We have just packed up and moved for what feels like the 100th time in the last 11 months (its probably a lot more!), so I thought it was about time I shared a few of the things we’ve learnt along the way. One of the biggest tips I could give you is, if you’re not staying in a place for longer than 5 days, don’t bother unpacking – makes moving easy 🙂
However in all seriousness here are my top 10 packing tips to help you enjoy your holiday and not worry about the packing!
1 – Lay out all your luggage in various piles so you can see what you have and what you need – you never need as many pairs of shoes as you think! Putting everything you plan to take in organised piles makes it easy for you to ‘see everything’ and decide what you need and what you don’t, plus if you’re missing any thing 🙂
2 – Roll up your clothes before you pack them – this is a trick that Simon taught us all and it does save space plus your clothes won’t appear quite so crushed on the other side.
3 – Use the spaces inside your shoes and other things which are empty – Shoes not only take up a lot of room in your bags they also have a lot of unused space inside them – you can stuff all sorts of clothing items in them to make use of this space (this is not recommended for teenage boys and their shoes – trust me!). I also carry my own mug with me because I hate small cups of coffee/tea and we’re away for a long time – I can fit a pair of socks in a cup easily.
3 – Do up the straps on your back packs or get a bag for your bag – The last thing you want is broken straps on your bag pack, to help reduce the chance of accidents during transit you should make sure all the straps are clipped together and tightened or even better get a travel bag for your backpack – this keeps your important straps safe from damage.
4 – Take extra zip lock bags – use them for things that might leak – Zip lock bags are a must for all travellers – we use them to stop those nasty leaks of anything liquid in our bags, plus they double up as great phone water proofing bags when you’re caught in the rain or on a boat. We always carry a few extra because they’re very light weight and you never know when you’ll need one.
5 – Take a recycled shopping bag for your dirty washing – You know the bags we’re all supposed to remember to take to the supermarket but always forget? Well, we always pack a couple of nice ones (I have some from Paris at the moment), they are great for transporting your washing to the laundromat, carrying a picnic lunch or just for that extra shopping. As a bonus they’re also very light in your luggage.
6 – Make your bag stand out – Once upon a time all bags on the conveyer belt were black or navy now they and multicoloured and muti-patterned. I love red and would love my luggage to be red, but have you seen how many bags are red on the average conveyer belt? Just going with your favourite colour will not make the task of locating your bag easier – you need some thing extra, something unique! Like most people I tie a small piece of coloured ribbon to my bags, my mother goes the whole hog and paints her bags bright colours (you can’t miss them). What ever you do, do some thing to make your bag a little different from everyone else, you’ll save loads of time.
7 – Get a luggage scale – One of the most frightening things for budget travellers is turning up to the bag drop and being told your bags are over weight and you have to pay $$$ excess luggage! If you invest in a set of traveling luggage scales you’ll save you a lot of money and/or time shuffling things between your stowed and hand luggage at the airport! Be sure to chose a set that is light its self – most generally are because thats what they’re about, saving you weight.
8 – Take an iPad/tablet instead of heavy books – Even if you don’t have kids this is a no brainer, travelling inevitably ends up in loads of time sitting around – a tablet gives you access to not just a library of books but also music, videos, games, note taking, audio/video recording etc. All that time can be spent either catching up on the latest novels or being productive and preparing for your next meeting – its up to you.
Well, I hope that has given you some food for thought when you next travel and hopefully you’ll save some money and some time. I’d love to hear your travel packing tips, we’re always on the lookout for ways to improve this thing that is a constant in our lives at the moment – PACKING!
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