So, I am traveling tonight!! πŸ™‚

I haven’t been this nervous and excited about anything else this year! This is my first trip of 2017 (better late than never) and I want to do it right on my blog. After a lot of contemplation, I decided to start by exploring my own country (yay no visa) so my first destination is indeed Northern Pakistan!

This post talks about how I packed for this supposedly adventurous holiday. I am no expert but I have learned a few easy tricks from the Internet and my personal experiences that I want to share with you and you and you.

Before you decide what you need to pack, it is better you check a few boxes so you don’t end up with snow boots in Egypt.

Pre-packing analysis
  • Weather at your destination:Β North of Pakistan at this time of the year tends to range between 8 degrees and 21 degrees (already cooler than UAE’s coldest day). I get cold very easily so I already need a big multipurpose jacket.
  • Stay-in or on-the-go: I know hiking is an important part of this trip so that already adds a backpack, quick dry shirts, tights and hiking boots to my list!

  • Number of days: Typically, packing for a 14-day trip does not need more than a carry-on but we all know that is unrealistic for normal human beings. And frankly, I paid for more luggage so why not. 14-day trip, for me, means at least 10 shirts, two pants and the necessary shoes/tights to go with. Repeating clothes is not a problem for me (who is traveling to take pretty blogger photos anyway, right?)
  • Nature of the trip: This is a supposedly adventure holiday to a not-so-popular destination – a trip with lots of ambiguity and minimal expectations.

When the above points are thought through, you get a better idea of the things that need to go with you and things that will be left behind.

Two is better than one

I’m not comfortable backpacking yet, so I took my trolley suitcase that I can leave behind at the hotel and a wonderful multipurpose backpack that I got for only AED140 from Modell’s Sporting Goods at Mirdif City Center. This may be an adventure holiday but we like to keep it safe until we have traveled 15 more countries πŸ™‚

traveling bags

Rolling > Folding

There is a common misconception that folding and piling clothes takes up lesser space than rolling them. Rolling clothes and stuffing them together like little atoms is the secret behind your favorite travel blogger’s photos. Ever since I started rolling my clothes, I’ve never complained about lack of space or things to wear.

packing suitcase

Sample bottles save the day

Thank God for our culture of saving sample bottles for no reason. Well now there is a reason. Sample bottles are the best (in more ways than one) to carry your toiletries. They’re small (easy to pack), light and most importantly environmentally friendly (the second R stands for Reusing). Just make sure you place a strip of plastic underneath the cap to avoid leakage. Please find specimen by Siham below.

packing toiletries

Compartments are for organization

Some are manufacturer-made and some you need to make yourself, but compartments are key to packing in an organized manner. Aside from the fact that I love organization, I also think it is extremely important to compartmentalize your travel bag. You don’t want to hate yourself when you’re trying to sleep but you just can’t find the damn pajamas. So just like everything in my room and life, my travel suitcase is organized in such a way that I can tell where everything is with my eyes closed.

how to pack

Do you even checklist bro?

Checklists are a great invention. Mostly free of cost, they help organized people like you and me stay on top of things. When I’m traveling, I use the exhaustive travel checklist that I got from Virgin Megastore to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything (and I haven’t since I got these). Not only are they useful when packing, they give that sweet, sweet satisfaction of checking things off the list.

how to pack to do

So these were tips from personal experiences of yours truly. A few other tips from the Internet that I find very useful are:
  • Carry clothes that are light, easy-to-dry and don’t need to be ironed.
  • Take only half of what you think you need and take twice as much cash. Anything that you can easily buy at your destination, you don’t need to carry
  • Wear your heaviest items while traveling (boots/sneakers, jackets, jeans)
  • Arrange all the items you want to pack in front of your eyes. Then pack only one third of those.
  • Make “It’s all part of the experience” your mantra. Unpleasant surprises will suddenly seem funner.

Anyway, I will not be posting anything for the next two weeks but I’m pretty sure I’ll have a lot to say when I’m back.


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I’m Siham - a 25-year-old Pakistani, born and raised in the UAE. Currently doing a boring desk job in Dubai - but my passion lies in reading, writing and motivating people.

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