Learn how to be a smart suitcase packer with our top tips. Get the most out of your luggage before you go on holiday and you'll have lots of room for those all-important holiday purchases on your way back!
Hope you enjoy them and don't forget, if you've got any tips you'd like to share then I'd love to read them in the comments below.
1. Begin by writing a packing list
Every good vacation should start with a packing checklist. No matter where you're going or how long for, write out exactly what you need on a piece of paper or in the notes on your phone. This way, you'll be able to keep track of what you have already got, and what you still need to get.
2. Wear Heavy Clothes
Don't waste luggage space with bulky clothes. Wear your heaviest outfit to and from your holiday destination - bulky shoes, coats and even floppy hats.
Who cares if you look stupid? You'll be able to fit more holiday tat in your suitcase on the way back home!
3. Shoes & Belts
Use your shoes and belts wisely when you pack! Don't waste all that space in your shoes - put items like chargers and wallets inside them. Going to a smart event like a party or wedding? Use your belt to keep that shirt collar stiff.
4. Protect Glass With Socks
Use a trusty ziplock bag and a sock to help keep glass fragrance bottles protected. Roll your bottle up into a ball and pack them somewhere in the middle of your suitcase so it doesn't get knocked from the outside.
5. Pack some carrier bags
Whether you prefer to use a bag for life or you're working through an old stash of the plastic variety, there are so many uses for carrier bags. We now consider them a trip essential!
Here's what we like to use them for:
- Separating dirty clothes from clean clothes
- Keeping shoes away from your clothes
- Protecting souvenirs
- Leak-proofing liquids
- Trips to the local supermarket
Pack a few bags for your trip and you'll find they come in handy. They fold up pretty small too!
6. Fold Your Suit Jacket Correctly
Did you know if you fold your suit jacket inside out you can minimise wrinkles while you're travelling?
For instructions of how to do this perfectly, check out the article how to pack a suit in a suitcase from BlackLapel.com.
7. Roll Clothes Instead Of Folding Them
How do you pack your clothes? If you fold them, you need to stop what you're doing!
Rolling your clothes is the best way to get them to your destination, wrinkle-free. You'll also find you can fit a lot more in your suitcase with the rolling method.
8. Ziplock Bags
Protect your luggage AND prevent any future accidents by using ziplock bags to carry any items that might leak. You can also use them for toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Most hotels ask you to checkout by midday, so consider that some swimwear might still be damp too! Ziplock bags are the best way to keep in all of that excess moisture.
9. Protect your razor with a bulldog clip
Travelling with an uncovered razor can be very dangerous, especially if you're hunting around for items in your suitcase without looking.
Use a bulldog clip as a protective cover for your razor (and your fingers!). This will prevent it from scraping against other items in your suitcase too.
Trying to find your black suitcase among all the other black suitcases at baggage reclaim? Time to personalise that luggage.
Tie a bright ribbon around your suitcase, or go one step further and grab some fabric paint. If you've got a hard suitcase, invest in some eye-catching stickers. This way you'll save time and get to start your holiday as quickly as possible!
Want to save money on holiday?
We know travel-sized toiletries can get expensive, so why not make your own? Purchase some containers from a pound shop - these are normally sold in a travel pouch - and fill them up with your favourite products.
Another great way to get miniatures for holiday is to hunt for freebies and samples. Head to the makeup counters and ask if they have any samples of your favourite foundations, mascaras and more! You might even get to try something new.
We'd also suggest investing in travel-friendly versions of hairbrushes, toothbrushes and hair dryers. The standard size might not seem that big, but combined they'll take a hefty chunk out of your weight allowance.
Happy travels! If you've got any suggestions for genius holiday hacks, we'd love to hear them. Get commenting below...
I swear by roll up space saver bags when packing to go on a trip. I use them for dirty washing, which keeps the dirty or damp clothes separate from the other items, as well as saving so much space in the case. The roll up version also means I don't need a vacuum to remove the air.
Wow they sound great. I've never tried them but will keep an eye out for them in the future, thanks Emma!
take nice bars of soap instead of shower gel much lighter in your case
Even better - cut the soap into pieces to share between the family!
If packing underwire bras fill cups with rolled up knickers
Great idea, thanks!
Pack a card inside your case giving your holiday hotel (on the way out) or your home address (on the way home) or perhaps your mobile phone number. If your case gets lost, and is opened by the airline, then it stands some chance of getting back to you.
Ooh that's a fantastic idea, thanks very much John.
use resealable food bags to keep all your clothes neatly folded and safe from spills etc. Shirts etc will fit easily into the normal sized bags and underwear and socks into the small ones.
Thanks for your great tip Carol!
