So I figured that 2 weeks out from my first big trip of 2016 was a good time to sit at the laptop and try and break through this horrific writer's block!
This time in 2 weeks I will be in the air somewhere above Europe on the longest flight of my life (eek!!) and I won't be back on English soil for 3 and a half months! So how do I make sure I'm going to have everything I need?
I used to be one of those people who would pack EVERYTHING. And half that stuff would never be used and would come back with the same fold creases I left with. Stupid, unnecessary weight I spent way too much time lugging around, hating and cursing at.
But not anymore! Ok...sometimes I still need a reminder that I don't need 17 tshirts and 12 pairs of shoes for an overnight trip but I'm definitely making progress.
So here are my tips for packing like a pro! Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments!
MAKE A LIST
Always make a list. Not only will you be able to see what you're taking right in front of you but you will also be able to make sure you bring everything back again!
Lists also help you see when you are taking far too much stuff. Does your list spread over 3 pages? If so, you are definitely taking too much stuff. Start with your essentials that you simply can't be without and go from there. This also helps you think about whether you really need to take everything you're thinking about taking rather than just throwing it in because you saw it and thought you might need it.
ROLL DON'T FOLD
I know this one is old news by now but it is seriously tried and tested and is the best way to maximise space in your luggage.
Rolling your clothing means it is much easier to cram stuff into small corners, shoes, packing cubes, anywhere really! You can take a smaller suitcase and maybe even get away with just using carry on luggage! Ok, maybe not on a 3 and a half month trip but shorter breaks for sure! I don't always agree that it stops your clothes from getting creased - mine seem to be eternally wrinkly - but it definitely does make them easier to pack.
INVEST IN PACKING CUBES
Ok, I haven't actually taken the plunge with packing cubes yet but I have been assured by numerous people that they are god's gift to luggage. And they seem pretty legit! I mean who doesn't love knowing exactly which cube has what in it? I'm still not completely sold on the idea that they won't take up more space in your bag but I guess if you use the rolling technique above it might help? And I think it would definitely help with the overpacking unnecessary things problem. Do you use packing cubes? Let me know if you love or hate them in the comments!
FORGET THE HEELS
Last summer I was going to a wedding and had to lug a pair of heels around in my suitcase for weeks! It was a nightmare. They are awkward shapes, the heel got caught on one of my favourite knit jumpers and snagged it, they got squished, they were heavy and in the end I only wore them for about 5 minutes because the ground was uneven, they kept slipping through the gaps in the decking and the heel got completely trashed in about 30 seconds so I switched to flat sandals. Totally. Not. Worth. It.
Honestly, there is no justifiable reason to pack heels when travelling. At all. They are a waste of time, weight and space. If you simply must have a little extra height in your holiday wardrobe, I suggest a pair of lightweight wedges that can be either dressy or casual. You will find way more use for those than the pair of stilettos you love but make your feet hurt. Don't do it to yourself.
TRAVEL SIZE TOILETRIES
Unless you are travelling to a third world country, you will be able to buy toiletries anywhere. I used to be the worst for this. I would take enormous bottles of my favourite shampoo and conditioner because I couldn't bear to put anything else on my hair. Guess what? They sold that shampoo in New York too. And Spain. And France. And Italy. And basically everywhere I took it. Such a waste of weight.
Pretty much everywhere you go will have a store where you can buy shampoo, body wash and toothpaste. Just take the essentials in miniature form and stock up when you get there! Plus - travel sixe is ALOT easier to deal with when it explodes unexpectedly in your luggage than a full sized bottle. Trust me...
WEAR WARM CLOTHES ON THE PLANE
Planes are cold and warm clothing is heavy. It's a win win situation. When it comes to packing, find the clothes that are going to take up the most space or weight in your bag and make the decision to wear them on the plane! You will thank me for it later. Heavy, bulky clothing takes up way too much space and chances are you probably won't even where it that much. Planes get super chilly at 37,000 feet so you will appreciate your wooly jumper much more than the inside of your bag will.
Have I missed anything?? Let me know your top tips for packing in the comments!