If you’ve ever travelled for business – or travelled the world with only a backpack on your shoulders – you’ll know the pain of packing lightly – and the difference a good bag or a good technique can make.
I know, for sure, that my life changed the day I realised you could roll up your underwear and stuff them in your shoes. I had a new lease of life with my joy for packing – suddenly I had more space. More space meant more outfits. And more outfits is always a good thing. Don’t try and tell any woman otherwise.
It was my honeymoon when I first made a conscious effort to pack properly. We had had a romantic winter wedding in the middle of snowy December – and my husband and I had booked a romantic getaway to New York for the following week. But that wasn’t all – to counteract the snow and the cold – we had booked a week (straight after) in Mexico.
The perfect holiday really – we had the magical snow and festivity of New York but we also had the sunshine and sand of Mexico. At the time I felt on cloud nine – getting the best of both worlds! But then it slowly dawned on me – that I would not have to pack for one season – but two. This is difficult – and if you’ve ever attempted it yourself I know that you’re currently nodding your head in agreement.
So how can you start packing like a pro? Ok. I’ve got the stuff. I’ll let you in my best advice:
Plan your Outfits.
I know it’s easy just to throw everything into your case and be done with it – but by actually planning your outfits day-to-day you’ll be so much better off. As a female who loves clothes – I know that I’ll want two outfits per day. One for sightseeing and one for eating out. This isn’t exactly ideal if you’re trying to make the most of space – but there are ways of getting around it. Try taking capsule pieces from your wardrobe that be used for different outfits – without looking similar. A great pair of jeans works for daytime and evening. A classic pencil skirt can be dressed down with boots and a scarf, or dressed up with heels and stockings. It’s the wardrobe version of split personalities.
Research the Weather.
I always look at the weather forecast before I visit anywhere. Whether it’s for a day or a month. Sure – for longer periods of time the weather report will get less accurate – but for holidays that last a week or so – this is perfect and crucial. If you turn up somewhere with the wrong clothes for completely the wrong climate you’re not only going to be out of luck wardrobe wise – but you’re probably going to end up buying more clothes whilst you’re there – which is going to be a nightmare coming home.
Take a big carry on and know your rights.
If you’re packing and no matter how hard you try – you just can’t cram anymore clothes in you case – then you can always use your carry-on allowance. Many people don’t take full advantage of this – but you can actually pack up to 26lbs in hand luggage on some airlines. But even a small allowance such as 15lbs will get you an extra few pieces, which you might have had to leave behind. Check with your airline to be sure – but this is the secret to clever packing. Most airlines will allow one carry-on bag (think – mini suitcase or weekend bag) and then a hand held purse or laptop case too. Which means that you don’t need to worry about cramming your laptop into your carryon – just invest in a smart laptop case and carry it alongside. It means you have more room in your carry-on for more important items, like shoes and dresses.
Don’t take things you don’t need.
I know this seems like a pretty obvious tip – but stop packing things you don’t need. If you can buy it cheaply when you arrive, or you can easily ask the hotel to provide it – take it out of your suitcase right now. Here are some things you shouldn’t be packing:
-A hairdryer: Most decent hotels or self-catered apartments will provide this free for you. Sure, it might not be as powerful as your one at home, but it’s going to save you endless space leaving yours at home – and it means you won’t be worried about leaving it at home.
-Straighteners: If you travel a lot then try and invest in some mini travel ones. They will save you the weight and space of regular ones and you can usually pick up a pair for about $30 these days. Such a great bargain buy.
-Shampoo and Conditioner: I cannot stress this enough. You don’t need to take this with you. There will be shops and supermarkets at your destination where you can pick some up. Liquid often weighs you down too – so you’ll be saving weight here too as well as space. Be smart.
-Razors: Again – you can buy this in local shops once you arrive. Then you can just leave it behind when you go home. Or – to save you the fuss of buying them when you arrive – just get a wax before you fly out! Waxing is the lazy girls secret to holiday packing.
My last tip is something you should pack. And that is dry shampoo. If you, like me and every other women in the UK has become hooked on the convenience of Dry Shampoo – then you need to take this with you. Not just because it’s awesome – but because it’s something that is incredibly difficult to find in many countries – as they still don’t stock it. If you do find it – it’s probably going to be double or triple the UK price because of importation costs.
So there you have it. You are now a packing pro. Now go forth and have amazing holidays.
About our Guest Blogger Milda Ratkelyte
Community Manager @ AsiaRooms.com. Born in Lithuania, studied in the UK, traveled around Asia and taught in Africa. Now residing in Singapore where, equipped with strong cup of coffee and surrounded by an amazing team I am blogging about travels, culture, events and hotels in Asia.