I’ve packed for many a trip and I have got better at it with time. I’ve been through it all, I definitely used to overpack, have had luggage lost in transit, and had the odd disaster of my toiletries spilling all over my clothes. Here are my top tips to ensure nail the art of you packing smart (sorry, had to).
Choose the right luggage
If you’re going away for a couple of days, don’t overpack and commit yourself to a carry on size case or backpack. Choose something you will actually be able to lug around wherever you are going. Are you going to be moving from location to location? Don’t bring a suitcase, opt for a backpacking backpack. Invest in lightweight luggage to make the most of your weight allowance and to be gentle on your back.
Make a packing list
Have a little Google for packing lists for your destination and adapt it to make your own. Having an example list is good inspiration and may make you think of thing you may want to bring that you had forgotten. Making a list and taking it with you will also help the forgetful of you to make sure everything comes home with you again.
Choose your clothing/fabrics wisely
Opt for fabrics that don’t crease easily and are easy to wash if you will be abroad a while. Bringing breathable, waterproof, and versatile clothing is ideal and doesn’t need to be restricted to just active trips. If you pick the right clothing you will also be able to layer which is key to keeping your luggage light. If you stick to a colour palette, you’ll also have an arsenal of interchangeable outfits ready to go!
Rolling clothing is the best way to prevent creases and tends to save more space. Rolling your clothes also makes it a lot easier to see what is in your case as things aren’t hidden!
Be conscious with your packing order
If you know you arrive at night and the first thing you are going to want is you PJs and toiletries without having to fully unpack – leave these at the top of your luggage! Equally if you know there are items you won’t need until later in your journey, keep them at the bottom of your pack stack.
Pack a reusable tote bag
A reusable tote is super light and gives you the option to have an extra bag to take around in your day bag in case you buy anything. Having one with you everywhere will also make you a more sustainable traveller as you can say no to plastic bags.
Bring your reusable water bottle
Once you have cleared security there will likely be a water point in the airport where you can fill this up. This beats having flight attendants bringing you all those plastic cups full of water.
Invest in shoe bags
Place shoes in shoe bags in your luggage to avoid them soiling any of your clean clothing. Reuse plastic bags if you don’t have any fabric bags.
Keep important things in your carry on
Keep all passports, boarding passes, visas, medication, essential toiletries, and valuables with you in your carry on so that if God forbid anything happens to you check in bag, you have all the important things to keep calm carry on.
Wear a scarf on the plane
I am alway cold on planes and a scarf can also act as a blanket and a pillow so it is my favourite versatile accessory to take with me. If you wear it on your person you also don’t need to take up any space if your luggage.