Insights gained on my recent trip to Melbourne (in winter) – some of which insights have been gained in the past too, and then forgotten! So I thought it was high time to record them.
Do take your laptop! The combination of your iPad and borrowing your host's computer when it's not in use will get you by, but will lack ease and grace.
Don't take any clothes that are just a little tight. You WILL put on weight on holiday. Even if you don't – if you are somewhere cold, the extra layers of clothing will have the same effect.
You only need one set of jewellery, which you will wear all the time (just as you do at home). At most, take one extra set of posher pieces for grand occasions in case any of those should happen – not a diverse range for all manner of other possibilities, most of which will never eventuate. Remember, you'll be seeing different people. Only your nearest and dearest, if you are staying with them, or the hotel staff as the case may be, will see you wear the same earrings every day, and they won't care.
If you are going somewhere cold enough that you'll need to wear gloves whenever you go out, it is absolutely useless to pack your hugest knuckle-duster rings.
Do leave some room in your suitcase. You will acquire more stuff to bring home than you left with, even if you are sure you won't. If you do manage to resist buying anything at all, there are still the items kind people will unexpectedly give you, which it would be rude to refuse. (Besides, you might want them.)
You don't need more than two pairs of shoes, one serviceable and one fancy, and one pair of slippers.
You do need as many undies and socks as you can cram in, if the washing is likely to take days to dry.
If you forget to pack something you'll need, remember that other places also have shops.
Have spaces in your itinerary for quiet chill-out days to recharge your batteries. Have things to do on such days (of course you will travel with your e-reader).
Everyone should have a hand-held shower nozzle, even if they are not elderly or infirm – however, few people do. (I don't know how they can bear to forego such comfort and convenience! It must be that they just don't know any better.)
You will manage to leave something behind when you go back home. You will also manage to permanently lose one or two items. Shrug it off! C'est la vie.