Tip Tuesday: Packing

by - 09:40:00

Your flight's booked, the hotel awaits and now all you've got left to do is pack. Packing isn't many travellers favourite chore but it has to be done whether you like it or not. Today I'm going to share with you a few tips that will hopefully make your next experience less stressful. 

Make A List

Where else would a post on packing begin? For me, a list is the only way to guarantee I won't forget something I need. If it made it onto the list, it's 100% making its way into my case. 

Before you start pulling apart your room, sit down and think about what you think you will need on your trip. Consider the weather; luggage restrictions; local customs, whatever really springs to mind when you think about your destination. After a good think, get writing. I like to work in categories to ensure I've covered all my bases, so clothing; toiletries, electronics and the likes. This approach has yet to let me down, so I'm hoping it might help you too. 

If writing a list doesn't sound like you at all, you'll be pleased to know that pre-made lists are freely available online. A quick Google search for 'pack this list' will give you access to a pretty popular ready made packing list. It's fairly reliable but as it's not specific to you make sure you remember any equipment or medications you may need. 

Travel Wash Is Your Best Friend 

Before Thailand, I don't think I would ever have thought to pack a travel wash. The idea of doing laundry on holiday wasn't something I'd considered before but it's something I'll be doing more often. As I only had a backpack, I had to travel fairly lightly. This meant that carrying 11 t-shirts and 9 dresses wasn't an option sadly. Instead I took 2/3 of each type of garment and simply washed them when they got dirty. This saved my back enormously but it also meant that the space I had left could be used for souvenirs and the likes. 

If you're travelling around, I couldn't recommend picking up a tube highly enough. It's super cheap and a tube should last a good two months depending on what you're washing. If on the other hand you've got a generous luggage allowance and are staying in one place, you can maybe disregard this one. 

Do Your Research

The devil is really in the detail when it comes to packing. To avoid packing things you don't need, research the hotels you'll be staying in for starters. Some provide towels and other amenities; meaning you can leave yours at home and save some space. The next thing to look up is the cost of things at your destination. If you're missing a pair of beach shorts or sunscreen, could you buy it out there for less? If it's a yes, not only will you save space, you'll save money too. 

The Couple That Packs Together

While it's nice to have a case or backpack to yourself, there are times when you might regret doing that. If one of your cases goes missing, one person is missing everything. To avoid such a calamity, you might want to think about packing your cases or bags in halves. By splitting your stuff between two different pieces of luggage, you're pretty much guaranteed clean clothes and a few personal bits once you get to the other side. Note that this plan isn't certain to work and unfortunately luggage does go walkies. This brings me quite nicely onto my last point.

Carry On Essentials

No I'm not talking about you're phone or a face mist, but actual must haves which you'll appreciate if your luggage does go missing. Clean pants for a start will always be appreciated. Stow a pair into your hand luggage and you're good to go. The next item will only really apply if you're travelling to warmer climes, but put some swimwear in there too. Stick your favourite bikini/ pair of shorts into your carry on and you'll still be able to enjoy the beach/pool if anything should happen. For me, having these two in my carry on makes me feel a little less stressed about my luggage going missing. 

Backpacks Are Sometimes Best

My final tip, is one that I've picked up through the many no frills flights I've taken. When you're flying with a low cost airline, taking any kind of hold luggage will be expensive. On average you're looking at £30-£40 per piece of luggage. Once you've added those costs on, your budget flight gets into more premium territory. 

To get around this, more people that ever are taking a cabin case/bag than ever. The overhead lockers are now fit to burst; so much so that you're cabin case might end up in the hold anyways. For some, this won't be too much of an issue but if you want a quicker exit take a backpack instead of a case. 

On a recent Ryanair flight, they were asking passengers with cabin cases to put them into the hold as there wouldn't be enough room in the overheads. If you had a backpack you were exempt from this. Moral of the story; if you hate waiting at the baggage carousel get yourself a cabin sized bag. 

With that all being said, I bid you happy packing. If you've any great tips I'm missing, get writing in the comments. I'm all about packing being easier so teach me all your tricks. And on that note have a great day guys.

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