Some people can’t wait to start filling their suitcase ready for a long-anticipated holiday, planning it weeks in advance and making long lists of things they want to take. But, for many of us, packing can be a real chore that comes with the added worry that we’re going to forget an essential item or that something is going to break or leak during the journey.
What’s the best way to pack your cases, so you don’t feel like throwing the towel in before you’ve even started? We’ve got a few tips.
Tick it off your packing list
Organisation is key, although this can be easier said than done if you have your family in tow. Apps like the PackPoint travel packing list help you plan what to take based on the destination, your activities and even what the weather will be like, with options for travelling with little ones or on business. After generating your list, simply tick off each item as you pack it and you’ll immediately feel calm and relaxed.
Streamline your wardrobe
Unless you have no idea what the weather will be like, or what you are going to do, chances are you don’t need as many outfits as you think. Travelling somewhere almost guaranteed to be hot during the summer months, like southern Spain or Italy, means you can get away with a capsule wardrobe of linen trousers/skirts, shirts, t-shirts, swimwear and sandals. Don’t forget to include a light jumper, cardigan or jacket in case it chills off at night though – and for when you step off the plane back in Blighty, of course!
Rolling your clothes instead of folding them is a favourite tip among veteran travellers, as it allows you to fit more in. Remember that shoes can also be filled with socks and underwear, and if you’re taking anything bulky, like hiking boots, you can always wear them while travelling to save space. If you are still struggling to find space for all your holiday essentials, it may be worth investing in some vacuum storage bags, to squeeze everything in that little bit more tightly!
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Make-up, sunscreen and other toiletries take up a lot of room in your case, and it’s unlikely you’ll need them all while you’re away. Instead, decant your favourite beauty products into smaller containers and take any free sachets you may have collected over the year. Unless you have a favourite brand, it is sometimes worth picking up toiletries at the local supermarket or using the ones provided in your accommodation.
Delicate pieces of jewellery often get lost or tangled in a suitcase, so use empty containers to store earrings and rings, and thread necklaces through a straw to ensure they’re ready to wear when you arrive.
Before you go, think about what you’ll need during the journey, including your passport and travel documents. There is also no point putting the book you plan to read, headphones and baby’s favourite toy at the bottom of your suitcase when you want to access them easily. Make sure you have the things you need when you land nearby too, like a change of clothes, snacks and wet wipes to freshen yourself up.
And for the way back?
You’ve visited a vineyard and treated yourself to a couple of bottles of red to enjoy when you get home – but how do you make sure they arrive safely? The trick is to put the bottles in a plastic bag, then wrap them well using old towels and t-shirts. Wherever possible, check the bag in as ‘fragile’ at the airport and take any other items you really love as hand luggage. The last thing you want is to get back, only to discover your favourite white cashmere cardigan has been ruined by a broken bottle of wine.
With everything safely packed, you’re ready to go! Have a wonderful holiday everyone.
Peter Jenkins is a holiday and travel expert, with over 30 years’ experience in the travel industry. Taking his passion for the Algarve, he founded Sun-hat Villas & Resorts, a villa rental company specialising in luxury Algarve villas, but operating all across Europe and the Caribbean.