I’ve been travelling a lot lately and with that comes the hell of packing. After a lovely stewardess gave me some of her own tips, I decided to put down more of my own in a blog post too. Unlike Marie Kondo, I don’t enjoy packing as such, but I have got better at it over the years. Here are some of the tips I’ve learnt along the way.
- Take a large lightweight cloth bag in case you need to consolidate your hand luggage. If you’re like me, you’ll end up with duty free, magazines, a handbag, loose documents and so on… Without a bag to consolidate your items it can all get rather messy.
- Layer your delicate jewelry chains with clingfilm, or thread each with a drinking straw to stop them getting knotted up with each other.
- Even if you’re not a techno geek, consider a backup battery for your phone and other devices. Chances are that you’ll run out of battery when you’re lost or in an emergency and need to reach someone.
- Use a glasses case to store your phone / laptop cables. This stops them getting tangled up and makes it easier to find them in a rush.
- For any cables you do need, check which adapter each device needs to avoid doubling up. Standard USB chargers can often be plugged into hotel room television ports if you’re running short on travel adapters.
- Don’t bother with suitcase locks. Zipper suitcases can be opened with this ballpoint pen trick. (I’m not suggesting you take a hand grenade, or a SUPER ugly case as the video suggests, but you get the point).
- Pack a few sheets of laundry dryer freshener to add to your bag of dirty clothing as you go. Stops your whole suitcase smelling of smelly socks before you get home.
- Invest in packing cubes and choose a different colour version for each member of the family. Packing cubes save on space and are especially great for keeping your items organised when you’re on the go. I couldn’t find any pretty ones but boy, mine are useful.
- Even if you don’t have packing cubes, avoid taking heavy, bulky clothing with you. Wear any heavy item essentials on the journey. Pack any leftover heavy items, e.g. shoes and toiletries first in your suitcase and fit lighter items into the spaces on top.
- Remove any baggage labels from previous flights. Sounds obvious but it’s the best way to stop your case getting lost in transit.
- Use disposable shower caps to pack your shoes. Even if they’re not dirty now, they will be after a good night out, trips to the beach, country walks…
- Don’t rely on weighing your suitcase for an accurate measurement. Stand on (good, electronic) scales with your bag, then repeat without your bag and subtract the difference for a more trusty kilogram estimation.
- Strip down your beauty routine to the absolute essentials and decant into 100ml bottles. Toiletries are by far my heaviest items (who me, vain?) and this really saves on my weight load.
Photo by xlordashx
- Layout outfit by outfit to ensure you have everything (no point in taking that little back dress if you don’t have the killer heels). Prioritise capsule collections that work well with each other – heels that go with jeans, dresses and shorts for example. Swimming costumes can double up as bodies, and kaftans need not be confined to the beach..
- And my favourite tip of all time? Vodka. Take a 100ml spray container’s worth for an awesome multi tasker – hand sanitizer, all purpose cleaner (spray on your inflight tray table and wipe with a napkin), emergency deodorant (it really works!), clothes freshener, and (if possible accompanied by soda and slice of lime) a handy pre party pick me up. Just remember to label the bottle ‘sanitizer’.
Photo by GS+
For more travelling hacks and ideas, see also my pre flight tips for the airport. Bon voyage!