Buy a lightweight suitcase
Don’t assume that buying the most expensive designer suitcase will get you an upgrade, instead, it’s more likely to attract thieves at the airport and on your travels. It’s better to be inconspicuous and go for a lightweight option. If you’re using a hardshell suitcase, this can add up to 4 kilos of weight before you’ve even started packing, so expensive isn’t always best. Remember some airlines charge per checked-in bag. Do you really need 20kg each? Could you check in a 20kg bag between both of you. Remember you still have hand luggage you can use for clothes etc…
Write a list so you don’t forget your essentials. Don’t’ leave packing till the night before. Ideally 4 – 7 days prior. Packing too early can mean you pack more as you forget what you packed.
Divide and rule
One rule to ensure everything fits is when you have your selection laid out on your bed, just cut it in half. Drastic, but it forces you to focus and just remember all the items you have taken on holiday before and never worn. Consider everything you might be doing (tennis? posh dinners? hiking? swimming? city explorations?) – then put your favourite items for these scenarios on your bed in piles of tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, beauty favourites, jackets/coverups, swimwear. Anything that doesn’t have a specific use doesn’t need to come without you. Colour code your clothes – look at everything and choose items based on the fact they will work with lots of other items. Thinking of a colour palette makes this even simpler.
Make use of ’empty’ spaces such as shoes
When it comes to packing, you need to make use of every little space you can. Roll tops/underwear/socks and other small items and stuff them into your shoes to make sure every possible space is filled.
Don’t arrive at your holiday destination and be faced with a pile of ironing. To save space and stop creasing, roll your clothes instead of folding them or leave them flat.
Slip in some scarves
Scarves add very little to your load and will multi-task on holiday like a pro. Use to double over as a mini skirt on the beach, as a cover up over a bikini en-route to the bar, turban style on your head to protect hair during serious sun bathing and, of course, conventionally around your neck to brighten up a plain top or protect shoulders from sun during lunchtime.
Dress for success
Dresses are very hard-working and also scream “holiday glamour” – a good choice for slimming down that suitcase. In the day, wear with flats, beach with flip flops and sunglasses, then use the same piece by night with heels and lipstick.
Luggage scales will save you money
This is the secret weapon to help you avoid being charged unnecessary fees at the airport. Invest in some luggage scales and make sure you weigh your bags on both legs of the journey to see how close you are to reaching the weight limit. If you’re close to the limit, consider wearing some of the heavier items or cutting down on what you pack in the first place (especially when it comes to heavy toiletries as you can just buy them at your destination). Some hotels also rent towels than taking them with you.
Remember when buying items on holiday to take home that you have enough luggage allowance. Alternatively, you can contact the airline to buy more allowance in advance than waiting till you get to the airport as more expensive.