Going on Holiday: How to Be an Efficient Packer
Contributed by Nadia
A few years ago, after consistently packing suitcases to the brim, practically being overweight before reaching my destination and returning to London wearing less than half the clothes I packed, I decided to try and adjust my packing habits.
If you find yourself frustrated when packing and want to travel lighter, with more space so you can bring things back from your holiday without having to contort your bag in all sorts of ways, carry on reading.
1. Decide what clothes to bring in advance
Planning what clothes to bring based on the activities you are doing can help you reduce the number of unused clothes in your suitcase. A general rule of thumb is to bring a2:1 ratio of tops to bottoms. If you bring plain colours that roughly all go together, it’s even easier to mix and match. Some people recommend going with a colour scheme (although I haven’t gone this far)
If going to a tropical climate, light clothes are great to pack. Another general rule is to travel in your heaviest outfit.
When it comes to shoes, multi-purpose shoes are ideal. For example, a pair of sandals that can work as walking shoes, beach shoes, maybe even evening shoes. Ipanema and Havana both do ranges of sandals that are perfect for multitasking. If you’re planning on going to dinner, then you might want to bring one pair of heels that can go with all of your outfits. Although it may be tempting to bring all your favourite shoes, it isn’t necessary.
2. Downsize on the cosmetics and toiletries
You’ll have no choice but to do this if you’re packing a carry-on. When checking a bag, it’s tempting just to bring full-sized products, especially if your favourite cosmetics don’t come in travel sizes, but all that weight adds up.
Boots and Superdrug do deals on travel cosmetics occasionally. Hotels are also great places to stock up on travel minis to add to your arsenal. Afrocenchix does travel sized hair products for afro hair. Their hair oil Seal is great to mix with the creams that you get in hotels that are often not moisturising enough. If you travel often, you might find it useful to have a pouch that is stocked with your travel sized cosmetics, shower caps, travel toothbrush, nail files, etc. which you can just toss in your suitcase whenever you’re packing.
3. Packing methods
Up until recently I never considered the effect that the actual suitcase has on the overall weight. If you know you are going to be packing a lot, though hard shelled suitcases may be sturdier and waterproof, they can add a substantial amount to your total weight so be sure to take this into consideration when considering your luggage.
To maximise space in suitcases, the jury is still out on what the best packing methods are. Personally, I like to roll my clothes.
Some people recommend the method below which involves folding your clothes into a sort of parcel. This process may be more suited for short trips as it can get bulky but is supposed to reduce wrinkles. I find it useful when packing weekend bags mainly because it keeps the clothes separate from other items. One downside is having to unfold the parcel to access some articles of clothing.
Some people recommend vacuum storage bags while others recommend packing cubes. I have read positive reviews of both methods but haven’t tried them myself.
You can play around with different methods to determine what works well for you. If you have any tips, please share below.