How to pack light for your next trip

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By following some simple rules, you’ll be able to put all your travel needs into a single, niftily-packed bag. We speak to the veterans on making packing a pleasure.

Most airlines have strict guidelines as to what size a carry-on bag should be, so it’s best to check with the airline you’re flying with. It may seem tough to rough it out with just one carry-on, but follow these rules of strategic packing, and you’ll be set to jet.

Make clothing do double duty. A pair of shorts or bermudas can serve as both casual wear and swimwear for men. For women, a large scarf can be worn as headgear, a cleverly fashioned top or a swimsuit cover-up.

Malaysian personality and former host of E! News Asia Marion Caunter jets between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur frequently – it’s hardly surprising that the new mum has developed a “packing code” of her own. “A pair of sexy heels, a little black dress for a possible night out and a great pair of jeans,” goes into each trip’s luggage, together with “a nice cocktail jacket you can throw over either the jeans or dress.”

Celebrity stylist Daniel Boey says women should also take along a pair of tailored pants for meetings, which he suggests pairing with a simple tank top or white shirt. They should also bring one pair of dark, straight-cut jeans, which they can wear cuffed or rolled down to suit the occasion.

To complete a look, Boey recommends packing “a small pouch of accessories, including both dressy and casual pieces”, as well as scarves, which “always work to brighten an outfit.”

Plastic zipper bags make great packing aids. Clothes can be vacuum-packed so that they take up minimal space, and you can pre-assemble outfits in individual bags, which means you needn’t waste time rummaging around your carry-on.

When packing, place the heaviest items at the bottom, Boey says. Then layer with items that won’t be so easily creased, reserving the top layer for easily crumpled items such as silk shirts. Stuff the sides and spaces with balled-up underwear, socks and accessories.

If you simply must bring another pair of shoes other than the one you’re wearing, tuck them individually into the corners of your bag. Don’t forget the spaces inside the shoes – they’re great for fragile items or anything else that will fit.

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