When you have a job that takes you on the road as often as mine your packing technique becomes somewhat of an art form. (Shakes out her packing cube with a dramatic flourish.) Far from packing on auto-pilot, I have a number of nifty tips and tricks up my sleeve to make sure I only carry what I really need and not what google tells me might be handy.
So behold, dear readers, my genuinely useful checklist to help you pack light and right for your next trip.
1. Try everything on before putting it in the case
I’m serious! Before I embark on a trip I try on every outfit and ask myself honestly if and when I’m going to wear it. I don’t want to carry around a skirt that’s too short or top that does nothing for me so by trying everything on and planning out my outfits nothing inappropriate gets chucked in at the last minute. It also means I can check what shoes go with what clothes and I try to get them down to 3 (max 4) including the pair I’ll be wearing.
2. Ask yourself: Will I really use the hotel gym?
I get it, we all have good intentions. We all genuinely set off on our holidays with the naïve belief that we’ll swim several laps before breakfast and take a run to work off lunch. But really? REALLY? I cannot remember the last time I used a hotel gym so if I pack my gym clothes and trainers they’ll only taunt me.
3. Ask yourself: Will I really wear this awkward-to-pack big floppy hat?
Hands up how many times you’ve stuffed a big floppy hat in your suitcase and worn it for a grand total of 10 minutes before pulling it off ‘coz you felt like a dick. Not just me is it?
4. Ditch the travel toiletries
Travel sized miniatures are a ghastly waste of money. If you’re really attached to your regular shampoo and conditioner pack a full size bottle and use the same one on several trips. If not, use the hotel ones instead – they are free people.
5. Go through your toiletry/ make up bag and remove anything you haven’t opened in the last week
You really don’t need it. Pop some dry shampoo and face wipes in the space you’ve created.
6. Make packing cubes your new best friend
I couldn’t live from a suitcase for weeks on end without segmenting my life into little cubes. The key here is not to go overboard and stuff everything into small pouches that you’ll never find again. Instead, I tend to use a large cube to store shoes on the way out and laundry on the way back, a second medium sized one for undies and a small one for all my cables, adaptors and chargers as you’ll always want to grab these easily. Amazon has great value packs of 7 – I like these for ladies and these for the lads.
7. Pack 2 pairs of knickers per day of the trip
Because you’ll have a shower before dinner and want to put on a fresh pair of knicks.
8. Fold, don’t roll
Rolling was my life when I was a backpacker trying to stuff all of Topshop into a 65 litre Berghaus rucksack. These days I prefer to fold items neatly so that I can actually see what I have in the case and can remove the item I want without unfurling all the wrong things.
9. Get the right luggage
People always talk about what to pack but just as important is the vestibule you choose to pack them in. Investing in some seriously sexy luggage that glides on four wheels with barely a nudge from you is going to change your life, trust me. I’m currently sporting an American Tourister Bon Air (with expanding zip because: shopping) and a Antler cabin bag that never leaves my side because it has all my blogging gear in it.
Luggage I lust – you’ll spot these babes coming around the carousel.
So have I converted you to packing cubes or were you already a believer?