On route to work during the week, I was listening to the radio in a slightly early-morning daydream-like state when all of a sudden I pricked up my ears as the on-air conversation turned to the topic of packing for summer holidays.
The newsreader gave details of a survey completed by both men and women, which highlighted the amount spent annually by individuals on clobber for a week in the sun – and how much of the brand new cargo that remains unworn and unappreciated during the course of said holiday.
This got me thinking about why – year in, year out – the majority of holidaymakers continue to waste their hard-earned cash and make the same mistakes when it comes to compiling their summer holiday wardrobe. With this in mind, I decided to put together a concise guide to help you get the most out of (and into) your suitcase and pack a punch with its contents.
Best case scenario
At the risk of stating the obvious, the first thing to keep in mind when packing for that eagerly-anticipated getaway is to choose the right suitcase. If practicality is your strong point and you’re all about packing light, then carry-on luggage may be the way to go as this will leave room for the basics and allow you skip the conveyor belt waiting times at the airport.
However, if you love plenty of choice and back-up outfits are a must-have, then a large case is a no-brainer. This will also allow room for the shoppers out there who spend hours at the end of the holiday trying to squash and squeeze their heavy load into a tiny wheelie case! Getting your case packed and prepared a few days in advance is also a great way to ensure you have all bases covered well ahead of your flight.
Pick a palette
A great way to avoid repeating the same recurring packing mistakes (packing far more clothing than you need being number one on the list) is by choosing a holiday wardrobe with a complimentary colour palette.
Opt for items that you can easily and stylishly mix and match and you’ll be able to create a multitude of outfits using just a small selection of pieces.
Say no to stilettos
I’m a huge fan of wearing high heels and love how they make me feel, but no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise, I will never wear them on my travels.
Holidays abroad are for walks on the beach, exploring, strolling through stunning cities – all activities that require flat, comfortable footwear.
Do your research
On a trip to Paris a couple of years ago, I was very proud of my small, carry-on suitcase containing only my well-thought-out holiday essentials – until I arrived at the hotel and realised they did not supply a hairdryer!
Contact the personnel at your accommodation ahead of your travels to find out if they supply hairdryers, irons, towels and complimentary toiletries. If they do, it could save you a lot of space in your suitcase and if they don’t, you’ll know to bring your own.
Fill in the gaps
Once your bag is packed to the gills with all of your clothes and bulkier items, fill the gaps in the corners, at the sides and in the middle with underwear and small accessories to maximise the use of space within your suitcase.
If you’ve decided to check in a suitcase for your trip, make sure you have a number of extra essentials (aside from your travel documents, money, medicine, etc) in your carry-on to avoid too much inconvenience should your luggage get lost, such as a change of underwear, a light change of clothing and sunglasses.
If your luggage does go walkabout for a bit, you’ll pat yourself on the back for such forward thinking!