Learn How to Pack Light – Win a Copy


Well, after years in the making (and I’m telling you it’s been years, I started writing this ebook way back in the late 1990s when I was a publicist for Penguin Books and spent my time on the road and in the air with authors promoting their books), I’ve finally finished my new ebook Travelling Light. Β  It’s packed full of tips on:

  • How to pack – different methods
  • What to pack – whether it’s a holiday or business or just a weekend away
  • Extras you need to take
  • Packing lists
  • Travelling with kids
  • Overcoming Jetlag
  • Useful travel websites and resources
Plus so much more! Β It’s over 50 pages of useful information gleaned from years of experience of packing and travelling.
I’d like to offer it as a prize for the funniest/most tragic luggage or packing anecdote that you have experienced.
Competition closes Friday 27th and winner will be announced Monday 30th March 2009.
This ebook will go on sale in the next few days if you’re interested in purchasing a copy.


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  • A few years ago my brother-in-law was travelling from Lebanon to France, where he worked and lived. His mum wanted him to take a jar of her homemade pickles which she liked to top with olive oil, to keep them fresh, with him. She had securely packed a small jar quite well (supposedly!) into his onboard luggage. About half-way through the 3 hour flight he felt something akin to rain drop, drop, dropping onto his ear! Looking up he saw that droplets of oil were forming at the edge of the overhead compartment and gently falling down. An hour and a half later as he was alighting off the plane a trail of oil and fresh, cucumber-tinted liquid followed him all the way through customs and onto a taxi! Needless to say he couldn’t wait to get home!

  • You might want to recommend Dr. Charles F. Ehret’s famous book, The Cure for Jet Lag, as something to throw into a suitcase for international travel.

  • When I student, I packed for a gala weekend at an Ivy League college. The airline lost my bag, and I limped forlornly through the dances and events wearing other girls’ donated clothes. But the airline found my bag, and required me to show up at the airport to identify it. When I flipped it open, the baggage room clerk screamed in horror. I had packed a selection of hairpieces, which had become clotted with spilled red nail polish. It looked like an axe murder inside that suitcase.

  • Sometimes I get to travel with my husband for his work. Last year he had a week long trip to Kansas and I got to go along. I spent weeks carefully planning my outfits for the trip according to my own rules: Must wear it twice on the trip; Flats for day, heels for night; color coordinated, etc., etc.
    The day before leaving I developed a fever and thought all I needed was a little sleep on the plane. I ended up being the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. I spent the whole week either in the bathroom or in bed and wore nothing except pajamas the entire week.

  • I don’t have a funny story, but I can tell you that packing light is how I won my husband’s heart.

    Our first real trip together was a car travel across several states. We were both young — me still in college — and money was a big deal! (not that it isn’t now…lol) Anyway, we drove an economy car (a Geo Metro) in fact. I knew we wouldn’t have a ton of room for luggage so I carefully packed my wardrobe to get the maximum use out of the most pieces.

    You should have seen his eyes when he realized I only had one bag and he had packed more than me.

    Since then he always jokes that he knew right then that he would marry me. Any woman who could pack lighter than a man and still look good the whole trip was worth her weight in gold.

    Thank goodness I have no horror stories!

  • I want to WIN!!!

    My story is on my blog; back in the August or September postings, the first one of two posts.

    I packed a suitcase and lived out of it at home for a week!!!

    Not so funny maybe, but creative and I learned so much!

  • I used to be an on-call flight attendant for a major airline. Which meant they could call anytime day or night and you had to be at the gate in 30 min. I always kept a roller bag at the ready for these calls. One night I got one, a trip to Japan! Very exciting, I had never been there. After working a very long 16 hour flight, we got to the hotel and I opened the suitcase, only to find my toiletry kit. I had forgot to repack since my last trip the day before! I had to wear my uniform for my whole layover and back. I couldn’t afford to purchase anything there since I only made minimum wage and Japan was very expensive. I saw a cantelope for sale in the grocery store packaged in a cute little box with a bow for $60 U.S. dollars! I couldn’t imagine what an outfit cost. I never did that again, no matter how tired I was!

