If you’ve never felt stressed out while doing your last-minute holiday packing, you’re either an emotionless robot or you prefer to travel carrying nothing but a small duty-free bag.
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We at Bright Side tend to suffer from pre-holiday anxiety as well, so we’ve compiled a list of simple rules for organizing one’s suitcase.
By following these easy-to-memorize examples, you will always stay in control of the situation and make the best use of even the smallest of suitcases!
1. Don’t stack your clothes — store them rolled up!
A great way to save suitcase space and make sure that your clothes don’t crease is to store them in tight rolls instead of stacking them on top of each other.
This way, even a cramped suitcase can easily house 3 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of jeans, 1 skirt, 2 swimsuits, 3 summer sweaters, 10 jerseys, 5 shirts, and 4 dresses.
2. Use vacuum bags
Vacuum compression bags are invaluable for packing bulky objects such as jackets, children’s clothes, soft toys, and bed linen. Such a method of packing will save you some serious space.
And when the time comes to pack for home, vacuum bags will prove handy once again — for storing dirty laundry.
3. Employ the ’pyramid’ principle
First, pack your shoes by arranging them along the suitcase walls. Next, pack large clothes, such as pants and skirts. Don’t roll them up — lying spread out at the bottom of the suitcase, these clothes will serve as wrapping for the rest of your things. Now, roll up your noncreasing clothes — they will form the middle layer of the ’pyramid.’ After that, roll up and pack the lighter/easily creased items.
Finally, pack the highly creasable things, cosmetics, accessories, documents, and small fragile objects — place them at the top of the ’pyramid.’
4. Say ’No’ to the umbrella
If you happen to own a large umbrella — leave it at home! Pack a raincoat instead, because it’ll take up much less room in your suitcase. In fact, we advise you to buy several disposable raincoats before going on holiday to give you enough protection from bad weather. And once the rain is over you can simply throw it away!
5. Buy travel-size cosmetics
All of us feel the temptation to pack our holiday suitcase with as many tubes and jars as possible. However, you’d be wise to resist this urge in favor of taking more useful things. While on holiday, try to make do with travel-size versions of your favorite cosmetic products.
6. Pack small things the right way
When it comes to packing small objects such as USB memory sticks, pocketbooks, hairpins, tights, socks, sunglasses, and reading glasses, place them inside packed shoes, cosmetics boxes, document folders, and suitcase pockets. As for your jewelry items, you can store them inside a pillbox.
7. Use coat hangers
When transporting valuable pieces of clothing (such as classic shirts, business suits, tuxedos, and cocktail dresses), rolling them up inside your suitcase just won’t do. To ensure that these items reach your holiday destination in wearable condition, put them inside holdalls without removing the coat hangers. This way, you can easily make use of wall-mounted hooks available inside train compartments and on planes.
8. Don’t pack more medicine than necessary
There’s no point in trying to fit the entire contents of your medicine cabinet into your holiday suitcase. Choose a more sensible approach by selecting only the most essential drugs. Don’t pack more than one pill sheet of each type of medicine — this will suffice to deal with any emergency.
To keep your medicines safe, put them inside sandwich bags and place the bags inside the packed shoes.
9. Don’t leave empty spaces
When packing suitcases, you might decide to leave some room for any souvenirs you might acquire during your holidays. Such a decision could cause your packed clothes to become seriously creased during the journey.
To prevent this, you should fill the empty spaces with small items of clothing or lumps of wrapping paper.
10. Only take what’s really useful
Things like notebook covers, camera cases, hairdryers, and travel guides should remain at home. Wrapping your electronic gadgets in a soft beach wrap or a hoodie will give them adequate protection throughout the journey. Paper travel guides can easily be replaced with smartphone apps. As for sorting out the hairdryer issue — you can make do with the one provided at the hotel.
The same goes for beach slippers, diving goggles, sun creams, children’s toys, and straw hats — all of these items can be bought once you get to your holiday destination.
And, finally, some more brief but valuable tips:
- Prevent your phone charger and earphone cables from tangling by wrapping them over a small pocketbook or some similar object.
- Wrapping breakable glass items in a sock and placing them inside a packed shoe will keep them safe throughout the roughest of journeys.
Prevent your packed shoes from soiling the rest of the suitcase’s contents by placing each pair inside a disposable bathing cap.
- Make sure that your favorite bra doesn’t get crumpled during the journey by placing rolled-up socks inside its cups.
- Make your shower gel and shampoo bottles spill proof by unscrewing their lids, putting some plastic wrapping over the openings, and screwing the lids back on. This way, even if the lids become loose, none of the liquid will spill onto your packed clothes.
- Prevent your necklaces from getting tangled during the journey by slipping them through a cocktail straw and fastening the clasps.
This post originally ran on Bright Side. Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova exclusively for Bright Side.