How many times have you reached the halfway point during your holiday and realised you didn’t pack enough? Or arrived home to see that you barely touched half the stuff in your suitcase? It’s almost as if there are only two possible outcomes: Over-packing or under-packing.
We’re about to prove that it is possible to pack light and still have everything you need – and it’s easier than you think.
1. Stop, Drop And Roll
You may have heard this one before, but it’s worth reiterating. Don’t fold your clothes – just roll them! Folding may look neat, but it takes up precious surface area that could be saved for all the goodies you bring home. Instead, try the ‘ranger roll’ method used by the US Army. Start by folding the bottom 5cm of your shirt inside out, then fold in the left and right thirds of the shirt before rolling from the opposite end and tucking the roll into the pocket at the bottom of your shirt. This method will keep your shirts tightly rolled so there’s no risk of them unfurling during the trip.
2. Embrace The Babushka Method
Ok, the name is something we just made up, but the strategy has long been a favourite among seasoned travellers. To save space in your bag, start packing items within other items – we’re talking fragile items inside socks, socks (and undies) inside shoes… get creative! And if you’re keen to take your organisation to the next level, invest in packing cubes to sort your items into easy-to-find categories – e.g. casual outfits, going out clothes, beachwear and activewear.
3. Go Neutral
When space is limited, you have to make a few style sacrifices in favour of practicality. While that multi-coloured, multi-patterned ensemble might make you look like a street style icon, it probably isn’t going to get as much mileage on the road as your classic jeans and t-shirt combo. When in doubt, stick to neutrals that can be easily mixed and matched. For warm-weather getaways, think chic white linen shirts, denim shorts, and a little black dress. Heading somewhere colder? Stick to one warm, versatile jacket and devote your suitcase space to easily rotated layers – t-shirts, jumpers, jeans and leggings.
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4. Be Smart With Toiletries
Full-size shampoos and conditioners are too bulky to pack and travel-sized bottles are expensive and never seem to have the right amount of product in them. Since no one knows how much you go through better than yourself, source your own reusable bottles in the size that’s right for you and fill them with your regular product. It’ll save you money, space, and you can use them again and again!
5. Don’t Leave It Till The Last Minute
We know, we sound like mum, but there’s something to be said for packing in advance. Firstly, you’ll have enough time to evaluate what you have and work out what you still need to get, plus you’ll be able to take time to figure out the best configuration for your items. Oh, and did you know that letting a packed suitcase settle overnight can give you 8% more space, simply by letting gravity do its thang? Alternatively, let your guilt-tripping pup do the job themselves 🐶
6. Keep Asking Yourself, ‘Do I Really Need This?’
At every stage of the packing process, make sure you constantly re-evaluate what does and doesn’t make the final cut. Do you really need five pairs of shoes for a week-long trip? What can you get rid of? Are you really going to read all those books? If you’re pushed for space, be strict and remember – unless you’re headed to the middle of nowhere, chances are you can pick up anything you’ve forgotten at your destination.
Now that you know how to achieve packing perfection, it’s time to put your knowledge to good use!