Are you sick of luggage-fuelled emotional breakdowns the day of your big flight? Stop straining to close your bag, and learn how to pack smart for your next destination. Holidays are supposed to be relaxing, you know.
1. No Toiletries, No Problem
Cut down on this space-waster by forgetting toiletries entirely. When was the last time you stayed at accommodation that didn’t at least provide complimentary soap, hair products, and toothpaste? (Not counting your gap-year. What happens in low-budget hostels stays in low-budget hostels.) Opt out of consumer culture telling you to buy travel-sized conditioner. Hotels will provide them for free.
2. Some Toiletries, Some Problem-Solving
Maybe your separation anxiety is keeping you from throwing out all your teeny, tiny toothpaste tubes. They are very adorable, so it’s understandable. If you want to stay vigilant about your luggage, you’ll be wanting your toiletries as leak-proof as possible. Keep things like sunscreen in separate zip-lock bags, so that SPF doesn’t seep into your entire holiday wardrobe. Try packing the toiletries at the top of your bag. This way they don’t get squished make a mess of your formerly-lovely Levi’s. Bonus: If they’re up at the top, they can be easily accessed for baggage checks.
3. Try 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
If you’re planning on going away for a week, this trick helps you scale down your wardrobe to fit your luggage. Five sets of socks and underwear, four different tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes, and one hat or accessory. Research if your accommodation has a washing machine. If so, you may cut this amount down further.
4. Roll With It
The biggest controversy to shake the packing community to date has been this unanswerable question: to fold, or to roll clothes? Which method will save the most room in your luggage? Which leaves clothes more wrinkled? The choice is up to you, but rolling is more space efficient. Fold blouses and shirts if you’re wrinkle-conscious.
5. Packing Cells
These are a life-saver for those who love luggage-organising. Easily find your favourite pair of socks in these rectangular containers. You can sort by outfit or clothing type. It also makes packing as easy as a game of Tetris.
6. Hide And Seek
Still can’t fit all your belongings into your carry-on? There is always space, you just have to get creative. Fit your watch inside a bundled-up pair of socks. Wrap the socks in a silk scarf. Put that inside your shoe. Soon your luggage will become a treasure-trove of hidden accessories.
Bags can get lost or damaged, so keep your keep-safes safe in your carry-on. That way you won’t start your business trip out with a broken laptop or tablet. It’s also a great idea for breakable souvenirs on the return trip.
One of the most arduous parts of travel is trying to distinguish your bag from the sea of luggage on the end of flight carousel. To make the process quicker, customise your case with ribbons and stickers to make it recognizable. Consider investing in a bag lock too. These are great for making sure only you can open your bag (make sure you don’t lose the key, however).
9. Go-go Gadgets
Try to reduce how much tech you bring on flights. Not only will the devices themselves take up space, but so will their chargers. Take stock of what you will actually need this holiday; do you need to bring a camera if you have your phone anyway? And check if you need a special adapter depending on your destination.
10. Digital Records
Instead of taking up space in your luggage, create digital copies of your important records. This way you won’t risk the hassle of losing or damaging the original copies.