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Be a smart packer!

Submit your views and win! Travelspeak.
Travel light!

Be a smart packer and travel light!
Travelspeak! Submit your views & suggestions and win a prize!!

Travel light!
A lot of you will be off on your vacation within another week or so. Now's the time to pack wisely - don't start your holidays on a wrong footing by paying for extra luggage! Here are a few tips from the GoDubai Travel Desk to help you pack smartly!

  • Use rubber bands to squeeze your clothes to the smallest size. Of course that's NOT a good idea if you are traveling to visit relatives, or planning to do some fancy sightseeing.
  • Carry some small plastic hooks with attached sucker which can be stuck on to toilet walls etc. This comes in handy if the toilet doesn't have any hooks or racks to hang clothes/towels. Even better if you can lay your hand on a reusable kind of hook that can be taken off and restuck. That way you need to carry only 1 or 2 such hooks.
  • Take your old undergarments, and even your old pair of sneakers/joggers which you were intending to throw away. You can dispose them off on your way.
  • Pack whatever you think is essential a week in advance, and then take half of it out, a couple of days before departure.
  • Pack clothes that are complimentary to each other - same skirt/trouser can be worn with 4 different tops/shirts. Also carry a couple of accessories - like scarves (ties?) to give the impression of a large wardrobe and to break the monotony of recycling the same clothes!
  • For maximum space, roll clothes that do not wrinkle.
  • Our tip! You can get a new kind of packing bag that helps compress your clothing items. These are essentially heavy duty plastic bags with air valves designed to compress bulky items such as sweaters, sweatshirts, pillows etc. These bags are also great for soiled clothing.
  • Pack a collapsible or expandable bag to carry items you purchase on the return leg of your trip (We have a habit of buying souvenirs, inspite of all those resolutions not to clutter our rooms any further!).

If you'd like some more tips on packing/luggage let us know!
Next week! Essential packing checklist (including 1st aid kit). We welcome your suggestions. Share a smart packing tip with us and win!
Submit your views/tips/suggestions and win a prize!

This week's winners get to spend a weekend for 2 at Mafraq Hotel, Abu Dhabi!

NEW!Qamer Jehan
Before travelling take photocopies of your passport,license, and other important documents and keep the copies in another luggage besides your hand luggage. This can be a life saver in case you misplace your originals. It is advisable to let your traveling companion carry some of your clothes. This way, in case you lose your baggage, you still have some clothes to wear. Always carry your hand luggage with you, especially if it contains valuables. If you are traveling by taxi or by bus to the airport, do not keep your hand luggage with valuables either in the dicky of the taxi or with other baggage in the bus. You do not need to carry a soap and a soap dish. Instead, liquid soap is easier to carry! Keep dry food on hand, in case you feel terribly hungry and are unable to order for food. If you wear glasses, keep an extra pair so as not to miss out on the sighseeing, just in case you lose or break your original pair. It is always a good idea to carry some high denomination dolloars - since they can be exchanged in any country
Winner! Farah
To prevent T-shirts/trousers from getting crumpled, roll them on the inside tube of kitchen towels. I start collecting these quite a few months before a trip. You could even use empty plastic masafi bottles, if you'd like larger rolls. These bottles can later be filled with water once you've reached your destination. The good thing about these rolls is they are of negligible weight and you can go without an iron and needn't buy mineral water while traveling!
If you intend to send post cards to friends and family from your destination, print sticky labels with address and bring them with you. Just peel them off, stick them onto postcards and post the cards. Thus, you don't have to carry your address book, nor do you need to carry a pen!
I find that whenever we go on holiday trips, we always overpack. This is especially true when we go on short trips to places we've never been before. The key to enjoying the trip is to pack lightly. I know of a couple who visited Dubai with an empty suitcase and just the clothes they wore! They shopped like mad and returned with tons of shopping but no excess luggage!
Winner! Olivia Pais
I've got together an essential checklist for traveling as well as things to check on before leaving for a vacation. I've found this list very useful and wanted to share it with fellow GoDubai surfers. Hope its of help to all of you as well!
Passport, visa, airline tickets, hotel details, travel itinerary, credit cards, foreign currency, loose cash, travel/health insurance, medications, first-aid kit, emergency phone #s, addresses of friends & family, pen & notepad, international drivers licence / photo id, photocopies of necessary documents, other applicable cards e.g. diving licence, YHA discount, phone card, etc... You should also carry a small calculator, a small alarm/watch, travel guide/maps luggage lock/chain, raingear / sarong or anything similar, towel, sleeping bag toiletries, toilet paper, insect repellent / mosquito net, sunscreen glasses/sunglasses / cap or hat, camera & film, book / reading material, walkman with spare batteries, games/cards, repair kit, laundry kit, small army knife or multipurpose tool, flash light & batteries, lighter extra plastic / hand bags, shaving equipment, toilet paper, sun protection, lip balm, tampons / condoms (available everywhere but not worth the risk).
Things to do before you leave
Pay the rent and other necessary bills; Balance your bank account; Wash clothes; Wash the dishes; Clean out your flat; Change the message on your answering machine; Make a lunch; Confirm airline tickets; Shave (for men); Plant care (else they will change colors when you are back); Pet Care (else they will change color too!); Empty all water containers; Forward your emails; Empty your fridge of perishables; Empty all trash cans; Give copies of your keys to someone else (someone you trust); Cut your hair; Visit the dentist; Prepare/update your will (just in case!); Forward newspapers and magazines; Unplug electrical stuff (reduces risk of fire); Switch off the water to your apartment (incase of a water pipe breaks); Get a manicure
That was the most exhaustive list I have ever come across! But very useful! Thanks for sharing it with all GoDubai Travel Desk enthusiasts!

