Travelling to a new place for a holiday or even for a business trip can offer you many great experiences. However, all of your hopes and wishes for a good time can quickly disappear into thin air if you fail to pack like a pro. Imagine that you open your suitcase to get your jacket, for example, only to remember that you have left it at home because there was not enough room for it in your bag. Instead, you have five different pairs of shoes which you may not need to wear at all. Lucky you! To avoid such nightmarish scenarios, you must follow three main rules when packing for a trip – don’t overpack, don’t underpack and know how to pack.
What to take and what to leave
Before you start chucking clothes and possessions into your bag, plan what to take. Consider the weather of place to which you are heading and make a list of the most necessary items for the trip. Divide the list into categories like clothing, documents, electronics, toilet accessories and etc. and do not throw it away. Keep it for your future travel adventures so that you can get your luggage ready without a hassle. Once you decide which clothes and belongings you want to take with you, do your best to eliminate one-third of them. This may sound odd at first but that will prevent you from taking things you do not really need. Nevertheless, do not get carried away with this game, otherwise, you may end up with only one pair of underwear, for example.
If you are travelling with children, you must bring a small first-aid kit with you that contain pain relief and anti-inflammatory drugs. That is especially important when you plan to get to your next destination by plane because most airline companies refuse to give kids medications even in case of an emergency. The reason for that is simple – airlines just want to reduce their liability in case children experience any negative side effects from the medications they were given by the plane’s crew.
The way you pack your items is also of a key importance. Make sure you have a specific strategy and that you use a certain method of packing. That will enable you to save a lot of space in your suitcase and keep everything neat and organised. When it comes to packing a bag, people are usually divided into two main types of packers – rollers and folders. Rolling and folding can both be effective when you want to pack more clothes and use less space. However, each of these methods has its pros and cons.
Team rollers vs. team folders
Rolling does not take a lot of time or skills. All that you need to do is to place your clothes with their front side down and make a nice little roll from each of them. With shirts and jackets, fold the sleeves before you start to roll. This packing method is most suitable when you have to take a lot of skirts, trousers and casual clothing on your trip.
Folding, on the other hand, has one key advantage over rolling – it prevents clothes from wrinkling. If you are a folder, you may want to try the multiple-fold strategy. It is more effective as it minimises the used space and leaves even fewer creases on garments. Take one unfolded piece of clothing and put it in your suitcase. Then take the second one and place half of it over half of the first one. Fold them over each other by starting with the garment at the bottom of the bag. You can continue stacking more clothing on the top until you fill your suitcase. Just make sure you fold the bottom item before you add a new piece of clothing over the one sitting on top of it.
Try something different
If you are planning to carry a large amount of wrinkle-prone clothing, you should use lightweight crepe paper. Tissues and napkins will also do the trick. Put the paper on the back side of the garment before you fold it and then wrap its sides with more paper. Keep in mind that this method is will not save you room, but at least it will help you save your clothes from creases. That is namely why it is perfect for business travellers.
An even better anti-wrinkle method you can use when packing your clothes for a long trip is the one known as bundle wrapping. As its name suggests, it involves making a bundle from your clothes by wrapping them into one another. For that purpose, you will need to stack your clothes on a flat surface. Start with the biggest and least likely to wrinkle garments, like a light coat, for instance. Don’t stack them directly over one another. Instead, place half of one piece over the half of another piece. Also, place the top side of the second item over the top side of the first item keeping them at 180 degrees from each other. It is best if you stack shirts and jackets vertically and trousers – horizontally. Once you have arranged all of the clothes put a small soft square or rectangular bundle of undergarments in the middle of the pile of clothes and start folding the items around it one by one. Begin with the piece of clothing you have last placed and make your way down to the very first and least crease-prone piece. When you finish folding, your clothes should resemble a like a big, yet quite a neat bundle. Put the bundle in your bag and you are ready to go. Well, this is not the best packing method when have to go through airport screening since unbundling your clothes will take some time. This also means that it is probably best if you avoid using this strategy with carry-on luggage. Still, bundle wrapping is ideal for short car trips, since it will effectively keep your garments free of wrinkles for a very long time.
Pick your favourite packing method, prepare your travel list and enjoy a safe trip!