Ah, summer at last! Time for relaxing, recharging and far-flung adventures. Equipped with your passport, laptop and ili stand, the world is your oyster — and so much more so if you can shirk the sweaty stress of lugging around heavy bags. If you dream of bypassing the luggage carousel with nothing more than a cabin bag and a smug smile, read on for five golden nuggets of packing wisdom.
1. If it’s not on the list it’s not going in.
Before you even go near your suitcase, sit down with a pen and paper. Make a list of what you think you might need then go through it again and cross out everything that’s not absolutely necessary. Be brutal. If you’re not sure that you’ll use it, or if you can borrow it when you get there, cross it off. And then stick to the list (that bit is important!)
2. Dress ‘smart’
It’s all too easy to fill half a bag with clothes that never get worn, so think about where you’re planning to go and what you’re planning to do, and roughly plan out outfits in advance. Choose items that can be worn in several combinations, thinking especially of colours that go together. Consider packing just one ‘pallete’ – if all your clothes are shades of blues and whites, for example, probably nothing is going to clash.
3. Banish the bulk
Avoid bulky jumpers and hoodies and go for several thin layers instead — as well as taking up much less space, they are more adaptable for unpredictable weather (sadly, the weather forecast doesn’t always get it right) and are more easily washed in a hotel or hostel sink. If you want to take a pair of jeans, wear them. Finally, iron garments before you pack and fold them as flat as possible — crumpled or stuffed-in clothes are space hoggers.
4. These shoes are made for walking…
…not for clogging up your suitcase. Pack no more than one extra pair. And don’t bother with bulky shoe bags —a thin cotton shopping bag does the job just as well and is much more slimline. And, while you’re at it, make the most of the empty space by storing scrunched up socks and underwear inside.
5. Ditch the bulky wash bag.
You probably don’t need a hanging toiletry organiser with in-built mirror, even if it does look nice. Go for a simple cotton bag instead and you’ll be able to stuff it in a spare corner. Decant toiletries into smaller containers and be versatile. Shower gel can double up as shampoo and soap, moisturiser as shaving foam and aftersun. If you’re feeling hardcore, go for solid toiletries— they’re lighter, last longer and you won’t need to fish them out for security.