Packing for One

Solo Traveller Club Host, Tina Richardson, shares her never fail strategies for travelling light.

I love travelling Solo, and do so every chance I get.  I love the “me-time”, being in complete control of my days and truly savouring the sights and surrounds of somewhere new.  I know I have to be more prepared though, and it all starts with packing.  Many of us tend to over pack for a trip, bringing everything but the kitchen sink!  This is not helpful when you are travelling on your own, remember – there will be no one to watch your mountain of bags while you run for a magazine.  You have to be prepared to watch your own belongings at all times, and also have to be able to handle their weight.

The bulk of your luggage is filled with clothing, so minimize by bringing less!  It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

  1. Bring only things that can be re-purposed and worn more than once.
  2. Keep colour coordination in mind.  Neutral colours (black, navy, khaki) dress up easily and are extremely versatile.
  3. Choose fabrics that resist wrinkling, or look good wrinkled.

Consider bringing a small amount of laundry soap and washing a few things out to extend your wardrobe.  If you wring your hand-washed items out really well, they can dry over the course of a day in your hotel room. Visiting a launderette is also a fun way to get a taste of local flair!

Accessories are key!  Scarves give your limited wardrobe just the punch it needs.  Since I travel with little or no jewellery, I use scarves to dress up any outfit.  They are lightweight, easy to pack, and can also double as cover-ups for church visits or to combat the evening chill.  They also make great purchases as you explore.  They not only punch up your wardrobe, but make great souvenirs as well.

Choose versatile shoes that match all of your clothing and pack no more than 2-4 pairs.  Don’t over-pack shoes and always prioritize comfort over fashion. Yes – you read correctly!  It’s ok to pack one pair of frivolous heels or sandals, but the others should be practical, comfortable and broken in.  Ideally, when you’re going to be doing lots of exploring, you don’t want to be wearing the same pair of shoes every day, all day long.  Switching it up either in the evenings, or rotating comfortable pairs is the best way to go.  If you’re going to be doing any camping, swimming, visiting spas or thermal baths, a pair of cheap flip flips will go a long way.  They weigh nothing in your suitcase, and can be worn both in your hotel room and out.  Avoid walking barefoot!  Remember, you’re not at home!

I love travel sized toiletries!  Keep in mind that most hotels will have shampoo and soap readily on-hand as you travel.  I bring only the basic necessities of make-up, using the same concept as I do with my wardrobe.  Neutral palette, with a punch of colour.  Instead of travelling with oodles of make-up removers and toners, I always take along a package of make-up removing wipes.  Everything goes into re-sealable plastic bags, just in the event of leakage in flight.

Lastly, never leave home with an over-stuffed suitcase! Your luggage should be no more than ¾ full when you leave.  This should leave ample room for souvenirs, as well as facilitate your packing adventure.  Especially when we’re on the move, packing and unpacking every couple of days can be a chore. Keeping the load light and not overstuffing will drastically improve your experience.

What items would I never leave home without?  I never travel without a corkscrew, good book, bathing suit, re-sealable plastic bags, Band-Aids and a variety of OTC medication.

CAA’s Solo Traveller Club is unique.  Everyone gets their own room, no hassles.

To learn more about our Solo Traveller Club