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On packing

You can never have too many plastic bottles... Ideally smaller then 200ml but larger than 30ml. Actually, 100ml, the limit; that's ideal. Ideal, but hard to find.

Try to buy bottles which are smaller than 200ml but larger than 30ml. Actually, 100ml, the limit; that’s ideal. Ideal, but hard to find.

Between leaving for New York on May 11 and returning from Noumea on June 22, I’ve stayed at 12 different locations.

For someone who dislikes packing this has been…yet another, learning experience.

Hence, 12 suitcase tips for the travelling journalist:

1) Pack light. By the time I got to Philadelphia, my bag was far too heavy. Tell you what – I was regretting those extra purchases as my luggage literally pulled me backwards down an escalator at the train station. I survived, obviously, but only thanks to two quick-thinking and stronger-than-me strangers

2) You won’t need that many pairs of pants in America in springtime. Black jeans are the answer to every occasion

3) Roll your clothes when packing. (More space, fewer wrinkles)

4) Pack carry-on contents with care, so when airport security staff take your satchel for bomb testing, they’ll think: “Wow, this person is very organised and probably not a felon. We should let her through.”

5) You can never have enough clear plastic snaplock bags

6) You can never have enough small plastic bottles. Particularly when you need to repackage expensive shampoo

7) Pack light because it’s not always a good idea to accept help with your suitcase, especially in the United States where you’re expected to tip. (Don’t ask me when it’s appropriate to tip – I don’t know. That’s why I never accepted help)

8) If you’re flying with carry-on only, train your upper body so you can effortlessly carry your 12kg bag so it appears to be only 7kg

9) Pack light, so you’re not one of those travellers shamefully repacking their suitcase in the check-in lounge at the airport

10) Bring a few empty shopping bags for when your sink-washed t-shirts don’t dry in time for your next flight

11) Pack light, so you don’t have to spend the last of your local currency on a backpack to carry all those books you probably should have bought as digital copies

12) Just pack light. That’s pretty much it.

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