You’ve worked hard, you’ve saved hard, and you’ve finally booked up a holiday to relax… well, you can relax once you’ve cleared the airport anyway! The amount of stress we feel between packing and actually taking off is intense! Can you relate?
Here are 5 essential tips that will help you pack everything you need and get onto that plane with little to no stress whatsoever.
Tip 1: Make a list
So regardless of the fact that I’m one of those people who has a list for everything – when it comes to travelling, I promise you, a list will help.
I like to start building my list a month or two before my trip (or even straight after I’ve booked it if it’s somewhere that requires a visa). I find that the easiest way to do this is using an app on my phone. You can add to it whenever you suddenly remember something. My personal favourite is Trello, but I’ve also heard good things about wunderlist or todoist.
The beauty of these apps is that you can actually tick things off as you pack them.
I’ve drawn up a free packing list template in Trello that you can use as a starter.
Click here to download it: FREE Packing List
Tip 2: Pack early
Between packing, getting to the airport, checking in and boarding the flight, the amount of stress each of these steps creates is immense. Finally you are on the plane, you strap yourself in, close your eyes and… relax … start worrying about what you’ve forgotten to pack!!! Are you smiling because you know this is exactly what you do?
The best way to avoid this is to (have a list – but also) pack early!
DO NOT PACK on the day you are travelling. It will increase your stress levels unnecessarily.
I have a friend that starts packing 2 weeks before her trip! I know right!? Anyway – it works for her, and I can see the benefit of adding things as you remember them, but that’s partly why I use Trello. If I packed 2 weeks out, I would never know if hubby or one of the kids has dipped into the packed items and removed it without my knowledge. Yes, I have been called a control freak before 😊
Personally, I prefer packing a day or 2 beforehand but I’m sure there is a happy medium somewhere in between 2 days and 2 weeks. Whatever it is – make sure to do it before the day of your travels and not on the day of your travels!
Tip 3: Pack tight
There are plenty of different ways to pack. Perhaps the most straightforward is plain old folded. My hubby will literally just transfer his folded clothes from cupboard space to suitcase – by far the quickest and easiest method, although, I’m not sure that it maximises ALL of the space.
Then there is the rolling method - my mom is a massive fan of rolling her clothes. She loves the rolling method because the clothes don’t get creased, and because she can fit more in that way.
Extra rolling tip: Roll clothes and pop them into your packed trainers to use every last inch of packing space!
And last but not least (and my personal favourite) is packing cubes! My brother introduced me to them a couple of years ago and I won’t pack any other way now. You can split your clothes into cubes however you like. T-shirts in one, swimwear in another… anything goes. I usually get each of my children’s holiday clothing into a cube each – super handy when it comes to finding things and unpacking!
What’s more still - you can just pop the cubes straight onto the shelf in your hotel without having to unpack (apart from one – read the extra cube tip below).
Extra cube tip: Unpack your biggest cube and use the empty cube to put your dirty laundry in!
There are plenty of travel cubes to choose from, ranging from dirt cheap to super expensive, but these are the ones I use, and they have lasts for years already.
Tip 4: Pack Smartly
If you are only going on a short trip (anything up to a week), you should try to get everything into your hand luggage bag. Not only is it easier to get around with one bag of luggage, but it will also save you time when you land as you won’t need to wait around the baggage claim area.
Most airlines also allow a handbag or a computer bag in addition to your hand luggage – check with your airline.
There is a really fun challenge you can take to practise fitting everything into one bag! Take a look:
Tip 5: Pack to Survive
Now, I don’t mean that in a Bear Grylls kind of way (unless you are actually off on a Bear Grylls type adventure of course), what I mean is that you should have a few basic essentials in your hand luggage that will tie you over just in case your main luggage is lost (and you ignored the previous tip to pack one bag!) or if you are unlucky enough to be delayed for a really long time.
What you need in your survival kit:
- clean underwear
- a fresh top
- your valuables
* Don’t forget that you can’t take any liquids over 100ml in your hand luggage. I like to make use of these travel sized containers specifically for my ‘survival toiletries’
Following those tips will ensure that you don’t forget anything and also make the most of your luggage space so that you can get your holiday off to a relaxing start, even before you take off! I hope you’ve enjoyed the tips, I hope they help!
Have a wonderful trip!
If you have a tip to share we’d love to hear from you
The Happy Bloggers J&R 😊
p.s. don’t forget to download the FREE Packing List I’ve created for you.
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