When it comes to a holiday, there are two types of people as far as packing is concerned.
There are those who have everything ready a week in advance and know exactly what they are taking with them, and those who will happily grab a suitcase shortly before heading for the airport and simply throw in what they think they are going to need.
Personally, we’re of the opinion that it’s better to at least be partly prepared so we’ve put together our ten top tips when it comes to packing for your holiday…
1: Make a list
Okay so you can go two ways with this one but we think a list is a good place to start.
You might just want to note down the bare essentials – think passport, money, toothbrush – or you might want to go the whole hog and list everything you could possibly need (and more besides).
Either way, at least with a list you should be able to make sure that you have most of the stuff you will want during a break away from home.
2: Examine your case
You only have limited weight when you travel so why waste some of it with a heavy case?
Instead, if you are looking for a new case before going away on holiday then look for something that is relatively lightweight – freeing up some extra space to get those ‘essentials’ in.
Lightweight doesn’t have to mean flimsy either – don’t just assume that a heavier, more expensive option is automatically better.
3: Get some scales
It can be a right pain trying to stand on the bathroom scales with a suitcase in hand to see if your luggage is overweight – not that we’ve ever tried that…
Invest in some luggage scales for a few quid and you’ll be able to quickly check if you are over your luggage allowance, which will save you money when it stops you discovering at the airport that your case is too heavy.
If you are too heavy, you can either ditch some of the bits you don’t need or swap the shorts and flip-flops you were going to travel in for those heavier jeans and trainers.
4: Know your weights
It ties in with the above, but make sure you know what your allowance is.
There’s no point working on the basis that you have 20kg of luggage available only to get to the airport and discover that your allowance is actually 15kg – especially when you consider the fees that exist with some airlines for excess weight.
You can make sure your hand luggage isn’t too large at the same time…
5: Split your stuff
If you are travelling alone then you can skip this one, but if you are travelling with your partner or family, then consider splitting your stuff between cases.
Not only will it allow you to spread your allowance around between members of your party, it also gives means that your luggage is split in the event that a case goes missing en-route.
It might not be likely, but at least you have the eventuality covered…
6: What do you need
You should only be packing what you need for a holiday in the first place, but consider what you’ll actually need when you arrive at your hotel and want to get your holiday underway in earnest.
If, for example, you plan to head straight for the pool when you arrive then there is no point putting your costume and towel right at the bottom of your case.
Spend a few minutes packing right at one end, and unpacking at the other will be so much easier…
We’ve all been there. You arrive at the baggage carousel to be greeted by black case after black case with people grabbing one only to put it back because it isn’t the right one.
If you are the owner of a non-descript, simple case then all you need to do is add a sticker to it or tie a ribbon around the handle and it’ll be easy to spot when it comes around.
That means less standing around and less frustration on your part.
8: Think ahead
You might want to think ahead when packing – particularly when it comes to bringing things back home with you again.
If you’re planning to do some serious shopping when overseas then bear in mind that you’ll need to get it home at the end of the your trip, so might want to make sure there is space in your luggage and within your allowance.
At the same time, you might want to think about what you are packing that you can leave behind – things like toiletries that can quickly and easily be replaced.
You have to put a lot of stuff into your luggage beyond just your clothes – with things like shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste to consider as well as electrical items that might not fit in your hand luggage.
Invest in some zip lock bags (they don’t have to be anything fancy) and you can make sure that any leaks don’t end up damaging your clothes. Who wants to arrive on holiday to discover that some leaking shampoo has covered everything?
At the same time, packing a couple of bin bags is also a good idea to throw dirty washing in so you don’t mix clean and dirty clothes on the way home. Why create more work than you need to?
10: Maximise your space
It isn’t just weight to consider when you are going away, it’s also space – as you might find your case is ‘crammed full’ but you still have some weight available.
If that is you, then have a look at the alternative ways to pack your luggage and you might be surprised at how much extra you can take. Something as simple as rolling your clothes rather than folding could make a huge difference.
That means a few of those things you thought you would need to leave behind could actually join you on your trip.