If you have ever had to sit on your suitcase just so that it would close, then this guide is for you. Just follow these tips and there is no more forgetting your essentials, nor having to pay for excess baggage for you ever again.
Things to do Before you Start Packing
- Make a list – Whether you are packing for yourself or packing for your entire family, having a list of things to take is extremely helpful. Consider your activities as well while making this list. Would you need any formal attire? Swimwear? Waterproof trousers? By using a list, you can make sure that you are bringing everything that you need without over packing. You can also make a list of any medication that you may need if you or your family have a condition such as diabetes or asthma.
- Know your activities – As mentioned earlier, it is also good to consider what your activities will be in this trip. For example, there is no need to bring a swimsuit if you are not going swimming. Or a dress shirt if you are going to be camping all the time during your holiday.
- Check the weather – If you are going to a place where the weather is erratic it is best to check the weather first before packing, although treating the forecast as gospel is a dangerous game. There are now sites that offer weekly (even monthly) weather forecasts that you can refer to while packing. This way, you can determine the kind of clothes you will bring and how many pieces you will need. It is worth making sure that you are prepared for the forecast to be wrong though!
Things to Remember while Packing
- Leave some room in your suitcase – Don’t pack your suitcase like it is the subways of Tokyo. Giving your belongings space to breathe not only helps in keeping them wrinkle-free, but it also gives you extra space for your souvenirs.
- Bring extra bags – There are two kinds of bags you should include in your luggage – plastic bags and a fold-able tote/canvas bag. The first one is for separating your clean and used clothes. The second one is for extra storage; in case you get souvenirs that might break or wrinkle if placed inside your main bag.
- Edit, edit, edit – There’s always room for edits when it comes to packing your luggage. A perfect example is bringing too many pairs of trousers or shorts. You do not really need to bring five pairs of jeans on a five-day trip. You could take two at most and get away with it. Another great tip is to pack dual purpose clothing for added versatility, such as trousers that can also transform into shorts when unzipped.
Packing tips and tricks
Shirts – These items are best rolled and placed at the bottom of your luggage.
- Lay the shirt on a flat surface with the front of the shirt facing down.
- Bring the sleeves towards the centre of the shirt. You will end up with a rectangle.
- Start rolling from the hem of the shirt, going upwards towards the collar.
Trousers – When folding your trousers, you can use the alternate folding method. Using this folding technique, you are not only avoiding your clothes getting wrinkled, but you can also save some space by sandwiching shirts in between.
- Fold your trousers in the middle vertically, so that the right edge and left edge of the waist meet.
- Lay your trousers on a flat surface.
- Place your folded shirt right at the middle point of the trousers.
- Fold over the shirt so that the bottom of the trousers touches the waist.
- You can place another shirt on top of where the previous shirt was positioned and once again fold the trousers. However, this time taking the hem of the trousers and folding it backwards, towards the centre where the initial fold was made.
- Repeat this process until you have got yourself a trouser -shirt sandwich.
Jackets and Dress Shirts
- First, open the dress shirt and lay it out on a flat surface.
- Fold the sleeves up until the end of the sleeves reaches the armholes.
- Fold the remaining fabric on both sides over the sleeves. Make sure that it meets at the centre seam.
- If you’re carrying a luggage, you can fold the garment in half horizontally. But, if you have a smaller bag, you should fold it vertically first, before making a horizontal fold.
Socks & Underwear – When packing socks and underwear, you can save some luggage space by putting them inside the pockets of your shirts, coats, and trousers. You can also use the alternate folding method by placing them in between shirts before rolling. If you are packing shoes with you, you can put the socks inside the shoes also.
Image credit: Christine und Hagen Graf