Take a cue from the pros and follow these packing tips to streamline your suitcase and keep things simple on the road.
1. Take the bare minimum
It can be really tempting to over-pack, especially on the way to stylish destinations like London or Paris! However, the more room you can leave in the suitcase, the less you have to lug upstairs or over cobblestone streets. Plus, you know that feeling when you’re staring, frustrated, at your overflowing wardrobe trying to find something to wear? You’ll never have that problem if you’re a ruthless packer!
Packing light also leaves plenty of space for souvenirs and new duds! So, if you’re not sure about something – or if it only goes with one other piece in the suitcase– just leave it behind.
2. Pack for Pairing
All of the pieces in your suitcase should work well together, so you can mix and match on arrival and easily re-wear items throughout your trip. Easiest way to accomplish this? Focus on neutrals, and pack a few accent pieces (jewelry, scarves, etc) to brighten things up. And always throw in at least one jacket or warm layer, no matter where and when you’re going.
3. Wrinkle Free is the Way to Be
If there is one rookie error that will have you cursing your suitcase, it’s bringing fabrics that easily crinkle in your suitcase. Although travellers, on the whole, are some of the most resourceful people alive, capable of steaming their clothes flat in a lukewarm shower, it is usually just not worth the effort. Choosing low maintenance fabrics that don’t crease easily is one less chore to worry about while you’re adventuring!
4. Leave the toiletries at home
This may be controversial, but unless you have super-duper sensitive skin, there seems to be no good reason to bring excessive toiletries from home. They take up heaps of room, they have a terrible habit of bursting in your bag, and they are easily available at either your hotel or a convenience store. I say leave everything except the travel toothbrush behind, and stock up once you get to your destination instead.
5. Fold, roll or stuff?
The ‘fold, roll or stuff’ debate is a favorite topic of ‘travel experts’. Some people swear that rolling your clothes allows you to fit more in and (bonus!) stops your clothes from creasing. The downside of this, however, is whenever you want to put everything back in, you need to patiently roll everything back up. Therefore, many departing ‘rollers’ become ‘stuffers’ after their first destination: suggesting maybe it’s better to go at it this way from the beginning!
6. Sections are your friend
There’s nothing worse than having a beautifully packed bag that completely unravels the first time you need to retrieve something from it, or that causes your passport to sink to the very bottom, piled under clothes. This is where multi-section bags are brilliant – they force you to be organized! If your bag does have a bunch of pockets, you can use plastic bags, or some readymade dividers available from travel shops. At very least, they’re helpful for keeping your dirty and clean clothes separate.
7. Don’t overfill
There is something oh so satisfying about managing to cram half of your life into a suitcase and still zip it. However, if you’re literally sitting on top of your suitcase, leg outstretched for a counterweight, wrestling with the zip – you’ve probably overdone it. The sense of accomplishment will soon rub off when you’re trying to shove it all back in in time to catch the redeye flight you booked yourself on. Just don’t do it – leave as much time as possible to enjoy your travels!
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