How long has it been since you last flew overseas? For many of us – probably most of us – it’ll be at least two years (before ‘you know what’ hit us). So when it comes to packing for our next big holiday, we’re all likely to be rather rusty. And while we don’t want to forget anything important, we also don’t want to overpack and be the ones who have to pay extra for oversized luggage at the airport.
Pack your essentials
First thing’s first. Make sure you have everything that you actually need for the trip. Your passport, your driving license, details of where you’re going, and so on, should always be close to hand. Find out if you need to print anything out in terms of car hire, travel insurance, plane tickets and so on. Also, make sure your phone’s fully charged. You don’t want it to let you down when your airline needs to scan your e-ticket.
Refresh the wardrobe
You’ll want to look fabulous for the trip, and may want to invest in new outfits to show off once you’re abroad. But don’t just bung everything in your bag – think about what you’ll want to wear on each day, and pack an outfit per day. This will help you avoid unnecessary excess. Heels are normally unnecessary, and are a pain to fit in your bag, so leave these at home if you don’t have to bring them. Even if you’re heading to a warm location, you might find it gets chilly in the evening, so remember to pack thermals just in case (but leave the snow jacket behind!).
There are a few tricks here to create more room in your bag. The first is to roll your clothes, don’t fold them. For a reason that science can’t explain, it enables you to fit more into the same space, plus your clothes won’t crease like folded ones do. A travel towel also saves you room (you may miss your favourite fluffy towel, but it’s only for a week or two!). Stuff socks, pants and accessories into any shoes you pack, and make sure you wear your heaviest clothes on the flight – this will save you valuable baggage weight as well as bulk.
You won’t enjoy your holiday any more if you pack 10 pairs of shoes than if you pack two, or if you pack all your jewellery instead of just your favourite two or three items. The lighter you travel, the easier and more comfortable it is to get around, and the quicker you can just kick back and enjoy yourself.