I think we can all firmly agree that the past 20 months have been the most restricting time ever when it comes to getting away on a vacation or a weekend away.
While we all know why the restrictions have been in place (to keep us safe from Coronavirus), we are also breathing a sigh of relief that we can now visit places that don’t contain our own four walls!
Restrictions have begun lifting throughout most of the world, so we can now start planning (safely) to get away on that holiday or take the weekend break away that we have been dreaming about for the last two years!
Here comes the drawback of a holiday… The packing!
Packing a suitcase is a real chore, especially when you do not have a clue what you’ll need, or even how to pack it properly!
Are you someone who takes too much? Or that person who doesn’t take enough and ends up wearing the hotel towel for the last day of the holiday just to preserve your very last put fit for the journey home?
Whether you are a suitcase stuffer or a meticulous right-angled packer, here’s how to make packing a suitcase a painless and efficient job while also caring for your clothes and personal effects.
Choosing the Right Suitcase for Your Needs
Here’s the deal… you don’t need an oversized suitcase for a weekend away, just like you do not only need hand luggage for a two-week trip to the Bahamas!
You need to pick the most suitable sized suitcase for your needs and pack it strategically so you have neither too much excess space nor do you have your evening outfit and underwear spilling out of the sides!
Think along the lines of:
- Hand Luggage Size – suitable for a 2-day weekend break or overnight stay
- Medium-Sized Suitcase – Suitable for a midweek Monday-Friday break or a long weekend away
- Large Suitcase – Suitable for trips seven days and over
Gathering What You Want to Take, Then Editing It Down to What You Need!
Are you a list writer? If so, you are going to absolutely love this one! Do you have lists for the lists you need to write?
Sorting out items to take in your suitcase can initially seem like an easy task. That is until your bed is full and you have no space left in the biggest case you own!
Condensing your assets is like writing a list for your suitcase by looking at all the possibilities and then narrowing them down to the essential items only. You’ll be surprised at how much you don’t need to take with you!
- Capsule wardrobe
- Shoes that match more than one outfit
- 1 set of jewelry
- Underwear that survives being rolled up/creased
- Accessories to change up the outfits you have
Try To Choose Clothes with Wrinkle-Free Fabrics
Speaking of wrinkles and creased clothing, choose fabrics that will survive relatively unscathed if packed in a suitcase.
We are looking here to avoid those fabrics that generally need special care and attention at home as they are unlikely to pack well and look amazing on the other end.
Fabrics such as:
- Heavy Cotton
They are not very good travelers and will show up every crease on their first night out! Instead, opt for fabrics that have a little movement in them, such as ones that contain lycra or elastane, as these are more robust when pitted against suitcase packing!
It always best toll where possible, and items such as leggings, cami tops, and underwear will withstand a roll-up. However, items such as shirts, tees, and wide-leg trousers may be best folded flat at the bottom of the suitcase where all the weight will keep them as flat as possible!
How to Arrange Items
This question of how you arrange things properly in a suitcase can totally depend on:
- The size of the suitcase/type of bag
- The purpose of the trip
- What your essential items are
- How long you are going for
- What weather you are packing for
So the arrangement can differ significantly!
The best way to fill your suitcase is the way that it can fit everything you need in it firmly, so you are not shaking everything around while you are on the move!
The best practice is packing:
- Heavy items at the bottom, such as jumpers and dressing gowns
- A layer of underwear where each pair is rolled up in a couple of socks for convenience
- Toiletries should stand upright in a clear travel bag and place down the side of the heavy items on one side (if you are traveling by air, you will be restricted to the volume size of liquids, so decant your favorite liquid products into the correct sized travel containers, which are easier to pack)
- Shoes should be placed inside one another where possible and put down the opposing side of the case
- You can place any creasable items nearer the bottom of the case to try and avoid wrinkles in the clothing
- Accessories can be placed in the layer between the creasable and heavy items at the button, preferably in a zip bag to keep everything together and cushioned
- Special jewelry or items that can break can be wrapped in cotton wool or kitchen roll paper, placed in small plastic boxes, and set among the jumper layer to provide optimum protection
- Medications and essential travel documentation should always be placed near the top of the case, making it easy to get to in an emergency
Tips On Packing for the Return Trip
So the holiday is over!
How many of you will bring home more than you left home with on the return journey?? Our hands are up too!
So how do we manage this? Packing for the return journey can be really difficult when you are flanked with dirty laundry, new outfits, and gifts to take home, so here are a few tricks to make it a bit easier for you!
- Wear your heaviest/most bulky items to travel home in to make space.
- Pack any dirty laundry into vacuum bags or mesh bags to maximize space – you don’t need to worry about creasing now!
- Pack any gifts you have in a layer between the dirty laundry and new outfit layer (we know you will buy at least 1 item of new clothing)!
- You can pop accessories in the toiletry case if the toiletries are empty; just remember to wash them out!
- Wear the heaviest pair of shoes home.
And there you have it!
Packing a suitcase like a pro can undoubtedly differ from the size of your case to the destination you are heading to, but regardless of where you go and what you take, your case can always have a little organization to it!
Remember to check the rules and regulations regarding case weight, hand luggage size, and liquid restrictions, which may differ from country to country; the last thing you need is having everything confiscated and end up really needing that hotel towel!
We know that packing a suitcase is a chore, but we hope now you might find a little bit of packing inspiration to get ready for your long-awaited and very well-deserved holiday or weekend getaway!