  • Make a 'Things to do' and 'Things to buy' list 15 days ahead of your travel. As and when it is done keep ticking off the items.
  • Check the ticket carefully for the date of travel, time of departure, luggage allowance, etc.
  • If you are taking children, keep in the hand bag some less messy fruits like, apple, pear, etc., wet tissues and some cotton to avoid earache while take off and landing.

Winner! Rahul
Snappy mnemonic!
The key to organised packing is to compartmentalise your luggage. This can be done easily through the following mnemomic. Just remember TRAVEL and get your things neatly packed!
T for TOILETRIES. Put your toiletries in a bag, preferably one that is waterproof. If you do not want to spend money on a toiletry bag, a zip-loc bag will do. You might wish to use two bags (one in another) to prevent spills. Women could include their make-up in this toiletry bag. Or, purchasing a small transparent cosmetics case might be a good idea.
R is for READING MATERIALS, and includes things like your travel books, maps, postcards and paperback books. You should keep all these together in a flat envelope that can be slid into the side of your bag. Do not include any important documents in this envelope. If you accumulate a lot of reading materials along the way, take some extra envelopes with you and mail the materials home as you travel.
A is for your "AID" PACK, which includes your first aid, Band-Aid, aspirin and other supplies. Unless you are hiking the Everest, take only a small bit of first aid supplies. A few band-aids, blister pads or moleskins, a pair of tweezers. Travel stores often carry pre-packed kits, but you can put a small one together and put the items in a zip-loc bag. You can put it with your toiletries should your toiletry bag have enough room.
V is for VITAL DOCUMENTS. This should include your passport, a photocopy of your passport identification page, a set of two passport photos, your unused plane tickets, itinerary. You should not stash money in this because that should be kept next to your skin in a secret money holder. You can use a regular envelope for this, or a slightly larger booklet-sized envelope that can hold some bulk.
E is for ELECTRICALS/ELECTRONICS/ETC. Should you decide to take anything electricity-related (hair dryer, voltage adapter), stash these in a sack so that your wires and cables don't get twisted. A twist tie helps keeps cables together as well. If you don't have a bag for this, keep it in a clean sock. "ETC" could be anything else, such as spare batteries, film, travel games and other knick-knacks.
L is for LAUNDRY, and it includes both your clean and soiled clothes. Most people would like to separate their clean clothes from their soiled ones; keep a small zippered laundry bag for this.
Very useful and quite an innovative idea!

Tasneem Akberali
  • To avoid crushed shoes from being in your luggage, use travel shoe trees to help retain the shape. Cedar shoe trees help absorb perspiration and deodorize the leather so your feet and luggage won't stink when you arrive!!!
  • For international travelers, put a copy of your passport into each piece of luggage. That way, you'll have identification even if your passport gets stolen. It's also a good idea to put a copy of your itinerary of travel into each piece of luggage you check. If your luggage gets lost in transit, your luggage can find you!
  • Always use your business address on your luggage tags -- if you use your home address, you may be notifying thieves of your absence and inviting burglary.
  • When packing, never pack your stuff in a bag that doesn't close completely. Consider replacing old or worn luggage. Luggage that is several years old may not be able to withstand today's automated baggage handling systems.
While the Internet is a great source for Travel Tips, preference on GoDubai Travel Desk will be given to surfers who contribute tips from their own personal experience. We are open to travel tips sourced from the Internet, however, travel wisdom accumulated from past experience will be given preference while selecting winners.!

Traveling with kids
When traveling with kids always write the name of your hotel, telephone number and your name on a card and pin the card inside your child's pocket. When i was visiting Hong Kong, I requested the Concierge to write the name of the hotel we were staying in, in Chinese, so that in case my children got lost they could show a taxi driver the card.
Sami Abdullah
Carry disposable bibs if you are traveling with babies as well as boiled disposable feeding bottles. Put these in an airtight box and carry them along with you in your hand luggage if you are travling long distances.
Ritu Sainani
How to pack neatly!
  • Pack your liquid items in less than full plastic bottles since they might freeze and later expand if you are travelling by plane or to a cold place. Place the bottles in freezer bags with a seal to further protect your items.
  • Bring along a plastic trash bag to keep your dirty items separate from your other clothes.
  • Pack your shoes in shoe bags or old socks to keep their dirty soles from touching your clean clothes.
  • Pack your clothes carefully to avoid wrinkles. You can prevent your clothes from getting crushed by not over-stuffing your bag. Also your luggage should not be too large. The more compact your luggage, lesser the chance of your clothes shifting around and getting crumpled. You can roll T-shirts or underwear and wrap your clothes around them, along fold lines, to prevent formation of creases. Finally, you could hang your wrinkled clothes in the bathroom while taking a shower. The steam irons out the wrinkles.
    Charles Lazarus
    It's far more comfortable traveling with a back pack than with a handbag. Roll your garments to the maximum and squeeze them in every empty corner of your suitcase. Don't forget to carry your swiss knife. Remember to seal the bottle covers with scotch tape to avoid any messy spills.
    Monica, Dubai
    On flights, however long or short the haul might be, keep your hand baggage to a minimum. A pen and the passport details of your family on a single sheet of paper can come in handy when filling those cumbersome forms.

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