Packing 101 for Beginners: 4 Important Tips

What, on this planet, is more exciting than getting on a plane and feeling the same total freedom as the birds that soar the sky? I can’t think of anything besides my mother’s mouth watering slow cooked Lamb chops every Friday. The feeling of being in the sky is like nothing else I’ve experienced, but what is worse that packing the wrong items for your beach break or forgetting the paddle for your creek expedition? Avoid a holiday disaster with my travel checklist and packing tips, derived from my own experiences.


Leave your wardrobe at Home

One of the most common mistakes I used to make is taking my entire wardrobe with me everywhere I went. Not only is it entirely unnecessary but it can also cost you a pretty penny if you over pack and go over your allocated luggage weight allowance. In fact, it might make quite a big dent in your pocket even before you’ve even left the country.

Pack light, only take multiple versions of your basics – 3 is more always a safe number. There is no need to take 10 different outfits with you “just in case”. A smarter, lighter way to pack is to recognize that hotels have laundry available for only a few extra euro’s. As you use one item and get it cleaned, you use another. Using hotel in-house services may prove much cheaper than the alternative, and can save you a lot of space in your luggage. The most cost-effective way is going back to basic, and using the complementary soap and sink and some good old arm strength to get your clothes clean.

Arriving in your heaviest

Since cost is directly correlated the weight of your luggage, it’s a good idea to avoid putting heavy items in your luggage. Wear your heaviest clothing to travel in, such as your coats, jacket, your thick jeans and sweaters. Obviously, walking in looking like you’re about to battle a snowstorm won’t help and you’ll be advised to remove some clothes. But that one heavy coat might give room for another pair of shoes or another two jumpers in your baggage. After all, airlines measure your baggage and not you.

Be Ruthless

I always take out everything I want to take, pack and half of it and then get rid of third of that. Whatever you think you’ll need, get rid of at least a third of it. You’ll probably spend most of your time wrapped up or picking out of two items.


Roll with it

Roll your items of clothing, don’t fold. It saves you so much space in your suitcase, avoids creasing your clothes which is a big bonus for presentation and cleanliness and it also makes clothes much easier to find and less prone to being messed up.

Rolling really tight, from experience, has been a game changer for how much I can fit overall in my bags so the tighter you roll, the better. Tuck all your underwear in the gaps that are left behind and stick your rolled up socks inside your shoes.

Check out my all-inclusive in depth travel checklist for what should really go in your luggage!

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