Right now I’m packing for a two week long trip up Australia’s West Coast. So I totally need that fancy dress, four pairs of shoes, more than one towel, lots of jackets (it’s hitting 40c but you never know…). Packing can be a nightmare, especially if you are on a limited baggage allowance. Airlines can sniff you out in an instant as you struggle to stand upright! And people never like it when you take up all the baggage area on trains. Even popping home from university can be a pain if you cannot lift the weight of the suitcase with all the laundry stuffed in!
So here are a few tips which can act as reminders to help us all:
1. Compression storage bags. These can work a treat at compressing your clothes and keeping things organised. Especially for items such as jumpers which dominate luggage space. It’s also handy at protecting your clothes from any failures in your bag’s waterproof ability. You can buy ones without the need of a vacuum. And it means you can still fit that little bit extra in – able to purchase in many places including Amazon, TK Maxx, Tesco etc!
2. Write a list – pretty obvious but it can be easy just to throw everything in then arrive and realise you forgot something important (e.g. a waterproof jacket). You can also rationalise certain items and amounts of an item you are taking for your trip.
3. Check the weather. This can give you some idea as to whether you really need that pair of shorts or that thick sports jacket.
4. Lightweight towels, tents, silk sleeping bag liners instead of a sleeping bag (depending on where you go) and shoes.
5. Wear the bulky stuff don’t pack it. You can just layer clothes to save space from thick items of clothing.
6. Half it. Once you’ve laid out what you need in terms of weather, laundry facilities, obvious items etc, half it. It’s a good tip which is passed along by many travelers, and it works.
7. Roll. Rolling clothes, even if this gives you a slightly crinkled look – it saves a lot of room.
8. Use space. Once you’ve put in bulky items such as shoes and thick clothing, use areas around to fill in with the lighter stuff, such as socks. It will also be a fun game to try and find where you put everything when you’ve arrived!
9. Leave half your bag empty (everything will somehow expand) or failing that… use a smaller bag to limit yourself.
10. Essentials. Make sure you have the essentials for whatever your trip is. After that, it’s up to you what you choose to take. There’s always the option to buy or borrow anything you don’t have.