Packing can be a nightmare or a breeze. These are my tips and tricks for getting everything packed neatly and keeping your bag light before your next overseas trip! I’ve travelled with both suitcases and backpacks, and find that at the end of the day packing them is pretty similar.
1. Lay out all your clothes and shoes on the floor. Now take away half of them. Choose clothes that will match multiple pieces in your suitcase. Keep them to a similar colour scheme, and go for things that won’t wrinkle easily. I try to travel with three pairs of shoes: something I can walk in, something I can dress up if I need to and a pair of sandals or thongs.
2. Roll your clothes or lay them on top of each other and lightly fold them all in one pile. This will help to prevent wrinkles and creases.
3. Packing cells are the greatest travel invention ever. I only wish I’d known about these when I backpacked after uni. They have changed my life. They allow you to divide and organise your clothes and prevent your bag from turning into a huge mess. The ones I prefer are similar to this and are soft and flexible so they don’t take up any space in your bag. I’ve used them with both a suitcase and backpack and they made it so much easier to find what I was looking for in seconds.
4. Never take brand new full size products on your trip. Either decant your shampoo, cleanser and moisturiser into smaller tubes or take half empty bottles to cut down on weight. Even the most basic hotels will provide you with soap and some kind of mysterious cleansing liquid (supposedly “shampoo”, but who can ever be sure). And if you’re staying in proper hotels you’ll probably get a whole array of mini products to choose from. Unless you’re really getting off the beaten track you’ll be able to purchase replacements along the way if you need them.
5. Ditch the hairdryer. You’ll never use it.
6. Take plenty of underwear, and plan to wash it in hotel sinks. You can hang it out in the room and let it dry overnight. Note: please don’t do this in a hostel. It’s totally weird.
7. Remember… if you left something at home you’ll probably be able to pick a replacement up on your travels. You really just need your wallet and passport. Have fun!
Header image: WikiMedia Commons/Dirk Ingo Franke