#1 Get a good suitcase: A good quality suitcase with the right size will protect your belongings, give you ample space to pack and will last for years. Yes it might cost you a bit but it is something definitely worth the investment. Watch Skyscanner’s Suitcase Must Die Test to get what I mean.
#2 Write down a packing list: If you start packing your bag by throwing in whatever comes to your mind or whatever you come across, there is a pretty good chance you will end up forgetting something or packing unnecessary stuff. Sit down and come up with a list of the things you will need and then start packing, ticking off the items as you go down the list. I have my basic travel list saved on my phone so every time I am preparing for a new trip I just dig it out and voila I am all set to pack!
#3 Lay out your clothes and start filtering down: Someone wise once said ” When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money”. The clothes part (and also the money part, but we can talk about that later) is very true. Don’t immediately take all the clothes you think you’ll need. Take away items that are similar (you don’t need a pair of light grey pants and another pair of dark grey pants, one grey pair is enough), include items that can be worn differently (a jeans jacket can look great on a t-shirt and slacks in the morning and can also be worn with a bright evening dress), and most importantly pack the ones that make you feel most comfortable. While I have to admit I am still in the” 20-30% less clothes than originally planned” range I am working my way up :))
#4 Ditch the items you can buy from your travel destination: Toothpaste, shampoo, shaving cream and the sorts are heavy items you can easily buy from where you are going (if you know they will be available). The more space and less weight you have, the merrier!
#5 Use packing tricks: The internet is full of packing tips and tricks, and while some of them can be better categorized under magic tricks, some tips are worth trying out and can be easily done. Try out rolling clothes such as T-shirts instead of folding to save space, stuffing your shoes with socks and other small garments, and using packing cubes. Check out Cosmopolitan’s 20 Genius Space-Saving Hacks for Packing Your Suitcase for other greater tips especially for the ladies out there.
#6 Pack in layers: Pack your shoes, tops, pants, jackets and so on in different layers, it will make unpacking and finding your things much easier. Keep the last layer to the items you will first need once you arrive to your destination. Your comfy pyjamas for a quick nap maybe?
#7 Keep your hand-held bag light: Get over the urge to keep some “just in case I need them” stuff in your handbag or backpack. What goes in is your passport, bank cards, money, camera, laptop, expensive jewellery, and a small make-up kit (as in just lip balm and eye-liner), and a few extras such as a book, a scarf or travel pillow. Anything else goes in the suitcase please.