How not to pack for your holiday

Your ultimate survival guide to living out of your suitcase

By Hugh Upsher

Leaving the comfort of home is equal part exciting and stressful. To successfully live that ‘out of a suitcase’ lifestyle, you need to be comprehensive and economical at the same time. I am a perpetually terrible packer, so I’m going to walk you through the process the only way I know how.

Packing your padkos

When you are hitting the road, nothing is more convenient than having some hunger busting rolls come along for the ride. The trick is to keep them in whatever packaging they originally came in. Squeeze the bag wherever it’ll fit in the boot and if you need to put a backpack on top of it, don’t even give it a second thought. This way when you stop for chow and dig them out, you’ll be stoked to find them totally flattened, ideally stuck together in a mutated mess. Bon appetit!

Leave your phone charger at home

This step is super easy to do, as it’s normally the last thing on your list. Just before you head out the door, you unplug your phone, leave the charger, and check yourself in the mirror one last time and bail. Be sure to embrace that sinking sensation when you realize you won’t be able to listen to any podcasts or check Instagram for the next few days. Bonus points if you also forget the brand new power bank you specifically bought for the trip.

Forget to bring tent poles

This tip is specifically for when you’re planning a fishing trip away with the boys/girls. All you need to do is forget to pack the tent poles for one of the four-man tents. Everyone knows that when they say four-man tent, they really mean three at a push. What you’ll end up with is a five-guys-one-tent scenario that you avoid talking about until it’s too late. It’s inevitable that one of you (I’m not saying which one) will be left to pass out at the foot of the tent ‘door’. The selected candidate will be very grumpy and covered in grass the next day.

Pack one set of clothing per day

Count the days you’ll be away, and put that many socks, pairs of underwear and tops in your bag. Add one jersey, and one pair of pants. This is the flawed logic that has not done me any favours over the years, as holidays are ruthless to your clothes. The first thing that’ll happen upon arriving at your destination is you’ll spill All Gold on your shorts. The next day you’ll get completely drenched in a rainstorm. If you follow my rule, I guarantee you’ll end your holiday sitting on a six-hour flight/drive in a shirt that stinks heavily of braai because everything else you packed smells even worse.

Quick Pro-Tips:

  • Don’t bother bringing a beach towel, there’s a 40% chance the place you’re staying will have one lying around.
  • Pack in the morning of the trip to keep yourself on your toes.
  • Why pack your own sunscreen when you can beg off your friends for free!

Don’t let your poor packing technique get in the way of a good holiday. As long as you bring along a toothbrush, a kiff pair of sunnies and a positive attitude, nothing can go wrong. Let the good packers of the world over-compensate on your behalf; they love the satisfaction of passing you a tissue to help wipe up the mess that is your life.