Packing for a holiday must be the least favourite part of the trip. What to pack causes so much angst for many and now there’s a bunch of decisions over luggage weight.
Since lockdown the options of which type of luggage to take seems ten-fold. Do you choose to book space for large suitcases in the hold, or take a small and/or large cabin bag to stuff under your feel or lift to an overhead locker?
The latter also comes with the issue of finding tiny bottles of toiletries that get you through security.
With differing sizes and weights dependent on your choice of air carrier and budget it makes sense to pack as light and efficient as you can.
Overpacking Isn’t Fun
I’ll admit it, I’ve been known to take too much. Cue lugging 22kgs around a Greek island in a giant suitcase, only to bring much of it home, unworn.
Generally, it’s because I’ve left it to the last minute. Some people plan and start to pack up to a week ahead of departure. Not me, I like to do it as near as possible to my flight time.
So, what I’ve done in recent years is draw up a list of what to pack. I have an excel sheet for long haul, a separate one for a Mediterranean week away, and even one for city breaks. These lists have saved me time and time again, from the “what if” moments that have previously had me stuffing a bunch of clothes and shoes that I may need, but really don’t.
Next week we are heading to Croatia to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We’re going island hopping and I really don’t fancy pulling a large suitcase around. So, I’ve ordered a new medium size suitcase. I’m looking forward to travelling lighter.
Nine Ways to Pack Light
I’ll have my trusty list that I’ll use for packing and here’s a bunch of other ways that can help me, and you, pack a whole lot lighter.
- Based on the activities you’ll be doing rather than how many days you are going away make a list. It helps you identify exactly what you need.
- Reduce the number of items you need by choosing a simple colour scheme, e.g., neutrals to mix and match.
- Most people use more tops than bottoms. Try packing seven tops and a single pair of trousers/skirt/shorts in neutral colours to go with them.
- Pack more in tight spaces by rolling clothes. It saves on space and lessens creasing. If you have pieces like cotton shirts that wrinkle easily, fold and lie them on top.
- Multiple use clothes are the best. Take shirts and dresses for evenings, which can also be worn as beach cover ups or for sight-seeing.
- Swimming costumes can be worn as the light layer underneath a shirt or worn as a body prior to swimming pool or beach days.
- Layer up on the plane. Don’t put a knitted cardigan in the suitcase, wear or tie it over your shoulders for the journey.
- Taking a hat? Pack upside down and fill with small soft items, like underwear to make better use of space. Do the same with handbags, or use them to tuck away chargers, etc.
- Shoes are heavy. Consider packing just three pairs – flip flops/slides, neutral flats, and a pair of heels. Wear trainers for comfort on your journey and walking while on holiday.
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