Packing for travel. A chore but it’s essential and someone’s got to do it!
Packing can make or break a holiday. That might seem a little dramatic, but like Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Taking the time to pack your bags properly for travel can save time and tears during what should be a happy and fun time.
Packing for a long weekend city break using only hand luggage can be even more difficult. With limited space, you need to use every nook and cranny whilst not leaving yourself short. So here are my packing tips!
Keep organised and carry on
If, like me, you merely toss things into your bag, you’re doing it wrong. A bag is an essential travel item, but not if you can’t find anything in it without tipping everything out onto the nearest bench. Ever been in the position where you can’t find your hotel room key? Ever needed to produce your passport to prove your identity? Can’t find your sightseeing itinerary, the one you’ve been working on for the last month? You’re likely to have experienced all three at some point. And even all three on one holiday if you’re unlucky enough!
I recommend buying a travel document folder or wallet to keep your travel bits and bobs organised. I love my Maxwell Scott travel wallet which is super slim and stylish. Its made from genuine leather so it’s durable and will last more than just a handful of travels.
Buy cheap, buy twice
And that brings me nicely onto my second point. I’ve made the mistake of buying cheap travel bags and luggage time and time again. But like most things, if you buy cheap you buy twice. I know the frustration of zips, handles and wheels falling off. Just because you’re careful with your case, doesn’t mean the airport baggage handler will give it the same TLC as you do. Do you really want to spend your time and money on holiday buying another bag?
Again, a leather travel bag is worth paying the premium for. Think of it as an investment as in the long term you’ll save from not having to shell out for a new travel bag each time you go on holiday. This birkin style leather travel bag from Maxwell Scott is hand luggage size compliant and comes with a 25 year guarantee.
Can’t decide which or how many clothes to take? Yup, I’ve experienced that feeling of leaving myself short and having to wash my clothes in the hotel bathroom basin -not ideal. I always make the mistake of only taking hand luggage, thinking that will be enough but usually means its bursting at the seams as I stuff as much as I can into it. Then I found out about vacuum storage bags for travel.
Simply put all of your things into the clear plastic bag and let the vacuum do its thing, sucking all of the air leaving you with a compressed pile of clothes. If you don’t wan to ask the hotel if you can use their vacuum, sitting on the bag and letting the air out has a similar effect – more space for tacky souvenirs!
Don’t pack toiletries
In no ways am I suggesting you don’t use toiletries on your holiday! Think of the other passengers on the return journey home! Of course, you could buy travel sized toiletries but if we’re looking to save space, just buy them at your destination. It also means you don’t have to worry about the liquid restrictions at the airport security.
Wear onto the plane
Not sure what the weather will bring. You want to be ready for all eventualities. Not great when your limited for space. If you have a thicker garment like knitwear or a heavy coat, wear it or carry it onto the plane. And if it is a coat, make sure you fill the pockets! However, this travel jacket may be taking things a little too far!
While I’m a huge advocate of physical books, I have the complete opposite opinion when I have my travel hat on. Buying an e-book reader for travelling means you can have many books to choose from. Or save even more space by loading your books onto your mobile phone.
Fill your boots (shoes)
The last and small tip but something you might forget. If you’re packing a pair of shoes, you can fill them with socks or a tie. Might want to wrap it in plastic if you have smelly feet!
What are your packing tips for long weekends away? Tell me in the comments section below!