Whether you’re planning a weekend in the city or a wilderness adventure, packing efficiently is essential to a stress free break. You don’t want to be stuck in Italy without a smart shirt, and there’s really no need for those brogues in the Australian outback. Whatever your travel style, packing efficiently is a skill worth learning.
Your suitcase can be divided into three categories - clothes, toiletries and electronics. Your hand luggage is a little more versatile but should be considered just as important when deciding what to take with you on your trip.
No matter the climate, consider taking neutral basics that can be paired in several combinations to create multiple outfit choices. Accent with a nice shirt and one smart pair of shoes and you’re covered for every occasion. When it comes to packing your clothes, don’t forget to roll rather than fold - this reduces creasing and saves a considerable amount of space in your suitcase! Even better, bundle and roll. Lay all your shirts, t-shirts or vests on top of each other, then roll the pile into one bundle and tuck into your suitcase. This is also a great way of keeping your belongings organised and in the same place. Place bulky items such as shoes at the bottom, and tuck socks and underwear around your clothing to fill any empty space.
Make the most of the travel section in shops and stock up on mini toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo and body wash. They are much easier to store and transport, saving you valuable space in your luggage. Invest in a good wash bag that will fit snugly into your suitcase, allowing you to keep all your essentials together and prevent them leaking onto your clothes if they happen to burst in the hold. If you really want to save space, consider buying shower gel and hair products once you reach your destination.
Most suitcases have a zip section inside the lid, and this is an excellent place to store and organise any electrical items you’re taking. You may want to take valuables such as your phone, camera and laptop with you as hand luggage, but you can store all their bulky chargers in your suitcase, along with any extras such as cables, hair dryers etc. Don’t forget a plug adapter if you’re heading abroad - it’s always a good idea to pack at least two of these in case you accidentally leave one behind.
Treat this as your emergency bag, and ensure you have the Big Three: Tickets, Wallet & Phone - everything else can be sorted out if necessary! Here you can keep your valuables, medication, books and anything else you might want to entertain you on your journey. If travelling overnight, it’s a nice idea to keep a travel toothbrush/toothpaste handy, as well as a packet of mints to keep you feeling fresh after a long and tiring journey.
Packing is often a stressful part of any trip, but learning to pack efficiently not only saves you time before you leave, but also once you’re away. An organised suitcase means less time sorting through clutter and more time enjoying the sights. Happy holidays!