How to Pack for your Holiday

Wednesday, 15 October 2014  |  Jen - Escape 2


Read our handy tips to help you pack like a pro this summer. Let us help you on your way to holiday bliss and see off some packing stress.

The more planning and organising you can do in advance the better. Grab a Mojito Mocktail and a dinky umbrella to get you in the mood and read on.....

1.    Buy or choose an appropriate piece of luggage for your trip.

This needs to be big enough to accommodate your needs, but of a size that you can manage easily. Wheeled luggage may be a great option here. If you want to pack light, then consider a ‘carry-on’ bag that is sized to fit in an aircraft's overhead locker, reducing the risk of becoming separated from your luggage.

Go for something that is neither too big nor too small. Try to avoid taking too much stuff and cramming your case full so you don't have crunched and creased clothing to deal with on arrival. Luggage that is larger than you need can also result in a creased muddle that will need more attention at your destination.

Check the baggage allowances and guidance of the Airline you are flying with and needless to say choose appropriately.

Duffel bags are capacious and have the advantage of folding-up neatly when not in use. The North Face Base Camp Series is a seriously sturdy range of Duffle bags are available in a kaleidoscope of traditional and jaunty colours.

Read our Travel Luggage Advise page for further information.

2.    Make a day-by-day plan.

Think about what you will roughly be doing each day. List the items of clothing and any equipment you will need for each day. You could even roll-up each outfit together, saving time while you’re away. If you are travelling with children then run through the daily routine in your mind to ensure you've covered all the bases and will have all the necessary equipment (bar stuff that can be provided by your destination). Don't forget that you will more than likely easily be able to obtain nappies while you are away, so you needn't fill a whole suitcase with them!

3.    Whether the Weather be hot....

Having a quick look at the weather at your destination will help you include the right mix and help to avoid over-packing. Even if rain isn't forecast, packing a lightweight waterproof is a good insurance policy! When selecting outfits, chose pieces that can be worn as layers, then when its chillier you can always layer-up and vice-versa.

 4.    Choose versatile clothing.

Plan your clothing carefully, choosing items that can be worn more than once and that can be dressed-up or down accordingly. Some items will be easier to rinse out and dry than others which can be very handy if you are going on an adventurous activity holiday where space is more of an issue and washing will be essential. Accessories will be very handy – lightweight scarves or a tie, a couple of pieces of co-ordinating costume jewellery or a smart belt will take-up very little pack space.

5.    List It!

Assimilate the information you have gathered so far and write it out (pen and paper or smart phone/tablet). Use the list to gather everything together and stick to it! If you type-up your list, it will be there the next time you go away. And if you too are a list-aholic, then be sure to pack it - use it to double-check you have re-packed everything on departure. Its also handy to see at a glance what you have and have not packed, saving time searching for something that you didn't pack after all.

Alternatively download a travel packing app such as Packing Pro and get some of the leg-work done for you!

6. Sorted.

With everything on your list laid out, its time to organise your clothing. This could be either putting daily outfits together or by categorising into eg. shorts, trousers, tops etc. It is a good idea to think now about your first night, making sure that what you need is kept separately, to be packed last and easily accessible at the top of your case.

7. The Wash Bag.

Either purchase diddly travel-sized containers of shampoo, conditioners, shower gel etc, or decant your own into mini bottles. You could also check to see if your accommodation provides mini toiletry products to save weight and space if you know your hair will behave itself! Packing potentially messy stuff in zip-lock bags will contain any spillages and using a wash bag will corral all your bathroom essentials together for easy un-packing.

8. The Shoe Stuff.

Use the space inside footwear to pack smalls or anything delicate. Place the shoes in a plastic bag. Even if they are clean and dry now, it won't be a problem on the return journey if they aren't. A couple of extra carrier bags are useful for sorting dirty laundry while away. Stuffing shoes also helps to maintain their shape.

9. To Roll or Fold?

Everyone has their own personal preference here and to an extent it will depend on the type of clothing used. I find a combination of both methods effective: rolling items like jeans, shorts, hiking clothing, fleeces and jumpers. While collared shirts, tops, smart trousers etc will be folded and placed on top of the rolled items.

10. Index Linked.

Arc'teryx Index packing solutions provide a clean and tidy way to keep your packed belongings neat, accessible and easily identifiable. If you are packing collared shirts, the Arc'teryx Index Folder prevents crushing and creasing. Some people advocate using pillowcases to separate their kit, but this method won't be quite so user-friendly when it comes to knowing what's where and removing a single package easily.

11. Pack your beautifully organised parcels.

If you are travelling with your partner or family then it's worth divvying-up between the luggage, then if a bag should go astray you will each have something to wear.

Start with your pre-stuffed shoes in the middle and create a layer of rolled items around the edge. Keep filling in the gaps with rolled items without squishing everything too much. Next put your wash bag to one end with everything else you'll need for the first night on top of it. At the other end of your case carefully place your folded items.

12. Weigh-in.

Check the weight of your fully loaded bag on the bathroom scales. Now is the time to re-organise if you are over your Airlines Baggage allowance if you want to avoid a hefty excess baggage bill.

12. Label, label, label.

Attach a completed luggage label to your case. Only fill-in the address details of your destination to avoid giving out the address of an empty property to every Tom, Dick and Harry.... Put an extra duplicate luggage label inside your bag so that any lost luggage can be returned quickly should the exterior label become detached.

And now you are well on your way to holidaying with a tidy mind and a smug expression under your shades and floppy hat......


Do let us know if you have any other suggestions or tips that we can pass on.


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