It's that time of year again, the holidays! And what better way to celebrate than by spending time with loved ones and enjoying a few days off from work? There are times when we would like to take the whole house with us, and we fill our suitcase with so many "just in cases" that at the end of the trip, we never use them, making us run out of space in our luggage.
If you are one of those persons that can't resist the impulse to take everything with you, then this article is for you. Would you like to know some tricks that will save you time and space when you go on holiday?
Here are some great tips for packing your holiday luggage so that you can fit everything you need without overpacking. So, are you ready to pack like a pro?
1- WHAT ARE THE WEATHER LIKE IN YOUR DESTINATION?
Planning is what will truly save you space. Start by checking what the weather will be like at your destination. This will give you indications about the type of clothes you will need and will also save you from having to buy clothes when you arrive at your destination, sometimes we have a misconception about the weather in certain countries, and when we get there we find that the clothes we have in the suitcase do not match the weather of the country so it is super important to always check the weather before packing for a family holiday.
2- WHICH ACTIVITIES ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
Research the activities you can do in your destination, such as walking, swimming, hiking etc. These can influence what you need to take with you, it is not the same going to the sea, to the mountains or to visit a big city, each destination requires a different type of clothing, so it is important to take into account the type of destination and activities you will do on your trip. Despite this, there are some things you should always have in your suitcase, no matter what type of holiday you take. So the first tip is to plan and research what you want to do before you pack. Then decide what you absolutely have to take and what you are happy to leave at home.
3- MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH YOU ON YOUR HOLIDAY
Make a list of things you need, and try not to add extra items. A list will keep you organised and help you only to pack the essentials. When going through your list, ask yourself, "Will I really need this on my trip?" If the answer is no, then you probably don't need to pack it.
Lists are helpful for short and long trips. When we go for a short period of time, sometimes we take with us many unnecessary items that we eventually do not end up using at all. Therefore I recommend using a list and stick to the essentials.
For longer trips, the space and weight of the suitcase are vital, because at the airports you have to adapt to the weight and the measurements set by the airlines and if you exceed them you will have to pay more, and this can be an unfortunate way to start your trip, but you can use the list to help organise your necessities and choose the best option to take with you.
In order to take full advantage of a list, I suggest breaking it down into smaller categories. For example, make lists of items such as: clothes, accessories, toiletries, documentation, technology etc. this way, the list won't be so overwhelming, and you can tick things off as you go!
The list will have the same structure if you go on a short or a long trip. You just need to reduce the quantities of the items you take with you.
4- PACK ITEMS IN YOUR SUITCASE THAT SERVE MULTIPLE PROPOSE
I recommend you choose the outfits you are going to wear for each day before you go on holiday. Pick a variety of colours that you can mix and match between them to create different looks.
Try to make several outfits with each garment you choose so you will need fewer clothes, and the ones you take with you will be able to use them more.
Use multi-purpose items such as a skirt or dress that you can wear during the day as well as at night. These types of clothes will help you save on space and allow you to take less clothing.
5- ACCESSORIES WILL SAVE YOU SPACE IN YOUR SUITCASE
Make your accessories your best allies. I am a lover of them because the simplest look can be transformed by a few accessories according to the occasion.
They can add a touch of colour or make a casual outfit look elegant by simply adding some pretty earrings or a matching necklace.
Also, by changing the accessories, you can wear the same outfit repeatedly and make the visual effect that you are wearing a different outfit without anyone noticing.
Instead of packing many clothes with you, have fun playing with accessories instead. Take a few statement pieces, such as a necklace or scarf, which you can easily wear with many different outfits. Mix and match these items with other pieces to create new and unique looks each time you wear them. This will help make your suitcase look less cluttered while still giving you many outfit options!
6- WHAT ARE THE BEST FABRICS TO TRAVEL WITH?
The fabric of your garments and any accessories can have a significant impact on how much your suitcase weighs and how much space they take up in it. Lighter materials will take up less room in your bag and will weigh less, which makes them ideal for taking when travelling as they are easier to carry than heavy clothing. However, lighter fabrics may crease more quickly and need ironing before use which could make them more challenging to travel with.
If you need a coat or jacket for your holiday, make sure it is easy to fold into a compact size to save space, or you wear it on the trip on instead of packing it in your suitcase.
Avoid fabrics that wrinkly easily, like silk or linen, as these will crease up and become difficult to iron once you arrive at your destination.
7- IS IT BETTER TO FOLD OR TO ROLL?
When you're travelling, one of the best ways to reduce your load is to roll your clothes rather than folding them. Rolling your clothes saves up to a third of the space in your luggage. It also reduces wrinkles and improves your packing efficiency because rolling allows you to place the same amount of items in a smaller space. For example, two shirts could be rolled up into the same size as one shirt when folded in half.
Another way to pack your holiday suitcase is by rolling a whole outfit together. If you've decided that you're going to wear a different look for each day of your trip, you can pack each item of clothing you'll wear that day together. For example, if one day you plan to wear a shirt with a jumper and a pair of jeans, you can put all the items together, including socks or any other accessories.
8- DO YOU USE PACKING CUBES?
If you don't hear about them before, I will uncover to you the master key to saving space and keeping your suitcase tidy and organised today. I am sure they will be from now on an essential when you pack for your holidays.
These little cube-shaped compartments come in all shapes, sizes and materials, and they will help to reduce the bulkiness of your suitcase and keep all of your belongings neatly organised.
You can use them to separate tops from bottoms and keep all of your smaller items together so that you can quickly find what you're looking for without having to dig through everything to find what you want.
They also help to keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones so that you can keep your suitcase smelling fresh and clean throughout the trip.
The idea of using packing cubes is very simple: compartmentalise your luggage.
You can use these cubes for your clothes but also for your beauty products, or technological ones, use the small ones to keep all the charges and cables and another for accessories like belts or jewellery. These little pieces usually are thrown on the suitcase and then it is difficult to find them when you need them, but with that little pockets, everything would be in one place and will save you from losing it.
9- WHAT CLOTHES OR ACCESSORIES GO AT THE BOTTOM OR TOP OF THE SUITCASE?
At the bottom of the suitcase, you should place the heaviest and bulkiest objects, and the lighter and smaller items you can put them at the top.
Shoes, hats, umbrellas and large beach towels should go at the bottom. Make sure to put your shoes in individual bags to keep the clothes clean and dust free. If you are short of space, you can use your shoes to keep socks or accessories inside them, so you make the most of all the space in your luggage.
On top of the shoes or towels, you can place your packing cubes with your clothing and other travel essentials Like the toiletry bag, jewellery and accessories or the technology bag. Remember to take a bag for your dirty clothes so that you can separate your clean clothes from the dirty ones later.
10- HOW CAN I FOLD THE CLOTHES NOT TO CREASE?
For t-shirts, shirts, dresses, and thing jumpers, lay them face down, take one side and fold it toward the centre, then fold the sleeve back in the other direction. Repeat on the other side. Once you have a long rectangular shape, fold the top of the shirt down toward the hem, leaving a little space on the bottom. Fold them in half again.
For thick jumpers, lay them face down, fold the sleeve toward the centre, and the other sleeve too, then fold the hem up to the collar and fold it in half in the middle.
For jeans, fold them in half lengthwise, with the front side facing in and the back pockets facing out. Then fold the bottom hem up toward the waistband and again into thirds.
I hope all these tricks have been helpful in saving space in your suitcase. Let me know if you put them into practice or if you need a little help to plan all the outfits you'll take on your next trip.