Holiday prep can be stressful at the best of times, but some proper planning and a few handy tips should help prevent any last minute wobbles when it comes to packing.
Here are 10 helpful hacks to pack like a pro
- Plan your outfits
This makes it impossible to over or under pack. Check the forecast and what’s on your itinerary, then you’ll know exactly what you need to pack in terms of different styles of clothing or footwear for different activities. Make a list numbering outfits, e.g. ‘Day 1, sightseeing; sun dress and sandals’ and then lay everything out on your bed by day so you can see your holiday wardrobe come together and spot where you’ve doubled up, helping to mix and match to avoid over packing.
- Bring everything you need for the first day of your holiday in your hand luggage
Lost and delayed luggage is rare, but be prepared in case it happens to you. Keep a change of clothes, important medication, some swimwear, sunglasses and toiletries in a carry on bag. It’s a handy thing to do even if you have your luggage and just don’t want to waste time on day one rummaging to the bottom of your suitcase when you’re eager to get to the beach.
- Pack hats first
Fill the inside of sun hats with small items like swimwear or underwear, then place the hat brim side down on the flat bottom of your case. Now pack your clothes around the hat to help keep its shape.
- Use packing cubes
These clever lightweight zip up bags help to organise your luggage by compartmentalising everything you’ve packed. Use separate ones for night and day clothes, bikinis, underwear, the kids PJs etc. Keep a spare large one for dirty laundry so nothing gets mixed up in your bag. Keeping everything separate saves time when you need to find something in a hurry.
- Check airport and airline guidelines
Rules and regulations vary across different destinations and different airlines, so check the website of the airport(s) you’ll be flying through prior to travel to avoid delays, inconveniences and excess charges. In general, it’s best to keep all liquids in your check in luggage and have most electronics ready to remove from your carry-on for security screening. Baggage allowances can vary too depending on destinations, so check ahead to avoid any extra fees.
- Wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane
Save space in your suitcase by wearing your biggest items like boots and jackets while travelling. A sarong can also double up as a blanket on flights for when it gets chilly, so carry that in your hand luggage and use an inflatable neck pillow to avoid wasting any space.
- Keep clothes clean with a shower cap
Keep the free shower caps provided in your hotel bathroom to cover sandy shoes or dirty soles. The elasticated plastic cap is the perfect size to wrap a pair of shoes in and stops clothes from being marked or soiled
- Roll your clothes
This won’t prevent creases, but it will save space and time. Rolling clothes is a more efficient way to use the space in your case and it also means you’ll be able to see what you have at a glance rather than lifting up layers and layers of folded clothes to find the t-shirt you need. If you’re really organised you should roll your clothes before separating into packing cubes for maximum efficiency.
- Use zip lock bags
Prevent spills and organise cables in clear plastic zip lock bags. A simple hack, but a major time saver. To be extra safe, use a layer of clingfilm under liquid lids. And for extra organisation, use elastic bands to prevent cords getting tangled together.
- Write a list
You won’t forget anything if you have to physically tick it off your list. Similarly, you won’t overpack when you see everything written down on paper. It’s a no brainer!