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Posted on April 12, 2019
In our latest blog post, In The Saddle’s Lucy Downes gives us some of her own handy packing tips for your next riding holiday.
Planning and then booking your dream holiday should be an exciting experience and we want to make this process as easy as possible for you. Once your place is confirmed, our team at In The Saddle will make sure you are happy before, during and after your holiday.
Every itinerary we offer has its own individual and tailored ‘Recommended Packing List’ to ensure each of our guests are well prepared. But how do you fit it all into a suitcase? Here are a few handy tips:
Roll and vacuum pack your clothes. Rolling rather than folding takes far less space in your suitcase and can keep your clothes wrinkle free.
Fill all the empty spaces, such as the insides of your riding boots, empty water bottles and hard hat.
Pack dual-purpose items to save space and weight. A sarong can be used as a skirt, dress, a towel and even a head scarf when visiting countries such as India or Morocco. A buff has many uses. When the weather is hot, you can dip it in cold water and put around your neck or head it will really help to keep you cool. In a cold climate you can use it as a scarf or ear warmer under your hat. It only takes a tiny amount of luggage space. Invest in a pair of all-terrain boots that can worn while riding and walking – avoid packing them at all by wearing them on your flight.
A light-weight suitcase will save you valuable kgs!
Take advantage of the laundry service so you don’t have to pack a new outfit for every day. Many riding operators have laundry services (some free, some payable locally) and will wash and return your clothes while you are riding, ready to wear again.
As well as laundry, many of the ride operators provide toiletries. You can reduce the liquids in your suitcase and save space. Having less bottles will also minimise the risk of leaks and stained clothes. If you’re heading somewhere remote like Kyrgyzstan or Chile, transfer your liquids into smaller bottles – only taking enough to last the duration of your holiday.
See-through plastic bags are always useful. Use them to wrap the liquids you can’t leave at home, store used clothing ready to be washed or dirty shoes and separate different outfits. Using a see-through bag means you can see where everything is without having to unpack. Disposable shower caps can also be really handy to cover the bottoms of muddy boots.
Zip-lock bags can be very useful for keeping your smaller items safe, such as phone charger, camera cables and memory cards.
Before you start packing, make sure you check luggage restrictions. For example, the light-aircraft to the Limpopo in Botswana has strict rules about only allowing soft-sided suitcases onto the aircraft. Internal flights in India have lower weight limits than most international flights. Low cost airlines all have slightly different rules for the size and weight of luggage which can be carried on-board or checked in so you have to check them carefully before you fly.
As part of your Final Travel Documents, you will receive In The Saddle luggage labels. These are not only handy for spotting your suitcase on the carousel – the details you provide on it will help you be reunited with your luggage if lost. They will also help other In The Saddle guests spot you at the airport, as well as your driver waiting in the arrivals hall.
As well as planning what goes into your suitcase, think about what you wear on the plane. By wearing layers, your thickest jumpers and walking boots – you’ll save lots of room in your luggage. However, do consider where you will be flying to and what the temperature will be. You don’t want to land in 30°C temperatures wearing all of your clothes!
Some destinations such as in South America, Kenya, Uganda and Mongolia will really appreciate you bring school suppliers, footballs for the children and even treats for the horses. Although this might take up some of your valuable luggage space, once unpacked and donated, you will have space to bring other souvenirs back!
If you can afford it, buy merino wool layers, eg a buff and long sleeved jumper. Warm and compact, they take up little space in your luggage. For several years now, the discount supermarkets have offered ski and/or cycle wear which is excellent quality at very affordable prices. Silk layers are another space-saving option but generally not so widely available.
Hi Jane – great suggestions. I’ve also found some really useful clothes in the middle aisle of some supermarkets.