  • Last year my husband and I backpacked around Europe for 7 weeks. We travelled by many different modes of transport and passed through many security points with various complicated checking procedures. We work well together as a team and are pretty savvy travellers, so the trip went off without a hitch…until we got home to Melbourne. At the final checkpoint we collected our bags and raced towards the exit, keen to see family again. We placed our 2 backpacks on the conveyor belt for xraying, as well as my handbag. My husband could see I was excited to get through those doors which were just 3 steps away, he said “You go ahead I’ll collect the luggage”, so I flew ahead. Into the arms of my children, big hugs, lots of chatter. We drove towards home, talking the whole time. We were nearly there when airport customs called to say I’d left my handbag on the conveyor belt! It was another hour and a half round trip to go back and collect it. But we still had plenty to talk about. πŸ™‚

  • I SO badly need this book!

    I’m a compulsive overpacker. I pack for all possible evntualities. I know monsoons are unlikely in the middle of the Sahara, but just in case … you know.

    Inevitably, I over pack for the kids, leaving me only enough room for 18 pairs of undies for the weekend away, and not the preferred 26.

    Inevitably, I am the one that is spewed on, has food spilt on, dribbles my coffee or falls bum first into a mud puddle …

    Inevitably, I’m the only one without a change of clothes …

    Please, HELP ME!

  • Once on a business trip to Colorado, our group went out to lunch at a really great BBQ restaurant. My husband loves good BBQ, so I decided to buy him a bottle of their “house” BBQ sauce to bring home. I decided that I wouldn’t risk packing the glass bottle in my checked luggage, lest it wind up broken and all over my clothes. I had a large carry-on bag with work documents, magazines and a sweater. I wrapped the bottle in the sweater and put it in the bottom of my carry-on bag. (This was long before the days of TSA limits on liquids that could be brought aboard.) We had a flight that connected through Phoenix, and as we were getting ready to board the second leg of the flight, I set the bag down (gently, really!) on the tile floor and heard a crack. The bottle of BBQ sauce had shattered inside my carry on bag. My boss and I scrambled into the ladies room and started fishing out the glass pieces and trying to rinse off my sweater and business documents, as they were calling final boarding for our flight. I ended up throwing away the bag and my sweater. We made it, barely, but the smell of BBQ sauce that remained on my work papers filled the cabin of the plane and I had a lot of miffed fellow travellers.

  • In October i went to Paris. I shopped a lot and managed to pack it all in my original suitcase. I even bought an extra bag at Odette and Zoe just in case I needed two. Thank goodness I kept the hermes scarf and a few select others on my carry on because of course they lost my luggage on the way home. A few days later it turned up at my door with the precious perfume bottles and olive oil intact.

    It got me to thinking that I need to learn how to travel lighter so as not to need a checked bag. I’m paranoid about losing a bag on my way to the destination. It wasn’t so bad coming home.


  • When I was a 13 year old girl, going off on my first flight alone I thought it important to pack ‘grown-up’ clothes. I wasn’t a child any-more you know. So I packed a pair of my sisters high heels and changed into them on the plane (so my mum wouldn’t find out, or my sister for that matter). Anyhoo, I was one of the first to disembark and I got to the top of the plane stairs teetering in my heels. Of course I lost my footing and cartwheeled down the stairs. The hostess was laughing so hard she couldn’t even help me up. I lay like a starfish on the tarmac looking VERY grown up in my high-heels.

  • For many years I worked as an entomologist. One thing common to all entomologists is our love of insects – often insects that we’re not allowed to legally bring home.

    On one research trip to Central America, a colleague of mine decided that he REALLY wanted to bring some fantastic insect specimens back with him. The clever plan he devised was to pack his suitcase and then just toss the insects (still alive) in with his clothes. If his bag was searched by customs, he’d pretend the insects has just gotten in by accident.

    I was unaware of this plan, and boy do I wish I’d known. Because we had another stop before we were heading home, I unpacked half of his suitcase and put it in mine, and vice versa (old trick to ensure if one of our bags got lost each of us would still have some clothes). Apparently the insects he’d sequestered had already hidden in his clothing – the clothing I put in my bag.

    Let me tell you, it’s not fun to go and unpack your suitcase after a 13 hour flight and find a giant cockroach sitting on top of your unmentionables.

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