There are various approaches to take when it comes to packing. Perhaps you are a pack as you go person? Or THE master of lists, planning long before a t-shirt even sees an open suitcase? Or maybe, you are just a last-minute-throw-it-in-and-hope-for-the best packer?
We hone our packing skills over the years, no doubt through a lot of trial and error. But no matter how good we have got, there is always room to improve our holiday packing skills.
Don’t agree with us?
Hands up all those of us...that don’t use half the stuff we packed - more shoes than you can wave a bucket and spade at? Or those of us who use the whole family to weigh the case down whilst they close it up?
Here’s our top holiday packing hacks to get the most out of your suitcase that will have even Mary Poppins throwing out her carpet bag in jealousy.
Planning what to wear can really help streamline what clothes to take. The best place to start is actually looking at the weather forecast. If you are going to be inundated with sun, how many cardigans or hoodies are you all going to need? Another great idea is to pack mix-and-match looks, selecting pieces that can be worn interchangeably with each other makes for a versatile wardrobe but less to take with you.
Fill the gaps
We’re thinking tetris. You’ll often find much space is lost due to more awkward shaped items - we’re looking at you, shoes! Try filling the inside of your shoes with smaller items to make best use of that space. We’d perhaps suggest giving sweaty teenage shoes a wide berth.
Roll your clothes
We’re advocates of the rolling technique. Rolling clothes not only saves space it reduces the chances of creases. But if you are worried for those items like linen, that crease everytime you blink, then we found this great tip, where wrapping clothes around each other stops them wrinkling.
Buy it there
Unless you are planning a trip to the moon - the travel industry isn’t quite there yet - there are many things you can forgo packing and pick up at local shops, and have fun seeing how things are named too...Lays crisps, we know you are just Walkers in disguise, but we’ll pass on trying Pee Cola thank you. Just pack enough essentials like shampoo and shower gel to get you through the first few days whilst you settle in.
Also remember that if you are staying in a hotel, they will very often supply toiletries and beach towels, so check out what they offer.
Toiletry mini bar
If you can’t live without your own toiletries, then to save space and weight by either decanting your products into bottles like these from Muji, or by buying travel-sized versions of your favourite products, or if you all don’t mind sharing products rather than doubling up take one bottle of each product instead. Also, avoid spillages by packing toiletries in a waterproof bag, and place fragrances in a sock to avoid breakages.
Family holiday entertainment often includes either music, books, movies and games, or in the case of most families a combination of the above. But you can very quickly eat up your baggage weight allowance if you were to pack all that. That’s where tablets come into their own. By uploading all your holiday entertainment onto your devices, you can leave weighty tomes and the travel scrabble at home.
There is nothing worse than having to sort out washing when you’ve just got back from a relaxing holiday. Forgo any fancy washing bag or a plastic bag (they’re bad for our lovely seas), and grab a pillowcase to store dirty holiday clothes in. The beauty of this little tip is, when you get home just throw the whole thing into the washing machine. Plus, it also avoids the ‘are these pants clean or dirty’ debate!
Not all shoes come with a fancy dust bag. To avoid shoes being scuffed or dirtying your clothes - no one wants a footprint in the middle of a white t-shirt, then wrap shoes in showercaps. These will protect everything in your case, plus can be used themselves.
If you are tipping your hold luggage limit - and if you are, do you really need that garden sink?! Then make sure you are really taking advantage of your full family baggage allowance. Firstly, check your airlines, who can vary on what they allow. Secondly, maximise the benefit of your hand luggage allowance by getting a case that is sized to requirements - may we suggest a rather fine Jurni - making best use of this additional free space.
Got these packing hacks and more covered? Let us know your top tips in the comments below.