Holiday Packing Tips

How to pack like a pro for your holiday

Your longed-for holiday is fast approaching, and it’s only the dreaded packing standing between you and two weeks’ escape from normal life. We’ve been helping travellers get organised for their holidays for 30 years now, and within our holiday checklist you will find a very handy holiday packing list. If you’re still struggling to cram all those essential just-in-case outfits into your bag, here are some of the best packing tips from suitcase nuts around the world to make your travels a little easier.

Packing tips, pack horses

Avoid this feeling and pack like a pro. Image: Karunakar Rayker under Creative Commons licence.

Holiday packing tips from the pros

Get organised

For those struggling with what to take, never mind how to pack, the Packing Pro app features sample packing lists for different kinds of travel, and travellers, that can be customised to create your own personal packing list. This will include everything from socks and trunks to passports and medicines. You can email the list to family and friends (they’ll be delighted) and check off each item once it’s packed and ready. Available for £1.99, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Travelling light - be ruthless!

Check your airline’s baggage policies and weight limits before packing so you don’t have any nasty surprises at check-in. Also read-up on the latest airport security restrictions. Make sure your bags and cases are the right size and up to the job.

Lay out everything you plan to take on your bed, then get real and remove the stuff you really don’t need. Remember to leave some space if you’re planning on shopping while you’re away.

Clever accessories

A few well-chosen accessories, rather than entire extra outfits, will keep you prepared for any unexpected holiday occasions - think leather or bejewelled flip-flops, a beautiful scarf or tie, a smart belt or costume jewellery.

Rolling techniques

If you’re flying light and only carrying hand luggage, take a few top packing tips from the Feminist Breeder. She cunningly uses pillowcases to roll items into a “clothes burrito”, achieving optimum volume and neatness for a carry-on bag.

Folding fans

Self-confessed nerd (and rockstar) Shaun Huberts has dedicated an unhealthy amount of time to the science of packing for a trip. Spending months on the road with his band, Shaun advocates a strict visibility and rotation policy - perfect folding and positioning of clothing so that you can view every item at all times. He’s even written a book on the subject, How to Pack Like a Rockstar.

Some renegade travellers recommend flat-packing your clothes - check out Fathom, an inspirational travel website, and the team’s packing tips.

Packing puzzle

Fit toiletries, shoes and other oddly-shaped items around larger clothing, and use the top mesh section of your suitcase for socks, underwear and smaller pieces. Put anything potentially messy (make-up, creams and lotions, perfume) into plastic bags or zip-up wash bags. And buy those cheeky little travel-sized toiletries. It’s definitely worth packing basic toiletries (and possibly underwear) in your hand luggage in case your main bag goes astray.

Final run-through

Before zipping up, go through your daily routine in your head - especially if you have children - to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything small yet vital. And don’t forget to check the weight of your packed luggage before you head off to the airport!

At Holiday Extras you can buy a Right Size Cabin Bag, luggage scales and a baggage HomingPin as add-ons to your airport parking or hotel booking.

Do you have any genius packing tips? Share them below, and if you enjoyed this post like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+.

Written by Maxine Clarke, follow her on Twitter @travellingmax, or email

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