Packing: the bane of everyones existence. It can be a very stressful time trying to remember everything that you need and trying to get it all into a little case but this guide is designed to take the pain out of packing, to make sure you have everything you need neatly tucked away rather than having to use your body weight to close your case.
Take What You Need
It seems obvious but it is important to only take what you’re going to need. On a business trip, you will only need essentials to get you through and a change of clothes such as another pair of trousers and two different tops. Dependent on your length of stay, many London hotels special offers allow you to extend your stay if need be, your case may range from a simple carry-on to a full suitcase with wheels. Naturally if you’re going overnight you may want to leave the large suitcase at home.
Ok, so the weather man can be wrong sometimes but kind of having an idea of where the weather’s going will help you decide on the clothes you should pack. If you’re heading to Australia, you can leave the parkour coat at home but if you’re heading to The Marble Arch by Montcalm London Hotel in Britain’s capital city, you may need to leave the shorts and pack jeans and jumpers.
Confirm Your Plans
What will you be doing on your trip? Is it business only or do you have a few days to explore? It’s important to not only pack for what you’re definitely doing, but for spontaneous celebrations and events that might pop up.
Most products are available in travel sizes or, if they’re not, you can invest in travel size bottles to dispense them in. Some recommend purchasing your toiletries at your destination to save space, but if you’re picky make sure you have packed:
- a mini brush and comb
- travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste
- mini zip-top bags for accessories
- travel-sized bottles for your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturizer, toner, sunscreen etc
- large zip-top bags for your bottles in case they leak
- A bag for your shoes to stop marks on your clothes
- a second set of chargers for your laptop, tablet and mobile phone
- a mini hair dryer (which doubles as a steamer if any clothing ends up wrinkled) and mini straighteners or/and curling irons
Pack these items in an outside pocket or at the top of your case so no pressure is put on them and explosions are avoided; they can easily be accessed at airport security if you’re asked to remove them for inspection.
Start From the Outside and Work Your Way In
Gather everything on your itemized list and place them around your suitcase so you can decide what will make the cut because you’re guaranteed not to need everything that is one your list.
Focus on basic neutral colors such as black, white, grey, cream and navy because the more versatile your clothing is, the easier it will be to mix and match outfits, and so you won’t have to pack as much.
Choosing different styles of clothing made of fabric that doesn’t crease easily will make your life so much easier. Eight versatile pieces that blend well together will create up to 24 different outfits which will be more than enough for your trip; a tank top and pair of comfy shorts can double as pajamas, and a big t-shirt can double as both a nightie and cover-up for the beach.
Use accents such as jewelry and scarves to pump up the volume on your outfits—they hardly take up any space and will transform an outfit.
When it comes to shoes, wear your heaviest shoes and choose comfortable, light ones to pack.
This technique will need to be used at home when you’re packing to go and at the hotel in Paddington, if you’re venturing to London, on your return to make sure you have everything in your suitcase.
Packing items likes shoes, blow dryers, and purses around the outer perimeter will give you the space you need to pack your clothes etc in the middle. It is important to use the nook and cranny: use the odd-shaped cracks between these items to tuck in your socks, bathing suits, underwear and belts.
Stuff your socks and other underwear in your shoes to both maximize space, and keep your shoes from squishing. This process will ensure that everything is evenly distributed and the weight of your items won’t break or crush anything during your trip.
Wear Bulk, Pack Light
If you wear your bulkier items like your coat, jeans and sweater instead of packing them, this will save so much space inside your suitcase. Plus, dressing in layers offers you the convenience of adding or discarding them depending on where you’re going and the temperature when you arrive. Also, by wearing your heavier items, you can either pack more in your case or leave the additional space to bring back souvenirs.
If You Lose Your Case, Carry-On To the Rescue!
This is a very important tip: pack your carry-on case as if it is an emergency kit. If you were to ever lose your luggage or get stuck at the airport, what essentials are you going to need to have with you to enjoy your trip no matter what happens? Here are just some of the items you should consider including in your carry-on:
- any prescribed medication needed
- anti-nausea, pain killers
- Immodium, bug spray, Benadryl
- prescription glasses and sunglasses
- bottled water and snacks
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- swimsuit and sunscreen
- spare top