Some people are last minute packers, but not me. A couple of weeks before I’m due to leave, I’ll start creating piles of clothes by garment type — jeans, trousers by length, tops sorted by sleeve-length, dresses and sweatshirts. For me, packing for a trip, is like holiday foreplay.
I don’t pack clothes – I plan outfits, and when I lay out the individual pieces I envision what it can be partnered with, and what opportunities I’ll have to wear it. I tend to opt for neutral tones, so that everything can go with everything. Then a couple of days before I’m due to leave, I’ll start the packing process.
Trip I’m packing for:
I just spent 3 weeks in the Bodrum Peninsula in Turkey, the weather was in the mid-80’s every day, and in the mid-to-low ’70’s at night. I packed a lot more than is on the list below, but I’ve only included the clothes I actually wore and the items I used. I went out to dinner most nights, and my holiday comprised of sightseeing, beach days, hiking and shopping.
1 pair of blue jeans: It’s too hot during the day to wear these, but they’ll come in handy for a couple of evenings when it gets a little bit cooler.
1 nice pair of beige linen trousers: Sometimes it’s nice to get dressed up a little, and linen trousers won’t make you overheat.
2 pairs shorts – different lengths, both brown: I actually lived in one of these pairs. It was hot and they were my perfect outfit more times that I can remember.
1 pair of beige Cotton Capri pants: These came in handy for day and night wear.
1 pair full length black leggings: These were too hot to wear outside, but they were great to throw on in the morning when I just got up.
1 pair of thin cotton pajama bottoms: I love PJ’s!
1 jersey sun dress: To wear out to dinner – but I only wore it once, and in hindsight, I should have left this at home and bought something locally.
1 short dress, no sleeves: Great to throw on over a bikini at the beach, and funky partnered with shorts.
1 grey thin long sleeve hooded tee-shirt: My MOST favourite and valuable item on holiday – great for throwing on over anything. So thin it dried quickly. Great as a cover up against the sun, without making me too hot. I bought this in Brazil, so I’m seriously considering trying to buy some material and making clones of this top.
2 plain white v-neck tee shirts: They go with anything.
2 stripy v-neck tee shirts: A bit of a variation from the plain ones, but still go with most outfits.
2 vests: 1 brown, 1 white
2 lacy vests: 1 white, 1 black
1 long sleeve white shirt, thin, thin cotton: Great for going under the lacy vests, and pairing with jeans.
1 bright patterned hooded thin sweatshirt: This was my token renegade bright item of clothing, and to be honest, I only wore it twice – it was my keep-me-warm top for the plane ride.
2 bikinis, one with board short bottoms: When I’m doing something active, like sea kayaking, I like something with more coverage than a skimpy bikini.
2 Sarongs: Perfect for using to line a lounger, lie on the sand, use as a towel or as a head cover-up when you’re visiting a mosque.
Trainers: Used for hiking, or walking long distances when sightseeing.
Flip Flops: Don’t buy new ones just before you’re due to leave. Make sure they’re comfy and don’t rub.
Wedge Sandals: Bit of a heel, and these are my “dressy” option, but they’re not so dressy that they can’t be used for day or night. The key is being able to walk a bit of a distance in them.
Hard bottomed beach shoes: Ones that are great for beach and water. Some beaches are a bit pebbly, and these make it easier to get in and out of the water.
>> Read about shoes in the shoes category.
Day Pack: I used it most days, and big enough to carry my cameras, phone, purse, small bottle of water, notebook and extras like maps, and trinkets that I pick up while shopping.
Small shoulder bag: For going out at nights, and has to fit my purse and iPhone for photo taking.
Reusable shopping/grocery bag that folds up small: Each day there’s a farmers markets and bazaars at a different location on the Peninsula, so it’s always good to have them at hand.
Kindle Fire: I love my Kindle. This way I get to take a complete library of books away with me, and read what grabs my fancy.
iPhone: Data roaming turned off, text and voice roaming turned on.
Digital SLR Camera: I took and used 2X32GB and 1X16GB memory sticks – I’m a blogger and I took 4,000 photos and 80 videos! (Editor’s note: see why it’s important to back up your photos.)
Adapters: My favourite type – works for most countries.
To support these devices I needed 2 power cords and 2 chargers, and 1 USB cable. (I pack these cables, etc. in a freezer zip lock bag to keep them all together.)
>>Check out the Grid-It Organizer to help organize your cords, chargers and more.
Paperback: Yes I know I have a library of books on my Kindle, but I have a little bit of old-school in me, and sometimes I like flipping the pages of a real life book.
3 Large zip lock bags: For things like wet sarongs after a day at the beach, or for storing brochures I pick up.
2 pairs of sunglasses: It’s good to have variety – and I usually manage to lose a pair no matter how careful I am!
Sun Tan Lotion: It’s pretty expensive to buy this in Turkey, so I always bring different factor levels with me: 30, 50 and 70. The sun it hot, so come prepared.
Mosquito spray: I only used this once.
While I was on holiday, I bought a couple of items. I was actually quite reserved, and only bought a “genuine fake” Paul Smith tee-shirt, and a bright sun hat (a fellow traveler recommended I buy a hat for our tour of the ancient city of Ephesus – and I came across this signature piece in Bodrum Town – and couldn’t resist).
If you have trouble finding decent summer wear in your home town, pack light and shop at your destination. There are lots of shopping opportunities, and you can pick up some great cotton beach dresses, cheap tee-shirts, bikinis and sunglasses all over the Bodrum Peninsula.
About the Author: Roving Jay writes and publishes the on-line Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide, and her first ebook “Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide: Discover Turkey’s Aegean Gem” will be released on Amazon in Spring 2013. She’s had a 4 year love affair with this corner of Turkey, and keeps the memories alive by writing about her adventures and sharing her local knowledge with other visitors to the area.
Cover photo: Paradise Cove
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