OUR EXPERT GUIDE TO STRESS-FREE PACKING


It’s a fact that our adventures look a little different this summer. But wherever we go, one thing is a constant, and that’s packing. Love it or loathe it, nailing your packing is the first step to a stress-free trip, so here are some expert tips to get you started – and, of course, some gear too.

Pack smart

Whether it’s a short city break or two-week holiday, this is no time for packing everything you own “just in case” – save that for the road trips. Our favourite tip is to lay out everything you want to take with you, then put half of it away. You’re very unlikely to regret having left an item at home, but you’ll definitely regret overpacking. Think a capsule wardrobe, where every item makes at least two outfits with other items you’ve brought, and you’ll be off to a good start.

The right order

Packing smart doesn’t end once you’ve chosen what’s going in – where it goes is your next move. Your shoes and toiletries go at the bottom – you know that – but think about the order your pack the clothes on top. Pieces more likely to crease, or that you want to change into once you get there, should go on top to avoid rummaging through, and things you’ll need to access quickly go in your side pockets. Top tip for an adventure holiday: wear your walking boots to travel. It keeps the weight down and makes sure you’ve got a decent pair of shoes on if your luggage is lost or delayed – smart thinking, right?

Space-saving hacks

When it comes to space-saving, filling your shoes with socks is just the start. It’s no secret that packing cubes are a lifesaver – they compress your stuff, fit together in your bag to reduce “dead space” and prevent items from creasing or spilling over each other. Utilise these - or dry bags as an alternative - to the max to make the most out of the space you have. Another space-saver is to combine the rolling and folding methods for clothes. Try both methods on every garment to see which results in the smaller packed size – you’ll be surprised at how many times rolling isn’t actually the best way. To save even more space, roll underwear and socks in with clothes.

Unexpected extras

There are plenty of little extras that seem random but could well become your can’t-leave-without. Your own spork is one such thing, for making street food a (somewhat) less messy experience and reducing your throwaway plastic, too. A collapsible coffee cup is a low-weight and sustainable lifesaver to take a cup out with you from your hotel, or pick up an artisan latte when you’d rather be exploring than sitting, and a foldaway backpack is handy for carrying your day-to-day essentials when you’ve stuffed your main rucksack with all your carry-on items. And, for women, always bring a light scarf. It’s sun protection and warmth, a cover-up in a place of worship, a travel pillow and blanket in one – and looks pretty great, too.

Leave space in your carry-on

If you’re the type of traveler who likes to collect a treasure (or five) from your adventures, leave space for these in your carry-on rather than expecting to put them in your checked bag. Managing the weight limit is enough of a struggle (thank you, luggage scales) without trying to predict how much your purchases will weigh and trying to make it all fit back in like it did at home. Just spare yourself the hassle on this one.

Keep the necessities nearby

Your carry-on can quickly become your lifesaver in the event of delays or other travel dramas. Keep all your documents together in a travel wallet, don’t forget your headphones and bring a refillable water bottle to the airport  you’ll need to empty it before you go through security but there’s nothing stopping you filling it up on the other side (nobody wants to be stuck drinking expensive airport bottled water). Before you go, pre-download some playlists, podcasts or videos to save your data in case you can’t get a connection, and if you’ve got the storage space, download more than you think you’ll need in case you end up with more dead time than you expected.v


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