Packing- possibly the most tedious and yet the most important task on the itinerary for any holiday-maker.
After 8 years of travelling, I still haven’t managed to master the art of packing lightly and occasionally (often) revert to sitting on my suitcase in a desperate bid to squeeze it shut. However here are a few tricks I have learnt along the way to help me lighten the load:
Invest in some cheap empty plastic bottles for essential products such as shampoo and shower gel. You can find inexpensive ones in most high street shops, supermarkets or online shops such as here: banggood.com. During your travels, take as many freebies such as mini toothpastes, toothbrushes and body lotions from hotels/hostels and flights and feel like a baddass but clean-smelling robber.
Airbags or vacuum pack bags are a great way to condense your clothes, just fold everything up, jam it inside and squeeze every last but of air out of the pack before sealing it shut. This is also a great way of protecting your clothing and they double up as a laundry bag or storage bag whilst away. Packing cubes like these ones from amazon are also a great help.
- Check the weather before you go. It may sound simple but it’s something a lot of us forget to do. Checking the weather on sites such as worldweatheronline.com and bbc.co.uk/weather can help you decide wether you really need to pack your tent-like fur-lined winter coat or your flip flops.
- Speaking of deciding what to pack, planning ahead and making a list is extremely handy. Once you’ve packed a specific item, cross it off the list and save yourself unpacking and rummaging through your entire suitcase 2 days later because you can’t remember if you packed your favourite knickers.
- Buy yourself multi-purpose items. Product such as a world travel adapter are great because there is nothing more annoying that getting to your chosen destination only to find that you can’t charge your phone. World travel adapters are also very light and it saves you packing all the other adapter plugs or cables that you think you will need, thus lightening the load. You can find inexpensive adapters in stores such as Marlins, Pc World or here:www.amazon.co.uk. When it comes to multi-purpose clothing, think of something versatile like a sarong. It can be used as a headscarf, towel, something to park your bum on, the list goes on…
- If you’re visiting Asian countries or less-developed countries, clothing will likely cost less than half the price compared to the UK or Europe so think about budgeting some of your money to buy clothes abroad instead and save yourself some space in your suitcase.
- Take advantage of your carry on bag at the airport, often your carry-on comes with a pretty large weight allowance so pack a few of the bigger or heavier items into this to save yourself some suitcase weight fees. I also like to do the whole ‘wear half your wardrobe to the airport show’ which often includes 3 jumpers wrapped around my waist and yes, I am wearing my bikini underneath this coat. It’s not stylish but I’m saving dolla and It’s highly unlikely I’m going to meet the love of my life here so it’s cool bruh.
- And finally, when packing ask yourself wether you really need to bring the Milan catwalk to Bali or wether what you actually need is a s***load of suncream. Prioritising is important and will not only help to make space in your suitcase but will save you from spending more abroad. Travelling is all about exploring and having fun and getting your hands a little dirty. It doesn’t need to be a fashion show!