Whenever we book our jaunts to some far-flung destination, we always tell ourselves that this will be the trip that we’ll pack light. We don’t want to be queuing for an hour at the airport waiting to check bags in, and we want the luxury and freedom of having nothing more than a backpack complete with everything we need for our travels. Sadly, the frustration of trying to squeeze everything we think we need into a front-loading forty litre rucksack gets the better of us, and we’re quickly resorting to the twenty-three kilos we’re allowed and wheeling out the gigantic suitcase-finding the best luggage set can be a challenge.
It’s easier than you think to pack light yet still have everything you need for your jaunt abroad. The idea is to pack smart. This doesn’t just encapsulate what you pack but how you pack. Take a look at this guide to help you banish your packing frustration forever and welcome in a new dawn of packing light.
There are so many travel backpacks available that it can be hard to know where to start. As a rule of thumb, you should be aiming for forty-five litres maximum. This way, you’ll know that the vast majority of airlines will allow you on the plane without having to check your bag in. Opt for a front loading bag. The top loaders can be a pain especially when you want access to your travel pillow for the flight, and you realise that it’s at the bottom of your luggage. A front loader is more like a suitcase in accessibility and can save the embarrassment of rifling through your clothes to get what you need.
Although it may sound a tad boring, it’s vital that you make a checklist of everything that you think you’ll need. This includes all of your clothes, shoes, toiletries and gadgets. You’re much better making a comprehensive list ahead of time and gathering all the items on that list before packing. This way you can visualise exactly how everything is going to fit. If you meander around your house packing everything as you go along with no preparation you’ll end up with a poorly packed bag.
You must do your research. Check out the climate and rainfall predictions for the destination you’re travelling to. There’s no point packing three or four sweaters if it’s going to be over thirty degrees every day that you’re there. If the weather is unpredictable, you will need to cover all bases. Pack a few sundresses as these take up hardly any space in your backpack. For the chillier days, pack a zip-up fleece and a thin weatherproof jacket. Packing plenty of thinner layers means over half of the capacity of your backpack won’t be taken up by a giant quilted overcoat.
How To Pack
Packing smart can be an elusive skill for many. However, there are a few rules that you can follow that should make this task easier. When it comes to shoes, wear your biggest and bulkiest pair on the flight and take only one more pair with you. The same goes for your fleece and jacket. Try and wear these onto the aeroplane and take them off when you find your seat. When packing clothing into your bag, roll each shirt, blouse, dress and pair of jeans rather than folding them. Rolling conserves a lot more space and also has its benefits when you land and check into your hotel as the chances are you won’t need to iron anything as they’ll be no folding creases. Stuff your underwear and socks into your shoes and leave your side pockets for your power pack, phone, diary or reading book.
When it comes to toiletries, opt for the travel sized items and only take what you can’t purchase abroad. If you have a particular Argan oil that is necessary to prevent your hair from being afflicted by humidity induced frizziness, pack it. Regular shampoo or shower gel can be picked up when you land, saving you space in your luggage.
Pack Two Days In Advance
By packing well ahead of your flight, you’ll give yourself plenty of time should you realise that you need to quickly wash something. If you lay everything out across your bed before you begin to pack, you’ll be able to play luggage Tetris in a much more organised fashion. Taking the stress out of packing is half the battle. You’ll also be giving yourself a good forty-eight hours to pick up any last minute bits that you might have forgotten.
When planning your next vacation, you can forego the stresses of check-in and arrive at the airport and head straight through security. Follow this advice, and you can master the art of packing light.