Most of us have fallen victim to packing mistakes at some point. Whether its because we left it to the last minute or we failed to exercise restraint, many of us have looked at the contents of our suitcase on holiday and thought, ‘what have we done?’
Not enough undies, wrong shoes, having to lug around a bag that weighs a ton – these are the kind of commonplace errors that can easily be avoided with a little practice. It’s surprising how big a difference a smartly filled suitcase can make to your travel experience. So, here’s our list of easy-to-make mistakes and how to avoid them. You’re welcome.
Waiting until the last minute
Packing in a rush, when you’re stressed and not thinking clearly, is a surefire way to end up with a suitcase crammed with a whole lot of nothing much at all.
Don’t worry, there’s no need to start a spreadsheet – it simply requires a little advanced preparation. Think about the activities you’ll be doing, check the weather and pre-plan outfits.
Not maximising bag space
There are tried and tested packing techniques that will ensure you get the most out of the available space. Don’t fold your clothes but roll tightly instead. Put heavier items like jeans or jumpers along the bottom and near the wheels for balance. If you’re worried about crushing and creasing fancy items, place a piece of dry-cleaner plastic or tissue between each layer to prevent wrinkles.
Not properly containing liquids
The change in air pressure during flight affects the air in bottles, making it expand or contract. This can result in leaky containers, ruined clothes and lot of mess. Regardless of whether your luggage is carry-on or checked, ensure all of your liquids are safely stowed away inside zip-lock bags or wrapped in plastic.
Not checking the weather
Okay, so you’ve booked a week-long summer getaway to sunny Spain and you’re planning on relaxing poolside and topping up your tan. But what you think/hope the weather will be doing, and what it actually might be doing are not the same thing. Keep your eye on up-to-date reports and don’t be caught out by freak storms, heat waves and sudden cold snaps.
Ignoring guidelines for carry-on liquids
Not only is it annoying to have your favourite shampoo confiscated at security, it’s frustrating for everyone else waiting in line behind behind you. Don’t be that person holding up the queue. If you’re taking liquids in your hand luggage, make sure containers hold no more than 100ml and are in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag.
Having an oversize or overweight bag
When it comes to packing, don’t fall prey to the ‘when in doubt’ mode of thinking. That’s when you’re at risking of packing everything but the kitchen sink. Pre-planning will help you avoid this and keep your suitcase within the airline’s weight limits, which you should always double check before arriving at the airport.
If bringing a carry-on bag, pay attention to your airline’s size restrictions. It’s frustrating for staff and other passengers if you hold up the line for boarding.