…save money and time before your travels.
It’s been a little while since we’ve had a TravelTip Tuesday so here’s one of my favourites, it’s probably the thing that has saved me the most money, time and effort prior to travelling – organising my travel bits and pieces into their very own space.
Prior to doing this my travel toiletries were chucked in with my everyday stuff, travel plugs were spread around the house and every time we went on holiday I either spent hours separating it all out or went and bought another adaptor or travel shampoo because I wasn’t sure if I had one or couldn’t find it. Not to mention running around trying to remember where I had left that pile of euros from the previous trip or where I’d put my mosquito spray!
So I decided to create a place where everything to do with travelling went and now when I’m planning for a trip, be it a night in a hotel or a fortnight abroad I can just open the drawer and packing takes 10 minutes. And as a bonus it’s given me a place to put other random travel bits, I mean where do you store a travel pillow the rest of the year without a travel box?!
Now we travel quite a lot (well apart from the last year obviously) so I have quite a lot of travel detritus and I have used a Kallax box, which is stuffed to the brim, but it could be a shoe box or a trunk depending on what you have and how much you go away.
I recently had to sort it out as after the summer of going away in the camper van everything had kind of been chucked back in and was getting a bit chaotic so here’s how I sorted it.
Firstly I separate everything out into little boxes. Personally I reuse my old birchbox boxes as they’re the perfect size but obviously it could just be little bags or big boxes.
I have one for documents and money. Perfect to make sure the passports are always to hand and you don’t lose visas between printing off and jetting off! But one of the most handy things I do is keep any change from holidays in little bags ready for the next adventure. I tend to use my card when travelling abroad these days so don’t do the whole going and changing my whole travel budget so find it’s useful to have a few euros if I want to grab a bottle of water or some sweets.
The other box for me that is the most useful is my travel plugs, I swear I used to lose them every year and have to go and buy another hence why I now have a huge box of them. And they’re not cheap so it also saves me money now they’re all together and I don’t have to keep splashing out. One of my favourite purchases has been my multitravel plug. It has 4 USB slots so I can charge my phone and our tablets at the same time which is so much easier than travelling with 4 different plus and having to find outlets. It’s also amazing because it has different slip on plug parts so if you’re travelling through different regions you only need one plug.
You can put together a space for whatever you need on your travels, maybe it’s a first aid kit (which I usually keep in the box but is currently in my camper van) or a box of kids travel bits (Luka has his own travel box so his isn’t in with mine but I’ll take you through that another day!) and for me it’s anti mosquito everything. I’m unfortunately really allergic to mozzies, the last time I got attacked by them I ended up in hospital with suspected sepsis and on antibiotics for a month so I have to take a lot of care to prevent them biting me. One thing I have been using is these bracelets and I (touchwood) haven’t had a bad biting since.
Toiletries are the other thing I used to re-buy before every trip without fail which was ridiculous so organising them was a big deal for me. I am trying now to use reusable jars and sprays filled from home but I also bring home ones from hotels that I have started to use or get from my Birchbox or from little gift sets and put them into my travel armoury ready to go. As you can see from the video I have so many they’re all split up again into individual bags which is helpful to finding the thing you need quickly.
Inside the travel drawer I also keep my selection of toiletry bags, big one for long holidays, small for a weekend away and don’t forget the all important correctly sized see through bags for going through customs. N.B I have had them in see through toiletry bags that are the correct size but still been made to decant them into the sandwich bags so now I tend to put them in one inside my toiletry bag so I don’t have to faff about holding the queue up swapping them over but there’s less likelihood of it splitting.
TOP TIP: I always keep a small travel toiletry bag packed in the drawer with the essentials; toothbrush, shower gel, moisturiser etc so that if I have to rush off unexpectedly for work, or a family emergency or indeed like last month a trip to hospital, I can just grab the bag.
And of course just like the other rooms in my house I have to have a random/junk draw or in this case box where I keep all the other bits and pieces that won’t fit in the other boxes or don’t have a space. Little pens, ear plugs, travel laundry detergent, eyes masks etc all get popped in here for if I need them.
A fairly new thing for me that also now lives in the box are packing cubes. I’ve not used them in my suitcase yet as I have perfected the roll and stuff method but I bought them last summer for my camper van and they have been a life saver to save space and keep organised. Me and the mini adventurer have our clothes separate and can just go in the tops cube if we need a new t-shirt so I’ll be trying it out if we ever need to pack a big suitcase again!
As mentioned I also keep other items in there like my travel wallet and travel pillow and packing now is just an absolute breeze! If you don’t have a travel box/drawer/trunk why not gather up your travel bits together and I promise you’ll save time and money next time you are off on your adventures!