Upgrade your packing skills

Packing suitcases is an art form but with these simple tips, you can avoid the stress and struggle of fitting in those essential travel togs.

badly packed suitcase

Packing for a holiday or short break? Some people are super-organised and plan with military precision what goes where and how and then there are the normal people; we shambling last-minute, muddle merchants who squeeze and squash and attempt to fit 70% of our earthly goods into a 60 litre suitcase.  

10 tips to take you to packing heaven

  • When packing clothing, roll them instead of folding them, not only will this save space this also cuts down on wrinkling and ironing.
  • Pack clothing in complete bundles – one top, one skirt, one set of underwear, jewellery, etc. This way there will no time wasted in deciding what goes with what, and children can be handed a bundle and be told to go and put it on.
  • Remember not to put bottles of shampoo and conditioner in your case when you travel. Similarly, perfumes, deoderants and other liquid cosmetics should be carried in a sealable, transparent plastic bag (up to one litre capacity. If you don't do this, you risk the items being confiscated and your path through customs more stressful than it needs to be.
  • When packing shoes, fill them with your socks, underwear and any other misplaced knick knacks you may have. Not only does this save space but will ensure that your shoes keep their shape.
  • When packing your necklaces, place each one in a straw, by threading one end of the necklace through, and clasping it closed. This prevents the necklace from tangling up. This will save time from having to untangle the necklaces after arriving at your destination.
  • If you love having something to read over the holidays, try substituting magazines for books. This way once you have finished reading you can leave them behind as you go, rather than always having to carrying a book.
  • If you are bringing home fragile gifts, try to pack them in your hand luggage. If this is not an option, then put them in carrier bags and wrap them tightly with towels. This way, you may prevent spillage or breakage.
  • Keep your medication, a spare set of clothes and any other important items in your carry on bag, not your luggage that you check through. This way if you suitcase gets lost, you still have your important things with you.
  • If you must take valuable like cameras, phones, mp3 players, etc, (especially when flying), then pack them in a small back pack. It is less likely to be stolen and many of them have outer pockets that you can slip other things into like your snacks, change, etc. Also the bottle holders are great for bottled water.
  • When you are packing things in a back pack, place lighter things at the bottom and the heavier ones on top. Your bag will feel lighter this way. Also remember to keep important things like your passport on top, so that you don’t have to rummage through your bag all day.
  • Tie a brightly coloured ribbon, or put a high-viz sticker on your suitcase when travelling. This way at your destination airport, you will easily be able to distinguish your luggage on the conveyor belt among hundreds of others.
  • Do put your name, address and phone number inside your luggage, but do not put your home address on the identification tag outside your suitcase. Put your work address and phone only. Otherwise luggage thieves may know your not at home, know your home address, and you may come home to an unhappy surprise.

So, there you are. Apply these tips the next time you are going away and become a suitcase-packing Zen master in no time at all. Bon voyage!

Last modified: November 25, 2016

Written by 3:14 pm Travel