My holiday packing tips.
I like to pride myself on being a nifty packer, I’ve been on a few holidays in my time and I can pack (for myself) in well under half an hour now. Should add that to my CV right?!
If I have a checked bag I keep to my weight allowance, it’s never a case (pardon the pun) of me stressing the night before because my bag is overweight. In fact Bella and I went to Mallorca for two weeks with one 23kg case between us as well as our hand luggage bags.
So here are some tips I've learnt over the years for more efficient packing, some of it might be stating the obvious but all of these points below mean the process of getting ready for a holiday is now much easier and stress free.
1. Plan your outfits and be strict.
This is an obvious one but we have all been guilty of going on holiday and wearing 30% of what we packed. Really think about what you will wear each day / evening and be strict. For example I used to always take a tonne of bikinis / costumes and then every morning I would go for the same couple of items that I knew I felt good in. Or if I own a really jazzy pair of sandals which only go with one outfit I leave them at home. Don't duplicate things either, if you're going away for a week there is really no need to take three denim skirts (not that I have ever done that before.....). When I went to Lisbon recently I only had hand luggage for the whole long weekend, so I literally took the 4 outfits I had strictly planned with nothing to spare! Not even a spare pair of pants..!
One way I whittle down my clothes is to have two piles, one 'Definite' and one 'Maybe', then if I have lots of room I might pick a few bits from the 'maybe' pile to throw in.
2. Be organised in advance
What I mean by this is always keep your suncreams, aftersun, holiday hair products, adapters etc in one place at home so you can easily find and pack them. Same goes for holiday clothes, bikinis and so on.
Also make sure in the week leading up to the holiday you have washed all the items you plan to take and don’t wear them in the few days before you leave. That way you won't be stressing with the washing machine on a quick wash the day before you go.
I tend to start putting things together a day or two before so that the night before I can just whack it all in my case and I'm not scrambling around trying to find bits and bobs.
3. Write a list and then keep it somewhere safe for future reference.
I have only just started doing this since having Bella because I found I always needed to pack the same things for her over and over, even just for a weekend visiting family. So now I have a list of my own bits that I keep for the next time I go away. I can then add and take off things I don’t need for a particular trip.
4. Remember there are usually shops abroad
If you are really struggling for weight take out your heavy shampoo / conditioner / suncream and buy some when you get there, it will be a lot cheaper than what the airlines charge per kg if you go over.
5. If you're going away for few weeks consider washing clothes while away
Nobody wants to spend their holiday doing their washing but if you’re staying in self catering accommodation whack a couple of tablets in your case and do a wash there. It’s doesn’t take 5 minutes to hang it out and it will dry super quick if abroad and somewhere hot. It’s also ideal if away for a couple of weeks and you’re planning on wearing your fave dress a couple of times but your little one lobs food at you on the first wear. It's also really handy to be able to wash your kids clothes too as Bella is such a mucky pup we generally only get one wear out of something.
6. Buy the mini plastic bottles to fill up and reuse.
I think the miniatures the retailers sell are a great idea for short breaks but they are a bit of a rip off. I use my own mini bottles to take away things I don’t need much of like Bella’s baby shampoo or our mouthwash. Saves loads of space and money as well as being better for the environment.
7. Put everything in separate bags in your case
When I go away everything is in separate bags in my case (I'm talking really thin dustbags, wash bags or carrier bags). So I'll have a bag with all underwear in, one with all my shoes, one with all my accessories, one with all our chargers and adapters, etc etc. I never just throw everything in to a suitcase, it makes unpacking when you arrive so much easier too.
8. Share items with those you're travelling with
When we went to Mallorca my sister bought her amazing Dyson hairdryer so I didn't bother with mine and I bought the straighteners. Or if on a big girls trip one bring shower gel, one bring shampoo and so in. It really can save a lot of space and weight.
9. Distribute Weight effectively
If you have a hand luggage and checked bag think about how you split things out. If you're checked bag is over take out all the heavy things (shoes, electronics, straightener, liquids under 100ml) and transfer to your hand luggage bag. Make sure you keep you hand luggage bag to it's weight allowance too.
10. Go for substance over style with hand luggage.
I have a gorgeous Mulberry holdall (here) that I adore, but much to my husband's despair I used to always insist on taking it as my hang luggage bag so I looked 'stylish' when traveling. It was completely impractical and never fitted as much as a sensible small wheely case. It was also a complete pain to carry over my shoulder as opposed to a case I could wheel. I didn't look so 'stylish' panting through the airport with an injured shoulder let me tell you that!
11. Buy a suitcase scale
This is such a simple way to take the stress out of packing and much more effective and safer than standing on the bathroom scales with your case. You can also pack it with you to make sure your case isn't overweight coming home if you've bought bits while away.
12. Invest in good luggage
We were lucky to be bought some great Samsonite luggage when we got married and I have totally been converted to better quality cases. Not only are they sturdy with really good wheels and handles but they are also great inside with different compartments, zips and section to help you pack more efficiently and organised.
So that's it, my top tips on holiday packing. Not exactly inventing the wheel but hopefully a couple of points may help you out.
I hope you like these photos, we came out of the house onto the beach one evening to take a few snaps before heading to dinner. The light at dusk is my favourite, sadly Bella wasn't in the photo mood so didn't get many of her!