I love going on holidays but what I don’t like doing is packing my suitcase.
I remember a trip to Japan, where I was up until 2am in the morning, and the taxi was booked for 7am to the airport. I didn’t get much sleep that night.
So here are a few tips that I now use to get my suitcase packed. I now have a list and it gets ticked off as it goes in. If anything gets forgotten I always purchase it at the destination.
But before you start throwing everything in, remember that packing things properly will save you time, be less stressful, and cost you less in baggage fees.
Invest in some packing cubes – save space and money
When putting your things in your suitcase, invest in packing cubes. They have compartments where you can maximise your space, and keep your clothes organized.
Fold or roll clothes strategically. Rolling your clothes works well for T-shirts, sweaters, and pyjamas. Fold button-down shirts, pants, and dresses to minimize wrinkles. Place heavier items, like jeans, at the bottom to distribute weight evenly.
Fill in the gaps by stuffing your socks, underwear, and smaller items into empty spaces around shoes or between rolled clothes.
Use of all compartments and have a dedicated pouch
Make good use of all compartments: Place toiletries in a dedicated pouch or the suitcase’s built-in compartment. Pack shoes in shoe bags or dust covers to protect clothes.
Layer strategically by packing heavier items like jackets and shoes towards the bottom. Place lighter layers and wrinkle-prone clothing on top.
When travelling wear your bulkiest shoes and clothes on the plane: This saves space in your suitcase.
Mix and match pieces that can be dressed up and down
Pack versatile clothing: Choose mix-and-match pieces that can be dressed up or down. Leave some room for souvenirs: You’ll likely want to bring back something special from your trip.
Double-check luggage restrictions. Weigh your suitcase before leaving to avoid excess baggage fees.
Taking the right luggage is something to consider. Opt for a hard-shell suitcase for better protection and easier stacking. For weekend break holiday maybe go for a soft shell suitcase.
Stick to essentials and not ‘just in case’ items
When making your list consider the weather, activities, and dress code of your destination. Make sure you have everything you need, including clothes, toiletries, medications, and electronics. Be ruthless! Stick to the essentials and avoid packing “just in case” items.
Here is a general list of things most people take on holidays. You will have to adapt it to the type of holiday you are going on. For example, t-shirts for the Bahamas, woolly coat for the Artic Circle.
Top 20 things to put in your hand luggage
- Important documents: passport, health insurance, ID, visa documents, copies of your ticket and boarding pass.
- Face mask – good for long flights.
- Valuables – camera, watch, laptop. Luggage can get lost, so it’s safer to have it with you.
- Pen – in case you need to fill in documents while onboard.
- Hand sanitizer
- Liquid container- 100ml for hand luggage
- Socks as it gets cold on long-haul flights – compression socks to prevent thrombosis and swollen legs
- Snacks – bring your own food as airport food is expensive
- Blanket and warm clothes as gets cold on long flight.
- Neck pillow to prevent neck or back pain.
- Ear plugs and sleep mask
- Refillable water container- it will be empty and you can fill it once past security.
- Extra underwear – useful in case you have an accident or your luggage gets lost.
- Travel guide – either use a book or tablet to decide your plan of action when you arrive.
- Chewing gum – good for take off and landing. It also helps to ease the pressure on your eyes during a flight. eyes.
- Headphones for entertainment and to drown out aeroplane noise.
- Paperback book to keep you entertained.
- Charger for all devices
- Hair ties prevents statically charged hair
- Toiletry bag – toothpaste, toothbrush, lip and face cream.
If you are going on holiday for a week, here are some of the most important things you need to put in your suitcase:
- 1 pair of pyjamas
- 5 shirts
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 3 pairs of pants, shorts, or skirts
- 1-2 dressy pieces of clothing
- shoes for best
- Accessories items like gloves, scarves, hats and jewellery
- Flip flops or sandals (for beach holidays)
- 1 bathing suit
- 1 sweater or jacket (add more layers for colder weather.
- 7 pairs of socks