Most effective way of packing a suitcase
Packing a suitcase or a backpack for a trip is a difficult task especially if you are a chronic over-packer. Have you ever searched your suitcase for “something” and you could have sworn you packed it in? Then you fall into the for-getter category. I fall into both categories and every time I want to kick myself for not putting more time into packing my bag.
So how do you strike the perfect balance? What do you pack and what stay behind? Here are some tips from my previous mistakes and from fellow travellers who have learnt the hard way.
Efficient suitcase packing
First of all and for me the most important part about travelling – security and keeping your details safe.
Passport and personal information
Scan your passport, passport photo and tickets (flights, train, tour etc). Keep a copy with you (not in your passport) and store the scanned copy on the web (email account). This web account is very important because you can also store emergency numbers for example should your ATM or Credit card get stolen there.
Use a self-adhesive label and stick this inside your suitcase with all your contact details and destination address. If your luggage is lost and the outside label comes off, the airline could still figure out who the luggage belong to.
Bank cards and money
Split up your cash, credit cards and travellers´cheques as much as possible in different bags, pockets or wallets. If you do get robbed, you are not stranded and strapped for cash.
Pack suitcase so clothes don`t wrinkle
If you are travelling for more than 3 weeks, plan to wash on the road. Only pack what you will use! If you pack multi-purpose clothing, example items that can be worn during the day and as sleepwear, you can cut back on a number of clothes. Jeans are great to pack. They are durable and can be worn for a couple of days before they need washing especially if you are on the road for some time.
Roll your clothes
I have only recently discovered this trick. The bag seems to hold more if you roll the clothes instead of folding it. If you are scared of wrinkled clothes then roll them in tissue paper.
Tips for packing Shoes
If you want to keep your bag odour free and clean, place your shoes inside old socks and then inside an airtight plastic bags (zip-lock). This is a great tip if you have been backpacking for some time.
Minimize on the toiletries
This is very difficult for women. We want to pack all the small pots and creams and by the end of the day they take up half of the space. Take only half a tube of toothpaste and roll it up tight. Store shampoo and cream in small containers. Nowadays you also find solid shampoo bars and tooth powder. You will breeze through checking at the airport.
Tips for packing a backpack
Place the lighter items at the bottom and the heavier ones on top. The bag will feel lighter and rests on your lower back. Place things that you use often on top and dirty clothes at the bottom.
Long flights and stop overs
A carry-on bag is a must for long flights and stopovers. Here you can keep medication and important papers and a fresh set of clothes. If your luggage does get misplaced you at least have a fresh set of clothes with you.
If you are travelling with babies or small children then the diaper bag is an excellent place to hide valuables. Most likely this will not be the first thing to get stolen.
Flash light or torch
When packing a flash light or torch, turn the batteries around so that if the item is accidentally turned on, it won´t empty the batteries.