Taking time to plan what to pack before you fly can save you time, money and hassle. How many times do you pack a lot of stuff, but never wear half of it? One of my seasoned travel friends replied, “Lay it out before you pack it. You may find that you’ll be able to wear a pair of pants with two different tops.”
It’s also OK to wear the same thing twice. When it comes to handbags and dress shoes, choose just one and wear your bulkiest items such as coats, suit jackets and boots, when you travel. Mix and match your go-to travel outfits. A favourite top, blazer and tailored pants can be mixed and matched for both casual and unexpected dressier occasions.
More tips to help make your next trip a breeze.
- PACK ‘DOUBLE DUTY’ CLOTHES
If you want to travel light, simplify your travel wardrobe to include items that can serve more than one purpose. A comfortable jumper or pashmina wrap, for example, is essential. Airlines don’t always give out blankets, so you can use it as a blanket or a ‘pillow’ when on the plane and then wear it. Pack one pair of jeans and one pair of black pants that can be dressed up or down. A couple of T-shirts is all you need for casual wear, and one dressy shirt will suffice when going out at night. If you need dressier attire, add a black dress, scarf and heels, while a smart blazer should work for men.
2. STREAMLINE YOUR TOILETRIES BAG
When travelling light, streamline your getting-ready routine. If you’re not dedicated to a certain brand, just use the shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion the hotel supplies and use the hotel’s hairdryer. Be careful of taking bulky glass aftershave and perfume which can break or is not allowed in hand luggage on international trips. Consider using up sample size atomisers or refillable sprays, roll or cream perfume instead.
Take the opportunity to use up those sample size products you’ve been storing or fill your favourite product in travel size storage. If you’re going to a remote place or a resort area, prices may be high and you may not be able to buy whatever you need, so taking enough to last the trip makes sense. If you can, get a clear travel bag so you can see all of your toiletries when going through security and on your trip.
3. COMPRESS AND PROTECT
Bulky items such as puffy coats for colder destinations that take up a lot of room in your suitcase can be managed by using compression cubes. If you have to travel with bulky items, compression space bags can easily compress your clothes. They save room in your suitcase and protect your items from dirt, moisture, odours and allergens. Rolling instead of folding also helps I find.
3. KEEP USEFUL ITEMS IN YOUR CARRY- ON BAG
Keep a separate carry-on bag with all of your essentials that you need to access during the flight – things such as a toothbrush, make-up, passport and a pen. ays.
4. BE PREPARED FOR DELAYS
Weather, mechanical problems and air traffic are just some of the reasons flights get delayed. To prepare for the possibility of delays, Radon suggests packing snacks that keep well, such as nuts, muesli bars or cheese sticks. For international flights with liquid restrictions, she suggests bringing along an empty water bottle and filling it at a water fountain once you’re through security.
Other items to consider include headache tablets, allergy medicine, anything for blocked ears including gum to chew, and lotion, because being on a plane makes your skin dry. Another item to bring along are disinfectant wipes. Helps to keep your hands clean!
5. PRIORITISE WHAT SHOES TO PACK
Shoes take up so much room in your suitcase and should never touch your clothes. There really is no easy answer when it comes to packing them. To maximise space, tuck jewellery and other small items into the shoes and then put them in shoe bags. Another tip is to pack rubber flip flops to ensure you don’t walk barefoot on the hotel or plane floor.
6. BE SMART WITH YOUR ELECTRONICS
Travelling with too many devices can seriously weigh you down. Determining whether you can or cannot live without your mobile phone, laptop, headphones and iPad is a personal decision, but at least streamline the cords and chargers. Remember to keep all of your cords and a portable charger wrapped neatly in a small container or zippered pouch.
7. DON”T PACK MORE THAN A WEEK”S WORTH
To keep everything fresh, toss in a dryer sheet (you might find you can forgo perfume altogether with this hack). To erase wrinkles in a pinch, pack a travel-sized bottle of a wrinkle-free spray (Downey has a good one) and spritz your garments on the go. For trips longer than a week, plan to do laundry along the way.
Finally if you are going on a trip with multiple climates, it makes things tricky. You might want to try to following.
First off, if you’re going for much longer than a week, resign yourself to doing a little laundry. (Your shoulders and back will thank you when you’re not lugging 17 days’ worth of clothes.) You can pay your hotel to do it for you, look for a nearby laundromat—think of it as a glimpse into the local culture!—or simply wash your dirty duds in your bathroom sink.
Second, get creative. This is the time when all those clever convertible travel clothes are actually worth the money, like pants that can be turned into shorts by zipping off the legs or jackets that have a gazillion pockets for all your odds and ends.
The secret to dealing with multiple climates is layering. The same lightweight T-shirt that you’d wear when strolling around the humid streets of Singapore can serve as a base layer during your hike in the snowy Andes. Keep your heavy layers to a minimum—you can wear the same sweater or fleece every day as long as you keep changing the lighter shirt closest to your skin. And be sure to bring your jacket on the plane with you so you don’t have to stuff it into your suitcase.
If your trip starts in a wintry climate and ends in a tropical one, consider mailing your cold-weather gear home so you don’t have to lug it around for the rest of the trip (or vice versa). An alternative is to bring along older clothes that you don’t mind donating or leaving behind along the way.
Good luck and travel safe.
Check out my related post: What happens if you don’t put your phone to airplane mode?