With the arrival of summer comes preparations for vacations and trips overseas. If your usual packing style is to stuff everything within arm’s reach into your bag at the last minute, we’ve got 6 easy steps to help make sure you bring only what you need, and to take the stress out of packing.
Step 1: Make a list
Well ahead of your departure date, sit down with a cup of coffee and some paper and make a list. This list will mostly contain the same items you take every year, so keep it for next time and save yourself having to remember everything all over again. If you are feeling super organised, make different lists for different types of vacation (skiing, beach etc) and file them away so all you need to do before each trip is gather up the items on your list. No brainwork required.
Step 2: Keep it simple
Choose the minimum amount of clothes you need: a few t-shirts, a couple of dresses, one pair of shorts, a warm jersey, a blouse and some comfortable trousers will see you through a summer vacation. A versatile linen scarf can double as a beach sarong and keep you warm on cooler evenings. Stick to a complementary colour palette and pick things you love wearing. Keep to two pairs of shoes (wear the bulkiest on your journey) and buy larger toiletries when you arrive. Lightweight linen towels will take up less room and dry quickly.
Step 3: Roll your clothes
Rolling clothes is such a neat trick. You can fit far more items into your luggage this way, and your clothes will be less wrinkled. Use Marie Kondo’s folding technique (see below) and then roll each item like a sushi. Linen clothes travel well and look good with a few crumples.Take nifty space-saving accessories like a rollable hat or chic packaway mac.
Step 4: Take the smallest bag possible
Don’t kid yourself: if you take a big bag, you will fill it. Instead, stick to the smallest possible suitcase and if you are traveling with kids, pack them each a small backpack of their own. An empty pillowcase makes the perfect dirty laundry bag.
Step 5: Keep the kids occupied
Buy yourself some vital peace on your trip if you are traveling with kids by being well prepared. Bring a selection of small, simple and creative distractions, like cheap pipe-cleaners they can use to make creatures, stickers, portable pen sets and i-spy books. Journeys needn’t be a nightmare if you plan ahead.
Step 6: Be realistic
Don’t overload yourself with books you will never read. Instead, take one long book and swap it once you’ve finished. Be realistic about your itinerary too – it’s tempting to try to cram in as much as possible, but this can be hectic. You can end up feeling guilty for not doing everything, so be realistic and remember you are on holiday. Relax.
Keep it simple and give yourself the best start to your vacation. Happy holidaying!