Half the fun of a holiday is planning for it. And we reckon packing should be part of pre-trip fun too. Think about it, you get to pick what outfits to wear, shop for toiletries or for outfits for a particular occasion or climate. If you know how to pack smart, you’ll avoid any last-minute panic attacks. Here are 10 tips that will ensure you’ll have a breeze when packing for your next holiday.
Just like with almost any task in life, it helps to make a list before you embark on the activity. Your packing list should include everything you’re taking with you, right down to essentials you think you won’t possibly forget, like your passport, mobile phone and toothbrush – you might actually forget them! Separate your list into categories – clothes, toiletries, tech etc – to get organised from the start.
Instead of folding your clothes, roll them. Why? It saves space in your suitcase and reduces creases in your clothing. If you want to save even more space, roll your clothes and seal them in vacuum compression bags.
Photo: Instagram / @mariekondo
Turn light-coloured clothes inside out before placing them in your suitcase. If they do get stained, it won’t be visible. You’ll be packing your shoes in plastic bags, but here’s a way to keep even the plastic bag clean. Pick up the disposable shower caps from hotels you’ve stayed in and use them to cover the bottom of your shoes.
It’s best to wear your most comfortable walking shoes on your flight as these tend to take up the most space in a suitcase. Plus, you never know how much walking you’ll have to do to and from your plane and airport terminal.
Never pack new shoes on a holiday as you never know if they’ll fit well or cause issues like blisters. Make the best of suitcase space and only take shoes that have been tried and tested.
If your suitcase is already filled to the brim before you’ve left on your holiday, switch to a larger one. There should be enough room for your shopping.
Bonus tip: invest in a portable luggage scale so you’ll never have to stress about your bag’s weight at the airport. There’s nothing worse than panic unpacking at the airport, when you’ve been told by the airline desk staff that your bag is overweight.
This multi-functional item can be used to wrap up if you’re feeling chilly, to cover up (on your shoulders or as a sarong) or dress up an outfit, or even to sit on if you need a bit of cushioning.
You know how sometimes, especially after a long flight, the clothes in your suitcase smell like the plane when you reach your destination? Avoid this by putting a small bag of potpourri or some scented drawer liners in your suitcase. Your clothes will smell fresh for days.
Photo: Instagram / @sephora
Instead of packing extra outfits for ‘just in case’ situations, a smarter way is to choose accessories that will dress up any outfit. A few nice pieces of jewellery will take a simple outfit from casual to dressy. A fancy belt could do the trick too.
Photo: Instagram / @monicavinader
Big bottles of toiletries add a lot of unnecessary weight. Decant them into plastic travel bottles or buy travel-size toiletries instead. If you know the hotel you’re staying at provides items like shower gel and shampoo, use them and only pack items you won’t get, like sunscreen and face wash.
If you’re on any kind of medication, take only the amount you’ll need for the duration of your trip. Unless you’re travelling to the middle of nowhere, there’s no need to pack too much emergency medicine too – perhaps a pack of painkillers, just in case; anything else can be bought from a local pharmacy if you need it.
This article was first published in June 2019.