One of the great joys of travel is packing the bags, said no one ever!
That said, it is such an important part of any holiday or business trip that we need to get it right and try to do so in as stress-less a process as possible. So having packed and unpacked quite a few bags in our time, we thought we would share our top ten tips on how to pack better for your next trip.
- airlines are starting to get restrictive on what you can carry-on, so before you even start packing make sure you think about the size and weight of any bags that will go with you or in the baggage hold. If your bag weighs half the weight of what you are allowed you need to ditch it in favour of a lighter one. We now use a lightweight shoulder /shopping-type bag for our carry-on, allowing us greater flexibility with what we can take. And many airports, train stations and hotels have steps, so you don’t want to be taking anything which is too heavy or awkward to carry or pull easily.
- make great use of good-quality ziplock bags in your baggage. They can keep all your liquids secure, protect your clothes from polish or mud off your shoes, keep your phone charger and electric cords safe, and organise all those small items which can easily get lost. If you are worried about any spills, you can also use a little cling wrap on bottles – just remove the lid, apply a small piece of cling wrap over the opening and then re screw the lid back on and place it in the ziplock bag.
- plan your wardrobe early so that everything you take can be worn with everything else. Have a mix-and-match approach where it is of no concern if a particular item is in need of washing. You can easily grab another top or pair of shorts without having to choose the right colour. This can significantly reduce the amount of clothes you take. you will generally need more tops than pants – an average suitcase might fit five tops, 2 pairs of trousers, three jumpers, and two dresses, so choose well.
- to avoid ironing, take clothes which are wrinkle-free and pack them in such a way to as to avoid unnecessary creases. Fold the clothes which are stiffer and roll the softer ones. Shirts, dress pants and jackets will need to be carefully folded, while underwear, T-shirts, jeans and knitwear can be rolled. Socks can just be stuffed inside shoes.
- buy a portable, handheld and lightweight luggage scale so you know before you get to the airport how much your bags will weigh. Don’t get caught out at the airport and end up paying expensive excess baggage fees. A $20 investment now will save you a lot of stress and money later on.
- if you love reading on the flight or while away, don’t blow your carry-on allowance with a heavy book. Have a supply of interesting and lightweight novels you can take away, or better still use your tablet or Kindle to read.
- if you like bringing wine back as we often do, make sure you place the wine in a leak proof wine skin bag before wrapping it securely with clothing or place it in a BottleGuard bag.
- footwear can take up huge amounts of space in any bag so be realistic about what shoes you NEED and what you would just like to take. Wear the heaviest pair if possible (and which will not set off the airport security), pack what is only absolutely necessary and leave the other items at home. And keep in mind that you can often buy some very cheap footwear where you are going if you need additional flip-flops or similar.
- empty all your beauty products and toiletries out onto the table and see where you can leave bulky items at home in favour of smaller travel packs, and what two items can be replaced with one (such as an all-in-one shampoo and conditioner). If the items are going into the hold of the aircraft, check with your carrier first to see what can and can’t be taken. Also check whether the hold is pressurised? Most likely it isn’t, and you may want to keep any bottles only three-quarters filled so they don’t explode onto your clothing.
- if you know you will be bringing back some dirty washing, take some vacuum or compressor bags which will give you a lot more room in the return home baggage for your gifts and souvenirs.
Do you have any more travel tips to share with our readers? Why not leave us a comment below to share with others.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.