You’ve bought your plane tickets, booked accommodation and organized all the internal land-transfers of your grand holiday. All that’s left for you to do is to pack your bags and you’ll be ready to go! However, packing for a trip is a challenge in itself. You never know exactly what you have to bring and you also have to take into account the maximum baggage weight limit in your planning. Here are 5 packing tips that could, perhaps, make selecting your holiday wardrobe (and fitting it all in your suitcase) a little bit easier.
Packing for a week-long holiday doesn’t pose much of a problem, but packing for a month long adventure is a different matter. Although you would most likely re-use your clothes, you still have to make sure you have enough change of clothing in your suitcase in case you aren’t able to do the laundry. If you’re packing for an extra-long trip, you can get more into your suitcase by air-compressing your packing bags. That’s right, just suck the air out of your clothes to shrink them into smaller, rollable layers. You can fit about 30-50 per cent more into your suitcase once your clothes are vacuum-packed. Just be sure you weigh your bag before heading off to the airport. If you cram more clothes in, you probably will have a heavier suitcase. Remember too that you may not have access to a suitable vacuum (or bags for that matter) on your way back so, it is still best to pack light.
An alternative to vacuum-packing is to Bundle Wrap. It’s a method of packing that doesn’t involve rolling clothes into buns or folding pieces individually. You can pack more and your clothes won’t get too wrinkled too!
If you’re traveling with someone (a friend, a relative, your sweetheart), you have twice as much baggage allowance! YEY! You can take more! However, instead of doing that, why not have one set of clothes in each of your suitcases? Just put half of your belongings in the other’s bag (and vice versa) therefore, in case one suitcase gets lost (which may happen on overseas trips), you both can be assured that you will have spare clothes.
Be Prepared for Whatever Weather
You’d normally do a little research on your destination before you head off. You would have an idea if the weather will be generally scorching hot, warm, freezing cold, wet, humid, windy … take your pick. Therefore, when you’re packing for your trip, make sure you have the travel essentials in your hand luggage (or in an easily accessible place in your suitcase) so you can grab these immediately upon disembarking. Travel essentials (depending on your destination, of course) include hat and scarf, gloves, flip-flops, sunglasses, jacket, hat and maybe even an umbrella.
Less is More
No, you do not need to wear something different everyday. You don’t need to look like you’ve stepped out of GQ or Vogue while you’re on holiday – your main goal is to dress comfortably and appropriatly at your destination and have enough clothes in your suitcase so you don’t have to do the laundry every other day. Ideally, your suitcase should contain three bottoms for one week; three tops per bottom; five bottoms for two weeks; and remove one top and one bottom for each dress, if you’re a woman. Do, however, try to bring a cardigan (if you’re a woman) or a dinner jacket (for men) – just in case you have to go to a place that follows a somewhat strict dress code.
Better to Buy (or in some cases, rent)
Apart from prescription medicine, some small items are better left at home than packed in a suitcase. Sunscreen, lip balm, shampoo and conditioner, soap – unless you need a specific brand due to health reasons – may be best purchased when you get to your destination. Airlines, usually give their passengers a small bag of toiletries, containing a toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste – that should last until you can get a toothbrush of your own. Some would recommend bringing laundry detergent on your trip (for washing your clothes, obviously), but it might not be worth the hassle. Imagine having to explain what that little bag of white “stuff” is to customs officials. Of course he’ll let you go – but was the stress or aggravation worth the few dollars you’ve saved? Leave the towel at home too! Most hotels provide towels and, if you’re staying at a hostel or backpacker, they usually rent towels out for a small fee. Yes, buying or renting these items may cost more (alternatively, it can come out cheaper too!) but think of the space you’ve freed up in your suitcase! If you feel more comfortable bringing your own toiletries with you, make sure they are in small, well marked containers and can fit in one clear plastic container.
Keep these travel packing tips in mind when you start sorting out your clothes for your holiday. Remember that you’re supposed to have fun – so e