My Top 7 Packing Tips
A question that has appeared many times my inbox and Facebook is “Caz, can you please write an article on how to pack for travel?” Now, this is an interesting question to ask the girl who was known to travel to Port Douglas for a week with 15 pairs of shoes! (The compelling part of this tale was I only wore my Havana thongs the whole holiday…)
Fast-forward to my holiday in Italy last year where we did a lot of travel via train. At one stop I was asked where the rest of my luggage was, even though Simon accused me of carrying bricks. But the good news is that I only packed three pairs of shoes for the three-week holiday. Ok, I did purchase a couple over there, but I just packed three!
There are many things to consider when travelling. While flying, I always wear a pair of cargo pants. I have two pairs of Hugo Boss pants that are a touch too big for me. Great for flying as I wear these with a belt at the airports, which I remove while on the plane. Cargo pants are also fantastic for your destination as it doesn’t matter what the temperature is, they will keep you warm or cool upon arrival.
I wear them with a simple t-shirt and a blazer, including my “couch” blazer or this one from Carla Zampatti, which was my staple for Italy. A fantastic airport style and comfortable for the plane. But my secret is to pack a gorgeous, snuggly cashmere jumper from Sassind to also wear on the plane. Often, airlines keep the cabin quite cool, so the jumper will help you to stay warm and cosy during the flight.
It’s worth checking out Sassind if you are looking for comfortable and stylish travel clothing. Their range is all about classic shapes and cosy-to-wear pieces that pack well.
So how to pack? I have put my thinking cap on to bring you my best packing tips so you can travel not only in style, but be comfortable.
1. Travel Light – It’s The Weight To Go
Don’t be caught like I was in Bali where it cost me over $80 in additional fees. With many of the airlines charging extra fees for overweight luggage, it certainly makes sense to travel lighter these days.
Start by weighing your empty suitcase. With large suitcases weighing up to 10 kilos empty, this doesn’t leave a lot of room for clothes, shoes, hairdryer, makeup and other essential items.
If you have an older, heavier style, perhaps it is time to buy a new case. Look for the lighter weight brands, but be careful - many pieces of luggage advertised as "lightweight" are in reality no lighter than the older versions. Make sure you actually lift the case before purchasing (don’t just wheel it around the shop) and read the label for the specifications. You do not have to sacrifice quality either, as there are many genuinely lightweight cases available with strong shells and improved wheel systems.
2. We Don’t Have To Be Imelda Marcos
Ok, I know this one is a killer, but try to limit the number of pairs of shoes you pack, as they are heavier than clothing. You may be madly in love with several pairs, but make a start by choosing ones which will go with several outfits, not just one. Also be sure you have at least one pair that will be comfortable walking miles in.
If you buy a new pair to take with you, wearing them in is a must. I remember being at beautiful Versailles in a new pair of “practical” shoes, but not enjoying the experience as much as I should have due to the monster of a blister that joined me on the day.
3. Made for Travel
Check out the many travel-sized items that are easy to come by these days. Pack these mini sizes of toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and other essential items.
If you are packing a hairdryer, take one that is compact and designed for travel. Remember to also pack the correct power point for your destination country. (My Dyson travelled all around Italy without being used for this reason.)
4. Mix And Match
Plan your travel wardrobe with "mix and match" items. Pack one pair of jeans or shorts that can be teamed with several different tops. There are also lightweight reversible jackets that can be dressed up or down. These are often completely wrinkle free, so even more of a reason to take one. Pack one dress that you can wear during the day and then add some heels for night-time glam. Take limited and simple jewellery that again matches several of your outfits.
5. Roll, Don't Fold
Placing the items into your suitcase, you will find magic happens when you roll clothes instead of folding them. If you smooth the garments while you roll them tightly, they are not nearly as prone to wrinkling and you may also find that you can fit a lot more clothing into your luggage this way, which is always a bonus!
4. Remember The Little Things
It's so easy to forget the little things. Here are some suggestions for small items that are easily overlooked, but which can make or break a holiday.
Band-Aids and an antiseptic cream
Prescription medications. (Make sure you have enough to carry you through your holiday and find out if/where you can refill at your destination. If going overseas, check if you need to have a letter or script from your doctor to carry them as some countries have different rules to Australia regarding the supply of certain drugs.)
Sunglasses and reading glasses
Charging cables for your phone, ipad, tablet, camera, etc
Sunscreen and insect repellent
6. What Is Available At Your Destination?
Before you start packing, find out and consider what is available at your destination. There may be soap, toothpaste, and towels, for instance. There may also be shampoo and conditioner. It can save a lot of space if you don't pack what you don't need!
7. Weigh Your Suitcase
Weigh your case before you go. Stand on the scale with the suitcase, then deduct your weight. There are also several portable scales available that you can hook to the luggage and lift. This will save you the arguments and the surcharges you might be hit with at the airport.
Carolyn Rowland is a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching and A Professional Image Stylist. Carolyn is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.
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