Whether it be a weekend away in the country, a week-long island getaway, or a month-long backpacking expedition, you tend to focus on the excitement and anticipation that has been slowly building since you paid your deposit. Yet there is one essential task that must be taken care of before any of the fun can begin. This task can be stressful, tedious, and sometimes annoying, but it is also vital to the overall success of your trip. This task is packing. Here are seven important packing tips to ensure that you don’t pack things you don’t need, or forget things that you do, and that you pack items that will help you make the most out of your suitcase, so you can have a stress-free and exciting holiday.
Before you even put one item into your suitcase, check the upcoming weather forecast for your destination. Having an insight into the weather conditions will help you to decide the type of clothes you will need. This will eliminate over-packing, as well as saving your back carrying the unnecessary weight of clothing you do not need. This is also perfect as it creates extra space for you to indulge in some retail therapy whilst you’re away without having to buy an extra bag to bring it all back in!
Everybody has items of clothing in their wardrobe which can be versatile, worn in different ways, paired with different tops or bottoms, and create a different look each time it is worn. These basics are great to take on holidays with you because they can be worn more than once, without all of your photographs looking like you lived in one outfit the entire time. For women, this item could be a great black dress which can be worn strapless, as well as off-the-shoulder, or paired with some bright tights underneath, and worn casually with sandals or even dressed up in heels for a night on the town. For men, it might be a standard pair of pants that can be worn with thongs and a t-shirt during the day, as well as a nice button up shirt and evening shoes for a more formal look. This allows you to pack lighter by creating lots of different outfits around one or two items of clothing.
Rid your suitcase of unnecessary clutter by considering your itinerary and what you plan to do on your holiday before you begin to pack. It’s a no brainer that if you’re going on a hiking trip, you will need walking shoes and a hat, not high heels or evening gowns, and if you’re planning on being beachside, you will need swimwear and a beach towel, and not your favourite winter coat.
If you’re off on a longer holiday, maybe a backpacking adventure or safari, and you need to maximise on space so that you don’t end up with a bag bigger than you can carry, the answer is simple – roll your clothing. It might sound silly but it works! Instead of folding and packing each individual item, roll each item separately, or roll a group of items together before packing them, and you will be amazed at the extra amount of space you will create in your bag!
Your carry-on luggage is important when taking any type of holiday. This is where you should keep any medication or important papers you may need with you on your trip, as well as any valuables or fragile items that may break in your luggage. A good tip is to keep a spare pair of underwear and a change of clothes in your carry on for long flights and stopovers, as well as in-case your baggage is delayed or lost. If you’re taking only a short trip that requires minimal packing, it may be worth taking only carry on with you, saving you time waiting in line to check your bag, and waiting at baggage carousels on the other end. Instead, you can check in online prior to your travel, and spend as little time as possible in the airport, and more time having fun.
When going on holidays, lots of people pack every type of toiletry that you could ever possibly need, when in reality, you won’t need half of them. Toiletries can be heavy and space consuming, so when packing, think literally about what you will actually need. Do you really need a comb AND a hairbrush? Are you really going to need a hair straightener on the beach in Bali? Buy cheap, reusable, travel-size containers and fill them with your own products. Do not fill containers to the top, as changes in air pressure during flights can cause the contents to expand and leak. To play it safe, put each container in a plastic resealable bag to limit the spread of leakages. If, after all this, you still end up with moisturiser throughout the contents of your suitcase, the travel gods simply have it in for you.
Make sure your luggage is unique and easily recognisable. There is nothing worse than getting off a long flight and standing at the baggage carousel being unable to locate your bag amongst the 33 black suitcases with silver handles. Put your name and address on a travel tag and attach it to your bag, tie some colourful ribbon around one of the handles or decorate your baggage with stickers from all the different travel destinations you have been to. Do something that will distinguish your bag from the rest, so that somebody doesn’t accidentally take your luggage (or vice-versa), leaving you without your belongings on your holiday, and creating a whole lot of easily avoidable hassle.
Before you leave, create a checklist of the essential things you use every day so that no important item is overlooked. You wouldn’t want to be a thousand miles away without your phone charger, would you?
Get more travel tips from your local, personal travel manager.