Monday 15 May 2023

Some of my favourite packing hacks and tips

We are lucky to travel regularly and I'm usually the one packing! I like to think I'm quite good at it, I rarely forget anything and I'm usually prepared for any situation. So I thought I'd share a few packing tips and hacks that I've learned over the years.

My main tip is to maintain an exhaustive master packing list. I have a long list stored digitally which covers all types of holiday from camping to all-inclusive. It covers two sides of A4, and when a holiday is approaching I print it out and cross out things that are irrelevant to that particular trip. I prefer to use pen and paper, but I'm sure there are apps that do the same thing.

I keep a separate toiletries bag packed and ready to go. I add a few things like my toothbrush at the last minute, but I keep it filled with travel sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc. I also have a small emergency medicine kit stocked with paracetamol, ibuprofen, plasters, spare hair ties, safety pins and so on. Anything that might leak is in a small sandwich bag.

If we are flying I have my transparent plastic bag for liquids ready packed with things like medication and hand sanitiser. This is in the front pocket of the hand luggage so it can be easily removed at security. I don't pack spare toiletries in hand luggage as they can be easily picked up at a destination.

At the top of each packed suitcase I place a laminated sheet of paper with our address and contact details. If the suitcase goes astray, it will be the first thing that someone sees when they open it. The suitcases also have an external luggage label and they are also locked, not just for security but to prevent them coming open if they are thrown about. I make sure that I keep suitcase keys in two places, easy available for when we arrive. 

If we will be separated from our suitcases, for example when flying, I always divide family clothing between suitcases. It can be awkward but it means that even if just one suitcase makes it we will each have clothing for a couple of days. We all pack a separate toiletries bag and I put one in each suitcase so that at least we would have a few bits that we could share until we can buy some more!

I also make everyone pack a spare outfit in hand luggage. Luckily I've only had a suitcase delayed once years ago and it was on the way home, but I'm always mindful that these things happen! Also in hand luggage go spare glasses, prescription sunglasses, any medication, valuables, sentimental items like teddies and all travel documents.

While we are away I pack for the way home as I go along. I'll set aside one suitcase at a time for dirty washing, books that have been read, souvenirs and so on.

AI generated image of a packed suitcase
Experimenting with an AI generated image - what do you think?!

Things that I always remember to pack:

Laundry bags for dirty washing - large plastic bags will do, or large fabric drawstring bags which can be washed.

Plastic bags - for wet things, dirty things, and things that I want to protect. I always end up using them all!

Photocopies of our passports and other important documents. We also have digital copies on our phones but I like a paper one in case a phone is stolen along with the passports!

Chargers - usually my husband sorts this out as we have so many devices that I can't keep track!

Books - I can never have too many books and I always make sure that the children have plenty too!

1 comment:

  1. I put everything in clear plastic bags, carefully folded. Like you I divide between suitcases, so for two of us will have two bags with trousers, two with tops, two with undies and sleepwear etc, two with shoes. They can be packed quite tightly, saving space. At the destination they are lifted out of cases as they are to put into drawers, making it easy to see what you've got! I also start a 'dead' bag with dirty washing and purchases etc, things that aren't needed until home.


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