thumb is to only make your bags as heavy as you can lift. While there will often be staff around who are willing to help unload your bags, in most instances it is the passenger’s responsibility to be able to transport their bags to and from hotel rooms and coaches.

These are the essentials

Resist the temptation to pack an outfit for every possible occasion. Not only will your bags be heavy and full of clothes that you’ll probably never wear, you’ll spend a lot of time searching through your bags every day. Here’s what you should always have in your bag:

  • clothes that are casual and lightweight and don’t need ironing
  • one smart outfit
  • two pairs of shoes only—this is where weight quickly adds up!
  • travel sized toiletries to save space, weight and always wrap in a plastic bag in case of spills
  • a universal power adaptor so that you can plug in or charge your phone, camera, shaver…
  • a wide top plug for sinks so that you can do essential clothes washing in your hotel room.

Packing cheats

  • Roll your clothes—this saves space and they tend to crease less
  • Bring 3-4 pegs—not just for overnight drying of clothes, pegs are handy to hold together curtains and stop the morning sun from waking you up early on your holiday 
  • If you do wash in your ensuite, wrap wash clothes in a clean dry towel and step on it to get as much moisture out as you can before hanging
  • If travelling as a couple—or with a good friend—split your belongings between your cases, just in case something does happen to one of your bags

Take a journey to the remote landscape of outback Australia

Menindee Lakes

The landscape of western New South Wales and south western Queensland is another world away from the coastal roads of the Eastern Seaboard.

From 360 degree panoramic views of the surrounding open red dirt plains, to the stony gibber desert, to bushy forested regions, to the outbreaks of wildflowers after the wet season, the outback country on the new All Australian Journeys tour Menindee Lakes and Cameron Corner is perfect if you’re looking to experience the remote wilderness that Australia is famous for.

AAJ on road team Lionel and Sue Baker love to get away and experience the vast scale of Australia’s outback.

‘The landscape is just so different to what you’ll experience on the east of the Great Dividing Range,’ said Lionel.

Sue adds, ‘The culture of the people is different too—it’s like time has no meaning, you just take the time you need to get where you’re going.’

Sue and Lionel agree that a spirit of adventure is a must for this tour, where highlights include the geological outcrops, animal and plant life of the Sturt National Park. Emus and kangaroos are plentiful on the southern side of the Dog Fence, the world’s longest fence, but cross through the gate and the landscape changes.

There are some character pubs along the way, where the locals gather to share their stories.

While you’re remote, help is never far away. Lionel says that everywhere in the outback supports the work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. ‘At Cameron Corner, they can get an RFDS plane out to you in just 90 minutes.’

Sue says that while the journey is remote, it’s much more comfortable than you might experience if travelling as a grey nomad. The comfort of the air conditioned coach, and the accommodation chosen along the way, means you get to enjoy relative comfort—even though in some places accommodation is in cabins with outdoor amenities.

A new addition to this holiday for All Australian Journeys is Menindee Lakes in western New South Wales, where the Darling River flows into three lakes. When the lakes are full, birdlife is prolific.

Travelling in July, Sue recommends packing for all seasons. ‘Pack a jacket or windshield as the western winds can be cold. But you’ll also need summer clothing for some warm days.’

Celebrating over 50s: three tips for making the best of today

Friendships

1.      Spend time with others

Spending time with friends and family can of course reduce loneliness and stress but will also keep you honest and increase your feeling of safety and security.

And there’s nothing like a laugh with a good friend to make your day more memorable.

2.      Keep learning

Research shows that keeping mentally active can increase your brain’s vitality and even generate new brain cells!

Whether it’s a daily Sudoku or seeing new places, going to shows, learning new skills or uncovering history, the moral of the story is to keep learning!

3.      Be active

Being physically fit can mean different things to different people—if you’re a weight lifting superstar—keep it up! But being active can be as simple as getting your body moving for 3x 10 minute blocks per day. Start small and keep it gentle to begin with.

Take a walk with a friend, go swimming or perhaps a tour with your favourite coach and holiday company?