Packing for a holiday can be annoying. Sure, the act of putting your stuff into your suitcase can be very exciting indeed – one of the final steps before the holiday truly becomes real. But there can also be a lot of uncertainty. Do you really need those five pairs of shoes? Will you look ridiculous if you actually use that selfie stick?
Some of it is pure logic, and even the most cautious of people will know that they won’t need a heavy winter coat when they take a delightful tour around Havana. There are no shortage of articles that claim to give you some amazing packing advice. Some of this advice is ridiculously obvious (“Why not get a suitcase on wheels?”), and some of this advice is surprising interesting (“Why not get a suitcase on wheels… with a motor that you can ride through the airport?”). Let’s take a look at some awesome packing tips that you will actually find useful.
Do you think you have enough plastic bags to take with you? It can’t hurt to throw in a few more! A roll of medium-sized trash bags is best. They’re strong, durable, and don’t take up much space at all. You can seal your dirty laundry in there (with your wet things in a separate bag to avoid mildew) to throw them in your suitcase while staying separated from your clean things.
Your dirty street shoes can be wrapped up and tossed into your bag on top of your clean laundry. Heck, a collection of plastic bags can even be your friend in the event of motion sickness. You might also want to get a few heavy duty plastic roller bags. The air is squeezed out of these bags as you roll them up, meaning that their contents are compressed and you get even more room in your suitcase.
Speaking of your suitcase, what does it look like? Dark-coloured and rectangular? Kind of like 99% of all the other suitcases in the plane’s luggage hold? Get a brightly coloured piece of fabric (something like a handkerchief is perfect). Tie it around the handle of your suitcase, and this will make it so much easier to spot your bag when it is on the luggage carousel. In addition to making your suitcase easily identifiable, you need to weigh it before you go to the airport.
You might not have actual scales where the bag can be accurately weighed on its own, so weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding the bag before subtracting your weight. Be sure to check the permitted weight restrictions for your flight/s, as they vary from airline to airline. Remember that you will be allowed to take a piece of hand luggage in addition to your hold luggage.
Check the airline’s limits with regards to hand luggage, and exploit it! Cram as much stuff into your hand luggage as possible, and there are some things that should automatically be placed in here, such as your travel documents and delicate electronics.
Remember that there are limits on the amounts of liquids and gels that can be brought inside the aircraft’s cabin, so your toiletries do not belong inside your hand luggage unless they are in appropriately-sized containers. If you are going on an extended vacation, you might wish to bring the full size containers in your hold luggage. Seal them in a plastic bag to prevent leakage (which is another reason why those bags are so darn handy), and you can even unscrew the caps, place a small piece of plastic wrap over the spout, and then re-seal the cap.
This results in even more protection against leakage. Glass bottles (such as perfume) should be put inside a clean sock before being placed into your suitcase. You could wrap such a bottle in any item of clothing, but it will be less inconvenient to sacrifice a sock in the unlikely event of the bottle breaking.
Other Things to Remember:
- An e-book reader can actually be really handy and takes up a fraction of the space of even a single book. So maybe you prefer to actually hold a book in your hands, but this will do for your vacation.
- Loop all your charging cables together and secure them with a twist tie from a loaf of bread. If you forget your power converter, most flat screen TVs will have USB charging ports around the back on the screen.
- Take a photocopy of your essential documents (passport, ticket, travel insurance), and pack it in a separate bag to the originals. This means that if the originals are lost or stolen, you will possess copies which can greatly speed up the replacement process.