Are you already counting the days until your next holiday? Before jetting off you will first need to pack your suitcase. When it comes to packing it’s best to be organised and plan in advance to avoid getting stressed especially if you have to pack not just for yourself. In this article you will find more information about the best way to pack a suitcase as well as some helpful packing tips so that you don’t forget anything important.
It’s important to make sure that you take your time whilst packing so that you can save space and don’t forget anything important. Planning in advance will help you to be well prepared for your summer holiday.
Below you will find some useful tips on how to organise your packing:
Draw up a list: depending on what type of holiday you are going on will determine what you need to pack. Whilst drawing up your list think about do you just need to pack for yourself or for other family members?
Allow enough time for packing: travel experts recommend starting to pack your suitcase or make the first preparations about a week before your departure. You will still have plenty of time if you have to buy medicine or need anything in particular such as earplugs, sun cream or insect repellent. You can also start to think about which clothes you would like to take with you or which clothes need to be washed before you go on holiday.
Pack your washbag the day before: the day before going on holiday you can start to pack your washbag. On the day of departure once you are finished with your hairbrush, toothpaste and toothbrush you can pop them into your washbag and you’re ready to go.
Get everything out before making a start on packing: before packing your suitcase put everything you would like to take with you on your bed or on a table. This will give you a better overview and you can count and check everything you will need. Once you have gone through your list you can start packing your suitcase.
If you have booked a flight, you should always put any important documents and valuables in your hand luggage. This way, you have them ready and with you at all times in case there are any issues with your checked baggage upon arrival.
Making sure that your luggage isn’t overweight is especially important if you are going to be going on an aeroplane. Airlines have different regulations on baggage allowances and the maximum permitted weight. However, if you are going to be travelling by car too much weight can weigh your car down and put a strain on the engine. This can have an impact on the steering and braking which can then cause road safety problems.
In addition, very heavy suitcases and bags are difficult to transport and also to carry. This is especially the case if you have to carry them up and down any stairs or put them onto luggage racks in buses and trains.
When it comes to packing your suitcase being organised is very important, as you can avoid taking too much with you, which will make your suitcase lighter and easier to transport:
Pack travel sized toiletries: reusable travel bottles made out of silicone or aluminium are an environmentally friendly way to reduce the weight of your suitcase. Simply fill shampoo, conditioner, moisturisers and creams into small reusable bottles and leave any large bottles or tubes at home. If you're going away for a longer period of time, you can also buy toiletries in the place where you will be staying.
Plan with your friends or family on what to take: if you are travelling with family or friends you can share certain products. For example, one person can pack a large bottle of sun cream and another person could take insect repellent. This is a good idea especially for any products that cannot be purchased in travel sizes.
Check the onsite facilities: bed linen and towels are provided in most hotels and holiday apartments so you won’t need to pack any of them. A hairdryer is also usually available.
Washing your clothes whilst on the go: you will need fresh sets of clothes if you are going to be away for several weeks. Find out in advance whether you can wash your clothes in your holiday accommodation. Lots of holiday apartments have washing machines and many hotels also have a washing and ironing service. This can help you to reduce the amount of clothes you will need to take with you.
Check the weather forecast beforehand: before packing your suitcase make sure to check the weather forecast so that you can pack the right clothes. Think about what the weather is going to be like in the place you are going to and are there any big differences in temperature. By doing so, this will help you to pack the clothes you will need.
Make sure you pack clothes with simple colours and patterns: it is best to pack clothes that can be combined with almost anything to make a stylish outfit. This way you can create lots of different outfits with less items of clothing. You could also pack a large scarf or a thin shawl which can then be used as headwear, scarfs or even beach cover-ups.
Choose the right pair of shoes: the right footwear is the key to having a great holiday. Make sure to choose sandals for a beach holiday, sturdy hiking boots for a walking holiday or comfortable trainers for a city break. However, only choose pairs of shoes that you will really need depending on the climate and planned activities and leave high heels or smart shoes at home. One pair of shoes is usually sufficient. However, if you need a second pair of shoes wear the bulkier or heavier pair during the journey.
Don’t take too many electronics: cameras, batteries and a half a dozen chargers can quickly add unnecessary weight to your suitcase. Therefore, think about which electronical devices you will need. If you are going on holiday with family or friends you could share chargers and some electronical devices.
Avoid taking too many books: you could consider getting an e-reader if you enjoy reading whilst on holiday. This way you have a variety of books with you at all times, but you will also save a lot of space. Another good alternative are audio books, which you can easily play on your smartphone.
Once you have decided on what you would like to take on holiday with you it's time to pack your suitcase:
Roll your clothes up instead of folding them: carefully roll up your T-shirts and trousers to help save space in your suitcase and this will also help them to be less creased.
Put anything heavy at the bottom of your suitcase: you should always pack your washbag, books or shoes first and place them directly above the wheels in your suitcase. This way, everything should stay where it is. Finish off your packing by placing lighter items on top so that nothing will become crushed or broken.
Make the most of the space in your suitcase: you can fill the gaps in your suitcase with smaller items of clothing that are rolled up. You can put rolled up socks, belts or even chargers in shoes. By doing so your shoes won’t get crushed during the journey. You can also use the cups on your bras for folded underwear.
Packing your shoes: you can put your shoes in bin liners or small plastic bags so that they don't leave any marks or dirt on your clothes. Alternatively, you can use shower caps to wrap your shoes and then you can even store them individually in your suitcase and make better use of any small spaces.
Use packing cubes: you can use packing cubes to save space but also to keep everything tidy and organised. You can easily sort your clothes as a set of packing cubes usually have several different sized bags. Packing cubes with a compression function are particularly practical as they can reduce the volume of your suitcase. Some travel experts also recommend using roll up vacuum bags to greatly reduce the volume of your luggage, however, this option is not suitable for any clothes that are made out of delicate materials.
Put your toiletries in a sealable bag or put some cling film over the top of the bottles to help avoid any leakages. This will help to protect your clothes and suitcase from any unpleasant surprises.
It is always a good idea to draw up a list in advance before packing as this will help to give you a helpful overview of what you will need. This is especially important if you are going away for a long period of time. If you are going on holiday with children or babies make sure to add anything they will need to your list.
Tip: In the following article you can find out more about how to go on holiday (almost) plastic free and with just the essential things you will really need: Minimalist travel: packing your suitcase for a zero-waste holiday
In the guides below you will find helpful information and tips on how to pack if you are going to your first festival or on a walking holiday:
Make sure to take a resealable bag with you, which you can use for dirty laundry and this will also help to avoid having any unpleasant smells in your suitcase. You can also use a scented bar of soap to freshen up your clothes in your suitcase or you could put it in the wardrobe at your accommodation to prevent any unpleasant smells.
Packing at the last-minute often means that you will forget something very important or you will end up packing things you don’t necessarily need. Therefore, plan and pack in advance to make sure that you have everything you will need for your holiday. Draw up a list to help you keep track of what you will need. Rolling clothes instead of folding them, using refillable travel bottles and packing cubes can help you to save space and travel lighter.
(Last accessed on 26.05.2023)
(Last accessed on 26.05.2023)
(Last accessed on 26.05.2023)
Cover photo: iStock.com/martin-dm
1. Image in text: C&A
2. Image in text: iStock.com/South_agency
3. Image in text: iStock.com/Boyloso