I’m here today with some travel packing tips and tricks for your suitcase. Packing can be the biggest bore of your journey so these tips will aim to make packing things easier and for everything to go smoothly. Then you can get on with your adventure!
Make a packing list
There are some essential items that you really don’t want to forget such as your smart phone charger, toothbrush or travel adaptor plug. Write a packing list of all the essentials to ensure you don’t forget anything.
Of course you can buy most things when you arrive at your destination, but it’s a waste of money if you already have the items at home!
To save time you can keep this list stored in your suitcase and refer to it every time you go on a trip.
Lay everything out
Before packing into the suitcase, lay everything out. This way you can see everything you plan to take and can reduce clothing you don’t really need. It’s also a good way to see if you’ve forgotten anything. It also means you can pack things in a more orderly fashion too.
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This tip somehow magically saves space in a suitcase and it will also stop the clothes from becoming creased. Lay them flat, fold them and then roll. It also makes it really easy to see your clothing options if you’re living out of the suitcase at your destination.
Pop your rolled clothes on the bottom layer of the suitcase and everything else that is going to be put away, such as toiletries, on the top. That way you can put away the items when you arrive and leave your rolled up holiday wardrobe in the suitcase to make unpacking a lot easier.
Choose a colour theme
You don’t want to be lugging around a super heavy suitcase and then not even using half of the items it contains, so opt to pack light for travel instead. Choose a capsule travel wardrobe by having a colour theme for your clothes so you can mix and match outfits instead of needing one or two different outfits every single day.
This will also make it much easier when it comes to laundering your clothes when you return or whilst away.
Take extra underwear
Whilst I try to minimize on most items, I do take extra underwear. If there are flight delays when returning then you won’t be caught short!
Put toiletries in waterproof bags
Whilst it may be tempting to squeeze toiletries loosely into any available space in the suitcase, especially if you are minimal and only packing one or two, I’d advise against this packing method. It’s much better to pack your toiletries in a waterproof bag first, even if you are only taking one!
You don’t want to risk the product opening and leaking over the entire contents of your suitcase, so always make sure toiletries are packed in a bag. If you are worried the lid opens easily then secure with some tape to be extra safe.
And, pack a few extra waterproof bags
Make sure you have some extra bags packed for dirty clothes, dirty shoes and accidents. You never know when you might have a drink spilled over you or get caught in a thunderstorm, so be prepared with extra waterproof bags to separate these items from the rest of your packed clothing when needed.
Don’t stuff the suitcase full
Rather than cramming every available morsel of space in the suitcase with something, leave some space. You may end up buying something on your travels and you’ll need some space left in your suitcase to bring it home. Also wear what you can, like extra layers, sunglasses and accessories.
Separate chargers, cables and adaptor plugs
iPhone chargers, laptop chargers, adaptor plugs and any other electronic style cables are best packed separately so they are easy to find when needed. I always pack mine in the large zip pocket on the inside of the suitcase lid so they are easy to locate and don’t get tangled with everything else. Lots of other people recommend using zip lock bags to pack these fiddly items.
Use vacuum bags
If you really want to save on space but still want to take lots of items then consider vacuum packing your clothes! I’ve never tried it as I’m a minimal packer, but I bet it works a treat!
Instead of packing bulky and weighty books, take a tablet style reader instead. You can also download map apps instead of taking physical maps. Many airlines even send boarding passes digitally so you don’t even need to carry paper travel documents.
Ensure you are insured
If you’re taking a fair amount of clothing with you or high value items then don’t forget to pack peace of mind! Make sure you have travel insurance that will cover the value of your luggage should it go missing or get stolen.
Label your luggage
Some of the advice out there is to not label your luggage as it may signal to burglars that your house is empty. That’s if there are burglars hanging around at the airport trying to read luggage labels. But I think you should at least put your name and mobile number on a luggage label just in case it is lost or the flight tag comes off.
Check the luggage allowance
Always check your luggage allowance before packing so you know how much you can take with you. Make sure you weigh your suitcase at home to ensure it’s not over the weight limit. Some airlines will charge you for extra weight, but others won’t let you take anything extra at all. You don’t want to be sorting out your suitcase and weight allowance at the airport so be prepared at home.
Make use of your cabin baggage allowance
Depending on the airline you are allowed a weight limit of anywhere from 7kg to 23kg for any carry on luggage. Some airlines even have no weight restriction so long as you can carry to bag yourself and place it in the overhead lockers by yourself. This is great news as it means you can pack extra items in your cabin baggage or you could skip the hold luggage altogether so you don’t have to spend time waiting at the carousel and only take hand luggage. Just make sure you research which items are not allowed in hand luggage.
There are lots of ways to make sure your trip abroad goes smoothly. Find lots of tips in my blog.