Packing Procrastination

The clock is ticking – 48 hours to go! I love to travel.  I love the planning, getting the best deal on flights and finding a fabulous place to stay.  I spend hours working out what to see and do and the best places to eat and drink BUT... I hate packing!

suitcases

So while I procrastinate about what to pack for 10 days in South Australia, here are a few tips:

  • Grab your passport, tickets and credit card and put them somewhere safe.  If you need something like your driver’s licence, make sure you double-check it is actually in your wallet.  Turning the house upside down the morning you fly out for a driving holiday through Croatia, to discover your driver’s licence was in a satchel you hadn’t used for 6 months is not advisable. It wasn’t much fun coming home to a messy house several weeks later either! And take out all the other stuff you won’t need – loyalty cards, receipts etc.
  • Save your tickets, itinerary etc on TripIt - Travel Itinerary - Trip Planner – you can share this with family and friends too.  Don’t sync it with LinkedIn, your connections don’t need to know you’ve arrived at the airport, destination etc.
  • Ensure your mobile can be used at your destination but don’t forget to make use of your hotel’s free wifi rather than chewing through your mobile data.
  • Camera and mobile charged and ready to go; don’t forget to take the charger with you.
  • Check your destination’s weather forecast.  I love the long range forecast of AccuWeather.  That way you pack to suit the climate and don’t take lots of stuff you don’t get to wear.

See five tips already and no actual packing...

  • Think about what you will be doing while you are away.  My trip’s a mix of work and play but thankfully smart casual works for every occasion. 
  • Mix and match – pack a capsule wardrobe.  Don’t take things that won’t work with other pieces.  Accessories like jewellery and scarves can transform an outfit. Remember to take your sunglasses.
  • Don’t over-pack – people won’t notice if you wear the same top twice, just don’t wear it two days in a row.
  • Think travel sized hair products, stackable travel containers, dual-purpose products.  And think twice about taking every lipstick you own – two is plenty and a maybe a gloss too.
  • Pack light – who needs 5 pairs of shoes for a week away.  If you forget something, it’s the perfect excuse to go shopping!

I’m so excited about this trip – four days with fellow foodies at a gastronomic tourism course and then a long overdue catch up with an old school friend who I haven't seen in a long time.

Guess I’d better start think about packing but first there is coffee date with a friend, dinner tonight at friends’ place and a breakfast meeting tomorrow. Plenty of time!

Michelle

ps mine’s the red suitcase, much easier to find among all the black bags!

Weekend Escape

Living less than 500 metres from the beach in Auckland, you’d think heading off to the Coromandel Peninsula for a long weekend at the beach wouldn’t hold the same appeal. But having just spent a long weekend at Whiritoa (between Waihi and Whangamata) and writing this post the old-fashioned way - with pen and paper, while sitting on the deck in the sunshine, jumping in the car and heading out of Auckland at lunchtime on a Friday really does feel like escapism.

Coming over that last hill and seeing that first peek of the ocean... magic!

Long days hanging out at the beach, watching the surfers patiently wait to catch their perfect wave.  Last weekend was all about catching up with friends: lazing on beanbags on the deck with a pile of magazines; a game of tennis first thing, if you could drag yourself out of bed before 8am; and lots of chatter, refreshing drinks and delicious food of course. 

Whiritoa beach looking north

Whiritoa beach looking north

Our friends’ daughter qualified as a surf lifesaver these holidays - what an awesome achievement.  Her younger brother had to settle for being a rookie lifeguard but those duties still included going out on the roam (golf cart looking vehicle) and IRB (boat) and manning the watch tower – how cool is that!

Whiritoa's newest lifesaver - out on the sand and the waves

Whiritoa's newest lifesaver - out on the sand and the waves

Holiday cooking

Its great spending the weekend with someone who enjoys trawling through foodies magazines and cookbooks, as much as I do, looking for dinner inspiration and recipes we could adapt based on ingredients on hand.  Funnily enough driving a mere 15 minutes to the nearest supermarket for a missing ingredient didn’t enter our heads, we were here to relax and enjoy being at the beach house. Saturday night we feasted on mussels three ways - why not three ways, we had time on our side.  And barbequed butterflied chicken with a zesty, herb and chilli mixture stuffed under the skin, salad and homemade focaccia.

NZ Mussels three ways and delicious homemade focaccia

NZ Mussels three ways and delicious homemade focaccia

One of the best things about being away with likeminded friends is the relaxed atmosphere – no pressure to do something or go somewhere if you didn’t feel inclined. We’d go from non-stop chatting and even the odd bit of debate, to almost an eerie silence when you could hear the waves crashing on the beach. The sadness of packing the car up late on Sunday for the two hours drive home is made up for by knowing next weekend is a long weekend too...

Enjoy!

Michelle