Whether you’re a first-time traveller or an experienced adventurer, packing is an art. The key to successful packing is to take exactly what you need, and keep things to the essentials. That doesn’t mean limiting yourself to a change of underwear and a toothbrush, so here are some helpful hints to help you pack without going over your luggage weight allowance.
Roll, don’t fold
Ask any experienced traveller and they’ll tell you that rolling your clothes not only takes up much less space in your suitcase than folding – it keeps your clothes in better condition too. By rolling you’ll be compressing your clothes down into a much smaller space, as well as preventing deep creases ruining your best holiday top.
Make a list
Don’t ‘pack random’, pack ‘smart’ – and that means making a list. Consider where you’re going, for how long, what the weather is going to be like, whether you’re spending two solid weeks on a beach or off hiking for some jungle adventures, and so on. Make a detailed list to start with, and then cross off at least half of the items!
Check your airline’s baggage policies
Airline baggage policies are different from one airline to another. Go online and check your airline’s policies to make sure you’re not going over your baggage weight allowance, or packing items they won’t carry.
Organise your carry-on bag carefully
That’s your suitcase sorted out, now what about your carry-on? Again, keep it simple with all your essentials in easy-to-reach pockets. A good tip is to include a change of clothes and a toothbrush, just in case your suitcase goes missing once you arrive at your destination. That way, at least you’ll have some fresh clothes with you.
Remember that fluids have to be in small amounts and carried in a clear zip bag, and that many countries won’t let you bring in items of food. If you’re carrying medicine then make sure your airline is aware that it has to be accessible.
If you’re driving, pack for the journey and the holiday
We’ve talked so far about packing for a flight, but what if you’re driving? You’re not tied to airline weights (unless you’re booking a fly-drive holiday), so you have a little more freedom on how much you can take with you. However, don’t go mad packing 20 extra outfits, and remember to pack for the journey as well as the holiday itself.
If you’re driving around the UAE or Qatar with the family then make sure there’s plenty to keep the kids happy – download their favourite films onto tablets (don’t forget the earphones for them!). Program your satnav for your journey and away you go!
Use the laundry service at your hotel
At Premier Inn, we provide a full range of services to our guests, including laundry service. Instead of taking extra outfits, make use of your hotel’s facilities and use their laundry service to freshen up your clothes.
Compression bags – a great way to save space
Compression bags are a fabulous way to save space. Simply pop your (rolled up!) clothes into the plastic bag, seal, and then suck all the air out using a hoover. You’ll be amazed how much your clothes compress down. Before you go home, ask your hotel reception if you can use a hoover to repack your bags. If you want to keep your clothes smelling fresh when you travel, pop a scented drawer liner in your suitcase or compression sacs.
Weigh your luggage before you head to the airport
Finally, before you set off for the airport, check your luggage to make sure you’re within the allowance limits. Use a lightweight suitcase so you can put more in without taking you over the weight limit, and make sure your luggage is easily recognisable - use fluorescent shoelaces to tie a tag on so you can spot your suitcase on the carousel.