Travel packing list and tips

Packing for Poland
Packing for Poland


I’ve written a few blogs about how to pack for travel including one about ‘Far away places with strange sounding names.’ And, one with tips for carry-on and checked luggage  that I’m told has been really helpful.  But I’ve been thinking, as I pack for my next trip, (Poland & Thailand) that perhaps my pick and mix list is my best idea – sort of like the supermarket sweets/lollies section. Chose the flavours you want or need! Here’s my current jelly bean and toffee luggage list:


Travel checklist           

  • International plugs
  • Multi plug for USBs
  • Camera (s)
    • Extra batteries
    • Charger
    • Memory cards
    • Tripod
    • Mono-pod
    • Small tripod
    • Headlight
    • Waterproof bag
    • Soft wrap bag for camera
    • Bag for camera gear
  • Small camera
    • Batteries /charger
  • Walkman/MP3
    • leads/headphones
  • Samsung tablet
    • keyboard
    • cover/ leads
  • Phone
    • leads/power plug
  • Solar charger
  • Battery pack for ph/tablet
  • Pedometer
  • Binoculars
  • Toiletries/ 1st aid
  • Medication
  • Towel/Togs
  • Umbrella/Sun visor/block
  • Travel docs/ passport
  • Spare glasses & script
  • Credit cards
  • Journal/pens/address book
  • Kobo e-reader
  • Waist bag
  • Small backpack
  • Map/guide-book
  • Small handbag

I go through my list and strike out the unneeded and mark what I want in my carry-on bag. I recommend travellers make their own list . . . after all, we all need different things for different travels and this time I have three very different trips within the one trip. As you can see there are no clothes on this list as I have written about them in my other blogs.

What would be on the top of your list?

sorting my carry-on bag
sorting my carry-on bag


List of top birding sites in Gujarat, India


With a remarkable diversity of habitat Gujarat is home to, or a stopping off place, for some 350 species of birds.

After a trip to the Global Bird Watchers’ Conference ( November 2010) in Jamnagar, Gujarat. India, here are my top picks – in no particular order.

The new picture book ‘Birds of Khijadiya’ says there are 257 species here, and with brackish, sea, and fresh water  within its 600 ha, it certainly provides a diversity of conditions for both resident birds and the migrants along the Indo-Asian Fly-way.

'Call me' said Bharat, president of Porbander Bird Conservation Society

Created in 1988, this sanctuary is in the city of Porbandar ( which also birthplace of Gandhi) This is a popular destination for local ornithologists with both resident, nesting  and migratory birds. Contact local bird-man / photographer Bharat Rughani   for more info.

Always picturesque!

Only  40 kms north-west of Ahmedabad this lake was created in 1912 and covers about 7 sq. kms  visiting here with birders –

Irish birders - Chris & Doris - at Thol

Doris and Chris Murphy who highly recommended this spot, especially in winter when the migratory birds are here.

Short-eared owl (I believe!)

On  a bird migration route and near the Gulf of Kutch, this sanctuary provides an important feeding, breeding and roosting habitat for about 70,000-75,000 birds who nest in the 250 acres.  On the list as a possible UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a remarkable and unique landscape  that becomes a  coastal wetland for about a month after the annual monsoon  rains.

I used JN Rao Travel for my travel arrangements. For more info see their website and of course the official Gujarat Tourism site.

NOTE: When I was visiting the Little Rann  area I stayed at Desert Courses, Camp Zainabad – where there where about 50 or 60 different birds just around the camp – so a perfect spot for birders!

Clamydotis macqueenii on edge of the Rann. Photo by Fritz Mueller

Lessons we locals have learnt after the Christchurch earthquake

While it’s fresh in out minds, lets create a list of survival lessons we’ve learnt: add yours to the comments below (or e-mail, twitter, or FB me and I’ll add them, anonymously of you want)

The day the clock stopped 4th September 2010

  • fill containers with water as soon as the shaking stops and we are safe – after all it’s not contaminated then.  I know others did this but I hadn’t considered it

The following  are tips sent to me . . .

  • A 13-yr old demonstrated her good sense  to her family – she read the Civil Defence pages in the local phone book – the best local advice
  • Judith wrote “Preferably have your arms around someone so you can shake together!”
  • Karla sent these  next four: I learned not to keep my emergency torch on the top of the fridge, as it shook down in the quake and i couldn’t find it in the dark. It is now sitting by the door with my keys, where it can’t fall.
  • I learned that the radio is a godsend. Thank God for radio announcers.
  • I learned that it is ok to be nervy and scared in the days following, and that people all process things differently. It passes. Don’t feel guilty over how you feel. It is OK to feel that way.
  • I also learned ( I knew this before but had it re-confirmed) that the friends in my life today are amazingly good, caring people, and that I have wonderful neighbours.
  • Jax wrote: ” PRAY! That’s what kept me calm!”

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