If youre 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 packing for your holiday a little easier.
We've all done it - packed 4 pairs of shorts and then only worn one pair all holiday. Don't make the cardinal sin of over-packing. Lay all of your clothes on the bed and be ruthless - aim to get rid of a third.
"Stop reading list articles about packing and just get on with it."
What's the first thing everyone wants to do when they get to the hotel? Go to the beach, of course! Make life easier by packing your towel last - not only will it mean a quick turnaround from landing to lounger, but it will also cover any loose clothing in your case. Win-win!
A few well-chosen accessories, rather than entire extra outfits, will keep you prepared for any unexpected holiday occasions. Think fancy flip-flops, a beautiful scarf or tie, a smart belt or some fashion jewellery to give your outfit some oomph.
" Put all your shoes in plastic bags, and pack them next to the wheels at the bottom."
This isn't a pre-flight meditation technique - we're talking about your case. There's no denying that when you return you'll be packing some serious souvenirs for your friends and family - just leave enough room!
"3 things I always pack... earplugs, eyemask & dental floss."
They're cheap to buy and don't actually need a vacuum - just roll the air out. They keep all of your clothes packed neatly together and protect them from any spillages. Beware, your clothes may appear to shrink but they'll still weigh the same. Know your baggage allowance.
How many clothes can you wear at once? On a serious note, make sure you wear your heaviest boots and pack your lightest flip flops. Not only will you save space in your case, you'll also save on baggage allowance.
"Bags, bags, and more bags. Packing cubes and those light nylon reusable sacks are organization linchpins."
Mum always told me to keep
it neat and tidy
and no creases
I'm on holiday, not a catwalk -
stuff it in and lets go
Wrapped up & bundled
together works for us
Folding is most people's go-to packing technique, and it's a favourite for business travellers. It's perfect if your case is full of suits, shirts and blazers.
Travel blogger Will Klass says that bringing something random or fun will always help you on your travels. He recalls a trip to Tibet where he had with him two inflatable swans
My single favourite memory from that trip came after I pulled the swans out at a lake where some monks were swimming. They ended up conducting these inflatable swan swimming races as the whole monastery cheered on.
Unconventional, but brilliant!
Some renegade travellers recommend flat-packing your clothes - check out Fathom, an inspirational travel website, and the team's packing tips.
Johnny from OneStep4ward advises against ever travelling with a top-loading backpack. Go for easy access with a backpack that unzips all the way round.
"I actually have a packing list/spreadsheet that I print off every time I'm going away to ensure I remember everything I need be it an overnight business trip or a two week holiday - leaves out the stress of having forgotten something important!"
One for the super-organised - the 'rolling' technique keeps all of your things neatly organised and saves tons of space. We've taken inspiration from The Feminist Breeder for this uber-organised method of packing for your holiday.
Brenda Kinsel, a best-selling fashion and style author, even goes as far as to roll her clothes in outfits. By rolling a few 'related' items, you'll avoid wrinkles and your outfits will be ready to go at the other end - that means no more rummaging around in your case!
Legendary domestic goddess Martha Stewart suggests rolling up casual clothing such as tshirts and filling the corners of your suitcase with them. You'll save space and prevent other items from getting creased.
Theodora from Escape Artistes top tip is to never underestimate the power of a smart outfit. As long as you pack one smart frock and a decent pair of shoes, you wont feel too shabby when you fancy visiting any spontaneous upmarket bars or restaurants.
Voila! You'll have all of your clothes neatly packed together ready to wear - plus loads of extra room for souvenirs.
Use rolled up clothes to protect any bottles you want to travel with, making sure to protect the neck and place in the middle of your suitcase.
Rolling is great for those that hate ironing - it's handy for keeping creases at bay. As well as saving space, it groups all of your different types of clothes together, making for some handy unpacking. Sound too good to be true? Of course there are downsides. It's not ideal for suits, shirts and blazers, and you may want to ask yourself...is life too short to spend half an hour rolling up your knickers?!
"Roll your clothing. You can fit so much more when you roll clothing. Also, bring clothing that can be used for more than one outfit. Think solid colors, a jacket and mix-and-match."
We're all guilty of this one. The old 'cram and hope' technique has been the packing choice of many for years. It's the ultimate last-minute plan of attack, though there are undoubtedly better ways to make the most of your space!
Smarter Travel recommends that you use bulky shoes to your advantage by filling them with ties, socks and underwear. Shoes also make a great storage spot for jewellery (just put them in a zip lock bag first)!
Adam Groffman from Eating Prague Tours always packs at the very last minute. According to him, the last-minute scramble will mean youll only pack what is absolutely necessary.
Once you've packed your case, it's important not to forget about your carry-on luggage. STA Travel suggest that you always take enough for your first night in your cabin bag just in case your luggage gets lost. Avoid keeping anything in your checked baggage that you would be devastated to lose.
With all that suitcase-stuffing, there's not much space left for any little extras. These are the things that you can really do without.
Who needs fancy toiletries when you've got hotel freebies? Make the most of them, or buy some when you arrive.
Ever heard of a Kindle? There's nothing like turning the pages of a good book - but not so much when it's taking you over your baggage allowance.
Go beach boho and ditch the straighteners - your hair will thank you for it!
Be ruthless when it comes to your clothes. If you're not 100% sure you'll need it, leave it behind.
Take a look at our 10 things you really don't need to take on holiday.
"Packing for your journey is a transformational and liberating process. Like so many wandering nomads of the past, you can only bring what you can carry on your back. Packing light is key."
Bundling your clothes is great for getting the most out of your suitcase space. The basic idea is that you lay all of your clothes on top of each other before creating a 'parcel' to go in your case. You can find a detailed diagram of the bundling packing technique here.
Nick Huggins of Nick's Travel Bug swears by never packing for more than 7 days away - even if you're going away for longer. His logic is that finding a laundrette is always easier and less stressful than lugging around an overpacked case.
Super-organised Backpacker Boy always packs each different type of clothing into different coloured carrier bags - seriously cutting down on time spent rummaging around in your backpack!
For the fashionistas, check out Travel Fashion Girl's awesome packing lists, and never be caught out with a mismatched outfit again!
"Take along one gallon heavy duty ziploc bags. These can be used for anything and everything: as "filing cabinets" for receipts and paperwork; as "wet bags" for swimwear; as "laundry bags" for dirty underwear; and as "pantry shelves" for food items."
We've been helping travellers get organised for their holidays for 30 years now.
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