Some of my own tips from holidaying abroad and being limited for space when packing: Shampoo easily doubles as shower gel. Conditioner is fab on legs and underarms for shaving instead of separate shaving gel/mousse. Instead of lots of different skin cleansers, make up removers, soaps, moisturisers etc, a small bottle of baby lotion (I use supermarket own brand making it even cheaper) does it all...can even be used as aftersun. Plus...its pretty much unisex so both the males and females of the holiday can use same product. To cleanse, gently massage all over face with cotton pad (or, as I do, a bit of hotel toilet roll provided free, folded up!) then either rinse off or wipe off with bit more toilet roll/cotton pad/flannel. Skin is left clean and soft. Even mascara comes off easily...squeeze blob onto cotton wool pad or scrunched up toilet roll, gently massage into eyelash area and mascara will come off. And because it's baby lotion, won't sting eyes. a wee squeeze of baby lotion onto hands while in shower and rubbed in acts as an 'in shower' moisturiser after-sun type product. Also add wee bit of baby lotion to your hair conditioner 'shaving gel' to soften hair even more before shaving and to make skin even more soft after shaving; Unless you have a real dental health issue, then leave the mouthwash at home; it just takes up room in suitcase. Toothpaste is fine on its own. If you can, take a roll on deodorant as bottle much smaller. And, even better, if you are going to a holiday location which is pretty popular and tourist friendly, leave the toiletries at home! Take your toothbrush and sun cream, and even just what you have left at bottom of the tube of toothpaste at home rolled up so you can at least brush your teeth when you arrive, and nip to the local supermarket when you get there! Pretty much every supermarket has their 'own' brands the world over, and it's not hard to spot the toiletries section. Just pick up what you need. You will actually find you are less tempted to spend money on products you don't actually need. Whereas here, our supermarkets, pharmacy stores etc, are all screaming out their 'holiday deals' advertising fancy expensive products for those summer months when everyone is buying for their travels and are tempted or panic stricken into overbuying...'just in case'!
These are fantastic tips - thank you so much Jo, I bet your holidays are wonderfully organised!
Great advice Jo. Thanks ever so much for sharing! I'm also a big fan of baby lotion - it does everything you need. I also use conditioner as a shaving gel, it leaves skin really soft.
Put a dryer sheet in your suitcase, it leaves a lovely fragrance on your clothes.
Oooh, that's a good idea - fresh as a daisy!
Take a couple of bulldog clips with you, they'r great for attaching your beach towel to the back of your sun loungers no more straining your neck when they slip down, or fly up when theres a breeze.You cant take water through security which means paying airport/airplane prices, which is an absolute must have for your transfer to hotel.But you can take empty bottles through or your britta cups, most airports have drinking fountains,or if theres only warm water in restroom ask at the bar for tap water ( if your a bit embarrased say you have to take meds ) go the extra cheeky mile & get ice too.
Wow, lots of great tips Chloe - thanks so much. :) What a great way to avoid paying for lots of bottles of water!
Always a good idea to put a note in your luggage with an address on it, but I always use a relative's address (with their permission) who I know will be at home while I'm away in order to avoid returning home to possible burglary scenarios.
A relative's address - that's a genius tip there Karen! Thanks for that.
Great tips on how to pack stuff when traveling! I've never thought about the space wasted in your shoes. My colleagues will definitely like it! Thanks for sharing here, Rubbish Clearance Hammersmith Ltd.
Spread the word - thanks!
I have always 'packed in plastic' meaning that a sheet of plastic lines my case and covers everything once i've completed packing. Thankfully it once paid off with dividends a few years ago in Romania when all cases were caught in a downfall whilst unloading the plane. My friend and I were the only 2 on the tour bus with dry clothes! I know these days cases are better quality, but for the sake of a piece of plastic-I take no chances.
I always take a photograph of my luggage before I leave home in case it goes missing. Easier showing a picture than trying to describe it.
What a great tip! Thanks Rhona, hope you enjoyed the post.
HI I ALL WAYS TAKE A COUPLE OF BIN BAGS WITH ME IN MY HAND BAG AND CASE, HAND BAG ONES YOU CAN USE FOR SITTING ON , IF THE PLANE IS LATE, OR ANY WHERE ELSE, GOING BY BOAT PUT YOUR CASE OR COATS IN, YOU WILL FIND LOTS OF USES FOR THEM, LESLEY
Thank you Lesley - yes they're super useful aren't they!
If two or more are going away together split the packing into each others suitcases. If one case is lost or delayed you will at least have some clothes etc.
Hi Leigh. Great idea - there's nothing worse than arriving at your destination with nothing to wear.
At first I was very, very troublesome with my luggage that so much, very, very troublesome to prepare this very difficult holiday. Thanks to your article tips I do not experience it anymore, thanks! If you are on holiday to Bali do not forget also to prepare a place to stay for a vacation, do not worry I have apaterment recommendation that you can live with complete facilities, comfortable and of course will make you feel at home lingering www.theapartmentscanggu.com
Hi Adam. Packing can be really tricky - I'm glad our article could help you! :)
Hello, I keep the foam inserts from jewellery boxes and put all my earrings on them. That way you don’t lose them and they are easy to see which ones you want. Also the watch boxes, you can put your bangles on them to help keep them together and easy to see.
That's a great tip!
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