With your flights and hotel booked, the luggage is the last thing stopping you from that great holiday. We know it feels like a chore, but if you pack like a pro you’ll never have to worry.
1. Make a list
Ok, so it sounds a little boring, but idiot-proof lists are the gateway to a stress-free holiday. Separate your essentials from your desirables, and be realistic with your luggage limitations. Check our packing list here.
2. Don’t forget the first aid kit
We’re not asking you to prepare for ER, just a small bag with the most necessary pills, plasters and medicine you might need. After all, nobody wants to suffer a punishing headache, high-climate fever, upset stomach or all three during a holiday.
3. Limit your liquids
We all know about it by now, and yet there’s still a mass confusion and hold-up when some chancer tries to sneak a bottle of water past airport security. Much to everybody’s knowledge, baggage restrictions state that all liquids carried in hand luggage must be no more than 100 ml per item, and must fit into one small and resealable transparent bag. If you’re carrying anything larger, stow it with your checked-in suitcase.
4. Name tags are there to help
Unless you’re an international man of mystery, you shouldn’t have to worry about travelling incognito. Most suitcases come with name tags fitted as standard, so be sure to fill them in just in case you, or the airline lose your luggage.
5. Observe restrictions on baggage
Overstuffing your suitcase is never a good idea. If your airline says: “23kg”, then they mean 23kg! Weigh your bags before you get to the airport and make sure you are within the restrictions, otherwise you’ll be forced to cough up extra cash at the airport or, even worse, have to say goodbye to that lovely hand-knitted cardigan your grandmother spent so long slaving over. Which brings us on to our next Point…
6. Save bag space for all your holiday purchases
Whether it’s duty free goods or holiday mementos, it’s inevitable that you’ll be bringing more back home with you than when you left, so make sure you have room for it.
7. Skip the shoes
The biggest and most frustrating item of luggage. How many pairs of shoes you should take is very much dependent on how long your vacation might be, but we’d suggest that three pairs is a reasonable average for a 1-2 week getaway. More important than volume is versatility, so make sure you’re not stuck hiking in stilettos by bringing a pair of shoes for every realistic occasion of your trip. Wear your most cumbersome pair on the plane – plus, stuff your socks in the rest – and you’ll save even more space.
8. Cosmetics – at a minimum
Unless you plan on travelling to a desert island, it’s likely that you’ll be able to pick up popular shampoo or sun lotion brands in almost any corner of the world. Fewer cosmetics also mean that you’ll be less likely to find an explosion of nondescript gooey liquids spoiling everything in your suitcase when you arrive at your destination. If you really can’t live without that special face cream, try to take only as much as you’ll need for your trip and nothing more.
9. Keep on rollin
This tip is certainly up for debate, but we think that rolling your clothes really is the only way to go. Not only will it reduce those pesky wrinkles and creases in your gear, it’ll save you some much needed suitcase space.
10. All valuables go in hand luggage
It’s rare that airlines lose luggage these days, but why take the risk? Stay safe and stow all your expensive luxuries from your camera to your diamond engagement ring in hand luggage.
11. Don’t forget the adapters
If you do need them, save on the crazy airport prices by buying them ahead of your trip. Pound stores is one of the best places to get adaptors, or if you travel regularly get a multi-purpose one like this.
12. Categorise your clothes
Pack clothes in groups: that means shirts with shirts, pants with with pants, it’s easier to find what you need and unpack on the other side.
13. Pack a mini wardrobe in your hand luggage
Not literally, of course, but it’s always a nice idea to add a clean set of underwear and a garment in your carry-on bag, in case of your luggage being lost in an aeroplane mix-up.
14. Don’t predict the weather
Check it here.
Depending on where you’re going, weather forecasts are either your holiday’s best friend or your worst nightmare. Come rain or shine, meteorologists will always give you the best idea of what weather to expect on your holiday. Check the day before you fly and pack accordingly, and save room for that trusty pac-a-mac or umbrella you hope you’ll never have to use.
15. Don’t leave home without the essentials
This last tip is a big one as without these necessities, you won’t be heading anywhere but home: check and check again that you have your monies, a valid passport and – for the sake of your holiday companions – a toothbrush. Keep these all on hand and then you’ll be able to remember the most important thing.