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It’s fair to say we all go on holiday and only use half the things we take. We pack far too many toiletries, clothes and even find ourselves not having enough room to pack the things we need if we’re going away for longer periods of time. Packing can really be a nightmare!
So let’s start with how to stop overpacking. In relation to clothes, the key is having interchangeable pieces that you can wear several times but still look like you’re not wearing the same outfit. For example, with a few pairs of jeans and a few tops and you can make several different outfits without repeating one. Which leads onto my second tip; pack accessories! With a variation of accessories including scarves, hats and jewellery there will be endless possibilities to your portable wardrobe. Before you pack, plan each outfit. This way you won’t put things in your suitcase out after spontaneously saying to yourself, ‘oh, I’ll probably wear that’ when most likely you won’t.
If you’re going somewhere for a week, you won’t use a whole tube of toothpaste or a whole bottle of shampoo. Contact the hotel you are staying at and ask what they provide – most hotels have toiletries and towels – so don’t pack them if you can use theirs. If they don’t provide you with towels, the answer is simple: pack your own. If they don’t provide you with toiletries then there are several solutions, one of which being to buy travel sized toiletries including deodorant, toothpaste and shampoos. This way you save space in your suitcase and you don’t have to bring them back, just simply put them in the bin before you leave. A more environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative is buying travel sized containers and filling them up with your essentials at home.
Next thing: be realistic. If you’re going on relaxing holiday, you’ll most likely pack a few books. But will you really read all the books? Is it more realistic that you will just finish one? Books take up a lot of space in your luggage and they’re heavy too so being realistic on what you actually think you will use is a must. For any avid reader, investing in a Kindle can be a great way to save you lugging heavy cases across the world on a semi-regular basis. Every airline has a baggage allowance and even if you’re not travelling by plane, you don’t want to be travelling around with a heavy suitcase. If you’re unwilling to compromise on your case’s book content, lightweight suitcases are the best solution. Having a soft suitcase instead of a hard one also helps with packing as soft suitcase allow you to fit things into smaller spaces and provide a lot more flexibility.
A noble method for packing light may be to try and save space with fiercely efficient packing techniques. Of course there’s the well known ‘rolling not folding’ tip. Rolling clothes instead of folding them saves space and also reduces creases in your clothes so it’s a win-win solution! Finally, wear the heavier clothes while travelling. Trains and airplanes can get cold so jumpers or coats, which take up more space when packed as they are heavier and bulkier, can easily be worn to when travelling.