Travel Ground: Tips for Holiday Packing

I am sure we have all spent a holiday wanting to smack ourselves for not packing a smarter outfit or not leaving enough space to take home that stunning scarf you had your eye on. When trying to pack light, it’s easy to forget some items of importance. So don’t spend your holiday longing for an item you weren’t able to fit in or thought you didn’t need, by taking heed of the following rules for holiday packing:

1. Do your homework

If you are staying at a hotel or with a relative, phone ahead and find out if they have any of the following items: hairdryers, irons, bath towels, bathrobes, beach equipment – basically anything bulky that you’d rather leave at home. If the answer is yes, do not under any circumstances bring your own.

2. Pack light:

If you have to sit on your bag before you’ve even left to force it shut, then you need to repack. You can never embark on a journey without allowing space for newly bought items and souvenirs. The idea is to pack as light as possible, while ensuring you won’t be left lacking.

pack outside bag (Flickr)

3. Pack outside your bag

Fold everything you want to take with you in a pile on your bed. This way you’ll be able to see everything you are taking and can pick out any unnecessary items before packing your final bag.

4. Pack repurposing gear

You won’t have to pack as much if you pack smart. Go for items that can be re-worn and re-matched in a couple of different ways. Jeans and wrap dresses are great options as they can be dressed up and down, and oversized t-shirts can double up as a night shirt and a beach cover up.


5. Colour match

When everything in your bag matches everything else, you increase the number of outfits by tenfold. Pick a central colour and match other items around it.  Dark items are easily matched and are ideal for hiding coffee stains. Denim shirts and khaki pants are also great for creating multiple looks.

Travel Bag (Flickr)

6. Pack a day bag

Pack a small day bag with anything you may need while travelling, be it by car or by plane, to ensure you have access to anything you need without unpacking your bag (which, of course won’t be possible in a plane). Fill this smaller bag with a jersey, brush, deodorant, notepad, pen, cell phone, charger, camera, extra underwear, wallet, passport, and a change of clothes. Any medication you need should be put in here too.

7. Watch what you pack

Try to steer clear of any materials that crease easily. Chances are your bag is going to become very messy within the next few days, so make sure you go for low-maintenance materials such as quick-dry, nylon, spandex, knits, cotton, polyester and lycra.

8. Roll or wrap

The way you pack your clothes can determine how much space you have. The tighter and flatter you pack, the more items you can fit in. Rolling instead of folding maximises space, while bundle-wrapping around heavier objects (such as a hairdryer) works well too.

Travel toiletries (Flickr)

9. Downsize

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to work out that smaller is better. Don’t waste space in your toiletry bag with large shampoo and conditioner bottles. Instead, pick up some sample size shampoos, lotions, toothpastes, and deodorants, or decant into travel-sized bottles. If you have a travel fold-up toothbrush, that’s great too.


10. Layer

Instead of packing bulky warm weather gear, pack jerseys and cardigans that you can wear in multiple layers. It will trap and conserve your body heat to keep you warm, without taking up 90% of the space in your suitcase.

11. Be smart with shoes

Shoes make up the majority of your bag’s weight so make sure you pack lightly.  Each dress shoe can add about 0.6kg to your bag, so limit yourself to no more than two or three pairs at the most. A pair of pretty slip slops and a pair of closed shoes should have you sorted for your holiday. If you need smart shoes, wear them as you travel or squeeze them into your day bag.

Clothes ideas

12. One Cheat Item

If there is a chance you may go out somewhere fancy on your trip, then pack one dressy item. This can be a plain black top paired with a long necklace for girls, or a collared shirt for guys. Matched with a pair of jeans and closed shoes for instant “fancification,” the items can also be worn as day tops – without the necklace, and unbuttoned over a plain t-shirt.

13. Wash

If you’re going to a fancy hotel (and you can afford the dry-cleaning services) you’re in luck. However, if you’re on a budget, or staying at a self-catering accommodation, make sure you have washing equipment. Washing liquid can be decanted into a travel bottle so if you’re in need of an outfit change, you can wash your clothes in the basin and hang them out in your room to dry overnight.

Article source: Travel Ground

What are your tips for holiday packing?