It’s a phrase that can strike fear in the hearts of serious globetrotters and casual holidaymakers alike – ‘you’ve gone over your baggage allowance.’ Every traveller and trip is different, but one thing is for certain: you’ll still need to pack your bags before you go and it can sometimes be a much bigger task than anticipated.
Whether you’re a last minute packing whiz or a spreadsheet king who plans their trip to the most granular detail, here are some handy tips to packing a suitcase to ensure you stay within baggage limits and keep all your belongings in tip top condition.
Before you start
Create a list
Don’t go in blind. In the weeks leading up to your trip start putting together a list to ensure you’ve covered the essentials and worked out exactly what you’ll need to take.
Overpacking not only means a heavy bag, but also an excess baggage fee, so be sure to remove anything unnecessary before the actual packing stage.
Do your research and don’t overdo it
Check the weather forecast and make sure you’re going to be dressed appropriately when you arrive. It helps to work out how many days worth of clothes you’ll need before it’s time to hit a laundromat.It’s also good to go through your list a few days before and ensure the non-essentials are removed of before they take up unnecessary space in your bags. Shoes are going to be the heaviest item you’ll be packing so try and keep it to one or two pair of casual shoes and one formal pair if your trip warrants it.
When you start
- Plan a strategy – Rolling or Folding
If you’re looking to be as space efficient as possible, roll and coil your clothes as this will take up a lot less room than folding. A great hint for families and casual travellers, roll clothes as tightly as you can muster and lie items which wrinkle easily as flat as possible to avoid excess creases.
To keep your weight down, folding can often do the trick and make unpacking a much easier task. Especially useful if you’re a business traveller or heading overseas for a wedding, be sure to place any dress shirts or items which require a bit more care on top or even place plastic or tissue in between delicate items, so that you can lie them flatter and avoid a whole lot of ironing when you arrive.
Sometimes using a combination of both methods is the winner though, so be sure to consider your space wisely, use your Tetris skills and pack as efficiently as possible.
Put large or heavy clothes in the bottom, move anything fragile to the centre and add your toiletries on top
It helps to keep anything particularly fragile in the centre of your suitcase, padded by clothes. Not only does it cushion your delicates from any tumbles during transit but it also means they’re easier to find and move to a safe spot once you land.
Save yourself the hassle and pack your toiletry bag on top so as soon as you land you’re ready to brush your teeth or hop in the shower to wind down.
- Use any spaces for lighter items such as underwear and socks
Socks and underwear are among the easiest items to pack so try and save them til last, as well as things like gloves and scarves. Slotting them in gaps or placing your socks inside shoes is a good way to save space and use up those unwanted gaps.Belts are great to line your belt with, and snaking them around the lining of a bag is a great way to make room and keep them out of the centre (which is prime real estate!)
Pack a compression bag or purchase one when you’re abroad
Compression bags are great for saving space and also turn into a useful spot to put any dirty clothes when you reach the end of your trip and are hurriedly trying to make room for all the souvenirs you’ve picked up.These bags can reduce the content’s volume by up to 80 percent making, making them a lifesaver if you’re packing way more than is physically going to fit in your bag.
Need more travel tips? Take a look at Webjet’s blog and find more ways to get the most out of your next trip.