From heavy back packs to suitcases that won’t close. Packing is a challenge for every traveller but doing it well can make all the difference to how much you enjoy your trip. Here are some handy hints to help you pack like an expert:
- Roll your clothes
Are you are roller or a folder? This is the big question for any traveller and my advice is to roll all of your clothes to keep them from getting too crushed. It’s also a great way to pack more into your bag than you ever thought possible. Check out this great video to find out how to do it.
- Take out 30%
Once you’ve packed your bag, take out a third of the clothing. You know you won’t wear them all and there’s no point carrying around untouched items.
- Stock up on contact lens cases
For short trips, buy small plastic contact lens cases at any pharmacy as they’re perfect for storing small amounts of cosmetics such as moisturizer, sunscreen or make up foundation. The screw-top lids are also great at eliminating the possibility of a burst bottle in your toiletries bag.
- Seal bottles with plastic wrap
If you do need to carry larger bottles of toiletries, try removing the lid and sealing the open top with a piece of plastic wrap before putting the lid back on. It’s cheap, simple and an easy way to avoid the drama of leakages.
- Pack scarves
They weigh practically nothing, take up little room and have a thousand different uses, from a blanket to a towel, fashion accessory or extra padding… the list is endless.
- Also throw in a Turkish towel
Similar to scarves, these are light and convenient and ideal to have on hand for any impromptu swimming opportunities you stumble across on your journey.
- Pack a couple of disposable shower caps
These can be taken from hotels or bought cheaply in pharmacies, and are a smart way to cover up dirty shoes before throwing them in your bag.
- Use your socks
Protect breakable items by slipping them inside a (clean) sock for extra padding before packing them in the middle of your bag.
- Focus on tops
Keep a bit of variety in your portable wardrobe by packing more tops than bottoms. One pair of jeans can go a surprisingly long way when you pair it with a variety of tops, which are lighter and take up less room in your bag.
- Store cords in a glasses case
Put old glasses cases to good use as a storage case for small power cords and earphones. It will stop them getting tangled and make you feel way more organized.
- Take some plastic straws
Thread fine jewellery or chains through a plastic straw to stop them getting tangled or damaged.
- Dress bulky
Lighten your load by wearing all of your heaviest items of clothing (think boots, coats, fleece jumpers, you get the picture). It will free up much needed space in your bag and make getting around a whole lot easier.
- Have a laundry bag
Keeping your dirty clothes separate will make the rest of your bag feel much fresher – and remind you when it’s time for a wash.
- Take snap lock bags
These are the bomb and you should throw in a selection in different sizes. You’ll be amazed at how many different ways you’ll find to use them, from separating toiletries to storing a wet swimming costume.
- Go bottom heavy
Put all the heaviest items in the bottom of your bag, especially when you’re using a wheelie suitcase.
- Pack a soft carry bag
A soft bag, similar to a book bag or tote, can be used as an alternative to your day pack, or as a shopping bag, beach bag. Even, at a pinch, an overnight bag for any impromptu side trips.
- Tag your bag
Take the stress out of finding your bag on the luggage carrousel by marking your case or pack with a bright and distinctive scarf or ribbon.
- Fill your shoes
When space is at a premium, fill your shoes with anything from socks (obvious) to underwear or swimwear. Added bonus? It will stop your shoes from getting squashed in an overfilled bag.
- Forget the soap
It’s super heavy to carry yet easy to find soap along your travels – even shampoo can do double duty.
- Add some tissue paper
Wrap a few sheets of tissue paper in and around any items you want to keep nice for any special occasions. Those thin plastic bags from dry cleaners work well too.