We all know the horror of realizing, too late, that you’ve forgotten to pack something vitally important. Or – perhaps worse – spending your whole holiday wishing you hadn’t brought something heavy, bulky and completely useless. Happily, there are ways to avoid these packing nightmares! Here are our top eight handy hints for a hassle-free packing experience and a relaxing holiday.
1. Make a list: Whether you’re heading to Paddington hotels London or the high Andes, you are bound to take things you don’t need and leave behind things you’ll want later on unless you take the time to sit down and write a packing master list. This way you can see at a glance exactly how many changes of clothes you have, whether you have chargers for all your devices and whether you have copies of all your important documents. Tick things off as you pack them and keep the list updated: you’ll be surprised at the peace of mind it brings.
2. Don’t get fancy: Bring clothes which are easy to care for and dry quickly. Any clothing that’s delicate, easily wrinkled or stained, or very expensive (with the exception of outdoor gear) should be left behind. It’s a good idea to bring at least one “nice” outfit, but this should also fit the above criteria. The rest of your clothes should be versatile so you can combine them in different ways and wear them in a variety of situations.
3. Bring something warm and cosy: Even if you’re heading somewhere sunny, you may find that planes, airports and public transportation have chilly air-conditioning. You may also want to sleep on long-haul trips, and a hoodie or big scarf that can double as a blanket will be invaluable.
4. Important documents: Make sure you have both physical and digital copies of all your documents, including passport, travel insurance, visas, driver’s license or other ID, birth certificate, important phone numbers and the serial numbers of all your electronics. It never hurts to have backups, either: your digital copies can be stored both on your devices and online.
5. Feet first: Minimise the amount of shoes you bring, since shoes are heavy and take up a lot of space; but don’t sacrifice comfort just to save space! Sore feet can make your holiday absolute hell. Choose a pair of shoes you can walk in for hours without pain, and bring a backup pair in case they get wet or break. Those two pairs should have you ready for just about any situation.
6. Pack smart: You can often save space by rolling up your clothes instead of folding them. Use up all the space available, including inside your extra pair of shoes or wrapped around anything fragile. You’ll be surprised how much you can minimise your luggage with a bit of juggling and Tetris skills.
7. Check the weather: This is obviously a must-do before you leave, but you can also use the weather app on your phone to stay informed during your trip. Leave the big coat at home if your destination is in the midst of an Indian summer – but perhaps swap it for a light raincoat if showers are on the horizon.
8. Book it: A guidebook is always a handy thing to have, but they do take up space – so why bother when you can download a digital version? An offline-accessible guidebook downloaded to your phone is a handy way to stay informed about your destination on the go while saving precious space and weight for extra clothes and travel accessories. The same goes for light reading: a Kindle or other e-book reader can contain thousands of books while adding barely any extra weight. It’s the smartest thing a well-read traveller can bring.