11 Packing Tips Every Traveller Must Know

July 08, 2019

11 Packing Tips Every Traveller Must Know

11 Packing Tips Every Traveller Must Know

The excitement of a holiday can mean that we forget something or leave something behind in our desire to start our holiday. These 11 tips will ensure that you have everything packed and that you don't encounter any problems with your airline or security on your travels. 

11 Packing tips every traveller must know

LUGGAGE

If your suitcase is more than seven years old, you must check out more modern luggage options. The latest materials and designs are much lighter, more durable and far easier to wheel or to carry than your older model. 

Modern suitcases and bags include smart ideas for packing, with separate compartments, expandable sides, strong zippers, easy-to-manoeuvre wheels and longer handles. 

When choosing your new suitcase look for one where the wheels are wide enough for good balance and good clearance. The strap should be sturdy and comfortable for carrying.  

You should aim for something that is stylish and functional. Think about what it will be used most for. 

Be aware of the size requirements of airlines especially for carry-on bags. A good short-trip travel bag should always be within the size limits set by airlines for cabin baggage, either a total dimension of 105cm for domestic travel on, say, Qantas, or 115cm for an overseas business trip.  

Try to be inconspicuous with your choice of luggage and go for a lightweight option. If you’re using a hardshell suitcase, this can add up to four kilos of weight before you’ve even started packing.

Baggage allowance varies from airline to airline. Make sure you’re aware of your limits before you reach the airport. Some carriers will allow you to check in two bags, but not all, and the weight allowance can vary.

Make sure you understand the hand luggage allowance and avoid costly charges at the gate.

No one wants to be faced with an airport baggage carousel crisis where you’re searching for your luggage amidst its lots of identical bags. Label your suitcase with luggage tags and give it a bit of a makeover to help spot it in the crowd. Decorate it with ribbons, stickers or even colourful shoelaces so it’s instantly recognisable.

SMALL DAY-BAG

A lightweight smaller bag is also a necessity, either a little shoulder day-pack or a bag with a strap that can be worn across the body, for going out at your destination. 

Avoid a bag with wheels as this will limit where you'll be able to walk – up and down stairs or across cobblestones – and can quickly become a nuisance. 

Make sure all your valuables are in your hand luggage and always pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage too, just in case the worst happens and your checked bag is lost/delayed. 

But before you go shoving everything in your hand luggage, you should check with your airline or travel organiser what items are not allowed in your cabin bag.

11 Packing Tips every traveller must know

CLOTHES

Check the climate of your destination, and choose your clothing accordingly. 

Pack a careful array of mix-and-match items that can all be worn with each other, in easy wash and drip-dry fabrics, that don't need ironing. 

Think about having a couple of tops made of lightweight material that wicks away moisture and resists odour so they can be worn again and again without washing. 

Roll clothes instead of folding to take up less room and end up less creased. 

Many travel experts—including backpackers, who must stuff months' worth of clothing into a pack the size of a box of wine—agree that rolling is superior to folding. Tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Plus, they're less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases

Even if you have a garment that needs ironing, most hotels will supply one. 

If they don't, either hang the item in a steamy bathroom or dampen it and then smooth it out and dry with a hairdryer which will have exactly the same effect.  

Stuff small items, like socks, into shoes, to make the most of space. 

If you're going away for a while and really do need a lot of clothes for all weathers, consider buying a compression bag, either an automatic one or one that works off a vacuum cleaner, to suck out all the air before putting into a suitcase.

Maybe include a sarong, which can become a versatile shawl/skirt/dress/cover-up depending on how it's tied, and don't worry about running out of clothes as there are always laundry facilities, or someone willing to do it for you (always good to help the local economy!). 

And, of course, what better excuse will there ever be to go shopping?

Ever packed light clothes and found a stain on them when you arrived? Never have this problem again. Firstly you should always make sure your light coloured clothes are packed inside out, and secondly, hold on to hotel disposable shower caps and use them to cover the base of your shoes

11 Packing tips every traveller must know

UNDERWEAR

Take enough for a seven-day trip; anything more, be prepared to do some laundry yourself or have someone do it for you. 


