Packing a suitcase is, essentially, an artform – and one of those life skills that eludes many of us. It seems it’s just human nature to pack more items than we actually need when we’re heading off on holiday, and the mere prospect of planning outfits ahead of time can cause even the coolest of cucumbers to break out in a sweat.
What if we told you there were some simple and savvy ways you can pack for your holidays more effectively, which would still ensure you had all the essentials with you? In today’s post, we’ll be sharing some of our top packing tips with you – giving you all the hacks you need to pack smart for your next holiday.
We hope with these handy hints that you’ll have savvy space-saving packing nailed from now on, so you can rest easy on your next trip – safe in the knowledge that you’ve made perfect use of all the space you have in one bag.
Nick Ball is Marketing Manager at Optima Villas and has lived on the island of Lanzarote since 2001.
Make a list of what you really need
Before you start laying out your entire wardrobe on the bed ready to stuff into your modestly sized case, you need to get a firm handle on what you actually need to take – rather than all the things you’d like to take. A list is a great way to do this, as it requires you to fully assess what’s essential and what’s not.
Think about the length of your trip – do you really need to take 10 outfit options for a weekend away? The honest answer is probably no. For longer trips, consider opting for accommodation that offers onsite washing facilities, be it a self-catering villa in Lanzarote or a boutique hotel in New York. Wherever you’re staying, finding out whether you can recycle outfits by washing them while you’re away could save you valuable suitcase space.
It’s also worth thinking about whether you’ll require any formal attire or special equipment for attending events or business meetings and, finally, considering any special requirements you or any of your travelling companions may have, such as medication.
Allow plenty of packing time
Just like packing for a house move, it pays to give yourself plenty of packing time for a trip away. Avoid last-minute stress and the risk of packing a whole host of unnecessary items – or worse, forgetting any essentials – by planning ahead.
This doesn’t mean you need to lay out a strict itinerary for your trip, but considering small details like the types of activities you’ll be doing on holiday and what the weather’s like at your destination will give you a much clearer idea of what to pack. This far more efficient way of packing will also suppress the urge to cater for every eventuality, as you’ll have a greater handle on what your holiday will entail.
Wear bulky items
If you’re heading to a chilly destination, it’s essential to pack a range of warm, comfortable clothes to keep you toasty – but these bulky garments will eat into valuable suitcase space if you’re not careful.
To save on space, wear as many of these bulky garments to travel in as possible – this way, you’ll have more room in your suitcase for other desirable holiday must-haves. On top of that, if you’re wearing it, it also won’t count as part of your baggage allowance – so they can’t charge you extra at the airport.
Send your luggage separately
Another way to optimize the space in your suitcase and save yourself a packing headache is to send some of your luggage or outsized items likes sports equipment separately to your destination.
Using an expert luggage forwarding service that ships all over the globe will allow you to make better use of space in the luggage that’s travelling with you, wherever you’re headed. With no need to cram your suitcase full of bulky items, you’ll inevitably feel better prepared and be able to avoid making compromises when it comes to leaving other items behind.
Downsize your wash bag with small bottles
One sure-fire way to waste space in your suitcase is with a hefty wash bag that’s brimming with toiletries. Of course, we all need to take some essential products with us – whether it’s shower gel, toothpaste, sun cream or a whole host of potions – but if you want to save space, it’s time to get clever with your containers.
Whether you invest in small, reusable plastic bottles or simply buy miniature versions at the drugstore, a simple downsize to a smaller, more compact bottle can make a world of difference. These mini bottles can be used for carrying other things, too, like jewelry and medication – making sure they’re well-protected during transit.