Adventures in packing for the big trip

Last updated 05:00 23/02/2014

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Dodging the single supplement Adventures in packing for the big trip Great journeys - the classics to come Top 10 Kiwi traveller giveaways South America on $50 a day Homesick cures for London Kiwis Searching for the real thing How not to be rude to tourists World's best airline named What makes travellers so sexy?

Kim Knight wrestles with what to pack for an overseas holiday.

Three pairs of pants. Maybe four. Plus one for the plane ride. Stretchy. Try to find a colour that won't show stray fibres from the economy seat blankets.

Who wants to wash knickers every second day? Seven pairs. Two bras (practical). Another bra (impractical). A crush-free dress. Red, merino, scoop neck, flared skirt. Get to Seville and realise that if you actually wear it, you will look like a lumpy Carmen.

A cardy. Doubles as a jacket. Also a jacket. Polar fleece for cheap late-night wines on the hotel rooftop, because it's still winter in Europe.

A washing line. Extra socks do take up a lot of room. Four pairs of shoes. The $300 orange sneakers you know give you blisters but make you look fantastic. The black suede ones which do neither, but which you will wear every day and wonder why you packed two pairs of ballet flats for "looking nice".

Comfort is what counts. Clean is good, too. Discover that the only thing those damn washing lines stick to is the bathroom mirror. This is always in a bathroom with no extractor fan and nothing dries in the three-star condensation.

Packing cells. Definitely the answer. Until he needs the Anti-flamme, the knife you bought to cut cheese from the market, and the corkscrew that cost two euros down a side alley, where the wine was only three euros. So cheap! More money to buy more clothes that don't fit in the suitcase! Which packing cell did you put the adaptor plug in?

Laundry paper soap. What an excellent idea. Until you use wet hands to peel free another piece. Lumpy soap stuck to partially dry jeans. Thank god for the iron-free, collared, striped georgette shirt that makes everything look smart. Except the polar fleece.

One scarf. So chic. Just as well, because you're wearing it in every bloody photograph. Where is that Anti-flamme? Why did you pack bangles when all you're adorning yourself with is a $5 watch from The Warehouse? Best pre-travel buy: a $55 brown eyeshadow trio from Smashbox. Eyes now go with everything.

The pros and cons of polyprop. It's light but bulky. Check the weather forecast (did you pack the Smartphone charger?). A travel umbrella. What do you have to do to guarantee a pair of dry socks around here?

You've been away for 21 nights now. The inside of your suitcase (wheels - more practical than backpack straps) looks like the bedroom floor of your first flat. Who cares? You're packing for home. Your clothes are covered in olive oil and tomato stains. You think, probably, you left the Anti-flamme in Barcelona. Next time, you will leave the polar fleece at home.

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