Whether you are packing for a short weekend break or a two week holiday, you have to organize your packing. Learning how to pack efficiently is the key to lightening your load. Here are 10 useful tips for a stress-free trip.
1. Plan ahead - Make a packing list
Plan before you pack! Avoid packing stuff that have a minimum chance of being used. Lay out everything that you think you want to pack on your bed and take a good hard look. This way you avoid packing more than you need.
Use a packing list and put everything you need on this list. This includes passports and visas, tickets/boarding passes, travel insurance documents, currency & credit cards, toiletries, clothes, summer/winter essentials, etc.
2. Choose thin clothing - Wear it on
Instead of packing a heavy sweater and jeans, try more travel-friendly options. Use micro-fleece pullover and pants in lightweight and weather-resistant fabric. When you have to travel with bulky clothing items, wear the most room-eating garments on the plane.
3. Roll and vacuum pack
To save space and stop creasing, better roll your clothes instead of folding them, then place them in vacuum compression bags to save space. To use these bags, put your clothes in, seal the bag, then squeeze the air out. This will leave you with lots more space in your suitcase and will prevent creases more effectively than folding.
4. Fill dead space
Make use of every little inch of suitcase space that you can. Roll your tops, underwear, socks and other small items and stuff them into your shoes to make sure every possible space is filled.
5. Pack for compatibility
The key to packing light is selecting versatile and interchangeable pieces. You do not need a different outfit for each day. Choose your clothes by focusing on one basic color, such as black, white, brown or khaki, then add variety with additional tops and accessories that have more color and personality. This way you pare down the number of garments you need while making it easy to change up your look with creative mixing and matching.
6. Scale back on shoes
This one is for our ladies. If possible, only pack one pair of flats and one pair of heels for every trip. When packing, place shoes toe-to-heel in the bottom of your luggage along the edge, and make the most of the empty spaces inside your footwear by filling them with fragile items wrapped in socks.
7. Use Ziplock Bags to pack gadgets
If you want to organise your packing then get yourself some ziplock bags. Use them to store electrical items like phone charger, camera charger, adaptors, headphones, things for the journey home (house keys, parking ticket and car keys), medication and other loose accessories.
8. Take a vacation from your toiletries - buy travel-size goods
Leave some of your toiletries behind and use the soaps and lotions provided by the hotel. The one thing people tend to forget is that there are stores where you're going and you can always buy those items once you get there. If you take some toiletries with you, consider swapping your regular toiletries for ones that come in travel-friendly portions.
9. Weigh you luggage - Buy a lightweight suitcase
This little trick helps you to avoid being charged unnecessary fees at the airport. Make sure you weigh your bags on both legs of the journey. If you're close to the limit, consider wearing some of the heavier items or cutting down on what you pack in the first place. Go for a lightweight suitcase option. Expensive is not always best. Using a hardshell suitcase can add up to four kilos of weight before you've even started packing.
10. Pack good hand luggage
One last useful tip: Sometimes bags go missing. Make sure all your valuable items are in your hand luggage and always pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage too, just in case the worst happens and your checked bag is lost or delayed. That way you won't have to rush to the shops as soon as you arrive to buy replacement clothing.