FOOTWEAR

Depending on the type of holiday you're taking, wear the good pair of walking shoes on the plane to avoid having to pack and carry them, and take a casual pair of shoes, a smart pair and trainers plus thongs or Crocs for the beach.

Shoes can take up a lot of space so try to minimise the number of pairs.

Make sure the ones you bring are comfortable and sturdy enough for plenty of strolls, and never bring new shoes you haven't yet worn in, especially if they're intended for walking.

TOILETRIES

Leave all heavy glass bottles at home. Decant your favourite shampoo, conditioner and any face and skin lotions into small plastic travel bottles and buy a sample size of toothpaste, and put all of them into a clear, resealable plastic pouch. 

Count out the number of pills or vitamins necessary for your time away, and put them into small empty plastic tubs. 

Avoid the temptation to take tablets in case of constipation, loose bowels, stomach ache, dysentery, cream for bites and rashes, Band-Aids of all shapes and sizes, and a selection of bandages. Unless the final destination is in the middle of Antarctica, anything needed can be bought from a local pharmacy. 

Don't forget the one, definite essential: travel insurance.

11 Packing Tips Every traveller must know


EQUIPMENT

Technology has freed us these days from taking piles of airport paperbacks to read. Now a lightweight tablet or Kindle can be pre-loaded with any number of heavyweight tomes, although don't forget the charger. 

Invest in a universal charger and cable that can keep everything fired up.

Make sure your phone is pre-loaded with the Skype app too (skype.com) for cheap, or free, calls.

A small torch or a head-torch can prove invaluable on any trips that involve some camping, night-walks, glow worm caves or where you might want to read at night without disturbing a partner. Earplugs can also prove invaluable. 

Leave the hairdryer at home and even if there's not one at your destination, go natural or visit a local hairdresser.

DRESS FOR TRAVEL

If you're travelling by plane and hoping for an upgrade, men should always wear a collar with a shirt and have a smart jacket handy. Women should equally look smart, with shoes rather than trainers. 

If you are expecting to be met by a posse of paparazzi at your destination then you should wear heels and plenty of eye make-up.

For travel, comfort is king, with loose clothing, shoes that can be easily untied or slipped off, and a casual jacket, wrap or Pashmina to help if the temperature drops. 

If it's a long flight, put on compression socks too. 

On an airline that has a strict low baggage limit, wear a travel jacket with big pockets. It's amazing how much you can carry on your person.

11 PACKING TIPS EVERY TRAVELLER MUST KNOW

LAYER

This advice is twofold: Wear layers and pack in layers. 

First, your on-the-road wardrobe should feature plenty of layers, which will help you jetset through multiple climates in style and comfort. 

Second, the items in your bag should be packed in neat layers for easy screening. According to the TSA, "Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.)" so that the security agent screening your bag can get a clear picture of what's inside. The faster the TSA agent can screen your stuff, the faster you'll get through the security line.

Another good packing solution is packing cubes – this helps separate your items and find things more quickly once you get there.

Never check essential items. It's important to keep your valuable and essential belongings in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage.

Your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewellery, electronics, and other valuables should always be brought onto the plane with you. 

ZIPLOCK BAGS

How do you usually organise all of your electronics, cables, those fiddly bits that take you ages to dig out at security? If you want to organise your packing then get yourself a stash of ziplock bags. 

Phone charger, camera charger, adaptors, headphones – take extra plastic bags (the same ones you’d use for hand luggage liquids) and use them to store electrical items, things for the journey home (house keys, parking ticket and car keys), medication and other loose accessories.


KEEP VALUABLES SAFE

To avoid the worst-case scenario of being robbed, it’s best to be inconspicuous: don’t flash cash or expensive jewellery. 


If you’re worried about valuable stuff in your hotel room use empty bottles and tubes. Hide it in an empty suntan lotion container. You could also use empty lip balm containers to hide rolled up notes.

Using these 11 tips for packing will ensure you get your holiday off on the right foot. Take some time to plan your packing as part of your trip to ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime.

Happy Travelling

11 packing tips every traveller must know




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