Don't make these five packing mistakes
If you don’t travel by air regularly, you may not be familiar with new regulations for carry-on luggage, or the secrets to packing like a professional. Here are some of the mistakes to avoid ensuring your clothes arrive in good condition when you reach your destination.
1. Prevent liquids from leaking
There’s nothing worse than liquid leaking inside your suitcase. Leaks can occur when an airplane takes off or lands, due to altitude and air pressure changes. The variance in pressure makes the air in your bottle of sunblock, shampoo or body lotion expand and contract too. This can lead to a major mess.
Make sure all liquids, whether in carry-on or checked luggage, are tucked into zip-lock bags, wrapped in plastic or kept separate from your clothes. Seal the tops, particularly on toothpaste tubes.
2. Don’t overpack
Focus on garments you must have, not ones that you might need, just in case something unexpected occurs. You cannot pack for every situation. To avoid overpacking, pre-plan your outfits. Don’t give yourself a choice as to what to wear each day.
Stick to a basic colour palette where everything coordinates. Try to pack three tops for every bottom, and if you wear your basics — jeans, sweaters, shorts — a few times on the same trip, no one will notice. And who cares if they do? Consider clothing that can be layered, such as tank tops and long sleeve shirts to help you adapt to changing weather.
3. Stick to the weight limit
Watch your bag weight. If you plan on shopping while away and bringing home extra clothes, make sure you depart with a few kilos spare in your luggage to avoid excess baggage charges.
4. Pack for the weather
Check the weather in advance, so you can pack to suit. If you’re going somewhere cold, carry your biggest coat onboard. This usually doesn’t get included in carry-on luggage and gives you more space in your bag, as well as being handy on arrival.
That said, don’t forget to pack your swimwear. You might find a pool or sauna in your hotel, assuming you’re not going on a beach holiday, where your first item of packing would be your swimwear.
5. Pack things the right way
Fold clothing lengthwise then roll tightly like a sleeping bag, as indicated in this guide.
Use shoe bags to separate shoes from clothes. Try to pack shoes for versatility. The fewer shoes the better. For example, wear joggers if you’re doing lots of walking, rather than an extra pair of casual shoes.
Pack a tote bag, or simple lightweight backpack. They can easily be stored in a pocket of your suitcase and serve many purposes. At the end of the trip, use the tote to hold any dirty laundry to make it easy to pop into the washer when you get home.