Travelling is often a chore. The destination is usually the important thing while the time spent going between A and B is largely wasted. The same thing applies whether you are going on a short business trip or for 2 weeks in the sunshine.
You may be driving, going by rail or flying but somethings are the same whatever mode of transport you are using. Packing doesn’t change. You should learn how best to pack and consider the best compression packing cube to help you. Airlines will take your luggage at check-in so at least you can relax and pick it up at the other end.
Budget airlines have made a significant impact in the travel sector. Their prices have put pressure on scheduled airlines but their headline prices are not the final bill you pay. If you can travel light, extra costs are minimal. It concentrates the mind about packing what you need and forgetting surplus items because cabin luggage comes with the headline price.
Cabin suitcases have maximum dimensions. If you can get all you need for your trip into such a suitcase, you will save yourself money. No waiting at the luggage carousel for you before going through to arrivals.
Here are some ideas for you to think about, and perhaps to practise. Most still apply even if you are checking luggage in and have plenty of allowance.
1. Hard-sided suitcase
If your suitcase has firm sides, you know it will be suitable for airline regulations for cabin luggage. If it won’t close, repack. Check-in desks have a frame into which your luggage needs to fit if you are to take it onboard. You aren’t always asked to prove it fits but why take the risk? Modern luggage is designed to comply with standard regulations.
Hard-sided suitcases protect your belongings anyway, even ones that hold over 20 kgs and are carried in the hold of the aircraft. Ideally, your suitcases should have wheels and packing heavier items at the bottom at the wheel end will mean your luggage is stable.
2. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are small sealable bags into which you can place clothing etc. Once you fill such a bag, you can compress it to allow the air to escape and then seal it.
Cubes help you with your organisation as much as anything. Putting similar things together in a single cube, shirts, for example, will keep them in good condition, whether they are rolled or flat. Fill a cube and press the air out before you close it.
3. Plan for What You Need
You may have to put some things back into your wardrobe but get everything out in front of you initially and think through your trip. How many shirts and socks do you really need? If space is going to be tight, start to prioritise what you can leave out first.
If you are a regular traveller, deciding on what you need for a trip will become second nature.
4. Leave No Space Empty
Some items of clothing don’t need ironing. Look at it like this. You can stuff socks into your shoes without any problem or using up extra space. Shoes should then be laid out reverse, heel to shoe. Put them into a plastic bag to avoid them making anything else dirty and put them at the bottom of the case.
5. Use a Toiletry Bag
As part of your planning, think about each toiletry item you need. Place each in front of you so you know you aren’t forgetting anything. If you have a bag to put them in, do that once you are certain you have not forgotten anything. Having such a bag that seals properly also guarantees that if anything leaks, it will not affect anything else in your suitcase.
6. Roll or Lay Flat
You need to work out what works best for you, and that may depend on the dimensions of your suitcase. The last thing you want to be doing is to iron everything after you unpack. You may prefer to lay things flat, and that can be done in a packing cube. Alternatively, you may decide that rolling up shirts keep them in better condition. Rolling shirts and placing them in a packing cube is easy as well.
Some fabrics have properties that mean they do not crease and look as good when you unpack as when you put them in your case. That or at least once you hang them up, their creases will gradually disappear. They are worth considering.
Don’t just throw things into your suitcase at the last minute. Plan your packing and you won’t regret it when you reach your destination. You will be surprised how little time it takes to get into a simple and logical routine if you follow the above tips.