The fictional Mr. Bean could have given tips on packing for a holiday albeit you will probably end up with just one slipper, one pair of cut-off shorts, one flower-printed shirt, a very small towel, a handleless toothbrush and a smidgen of toothpaste, all stuffed into a small suitcase and then carried in a bigger one! Fortunately, there are better ways to pack than that advocated by Mr. Bean.
Make a Master Packing List
Whether you are an experienced traveller or a new to travelling, you have to have a master list of the essential items that you need to pack when going on your holidays. You can even print it out from your personal computer, tick off the list for every item packed and then check the list before leaving the house.
Sure, it sounds obsessive-compulsive but it is far better to be safe than sorry!
The items that must be included in your list should include travel essentials like:
- Climate-appropriate clothes and footwear, at least one set but not exceeding three sets for each purpose. Use the laundry facilities or services whenever possible, or better yet, go shopping!
- Prescriptions for your medicines and eyeglasses, if you have any. Add in a list of medical concerns like allergies and medical alerts
- Travel insurance documents
- Passport and other identification cards
- Phone numbers to call in case of emergencies
- Small first aid kit with contents like band aids, disinfectants, antibiotics and antihistamine pills, antacids and anti-diarrhoea medicines and even a lip balm for the warmer weather.
Of course, you can add to the list according to your experience but unless you want to go with barely anything, never forget your clothes and footwear. And when there are things to include, there are things not to be brought on a holiday. These include jewellery and electronic equipment unless you plan on being robbed along the way.
Roll Up Clothes
Instead of folding clothes the conventional way, which only leads to more creases and wrinkles, you can just roll up your clothes. Just segregate your clothes according to softness, separate shirts and blouses from trousers and then fold them lengthwise and roll up.
Basically, it works by preventing creases right from the start with a radius bend. When the clothes are shaken from being rolled up, they recover their shapes just as easily.
To get the maximum space out of your suitcase with rolled up clothes, you can try this layering technique: Rigid items like books on the bottom layer; folded clothes like jeans in the middle layer, rolled up clothes on the top layer. This way, the rolled up clothes will not be squashed by the rigid items.
Fill Those Pockets
Yes, those pockets serve a purpose beyond displaying the bags hardware. You must fill them up with items that you will regularly need while travelling or those that cannot be accommodated inside the suitcase.
For example, your underwear can be neatly folded and tucked into the pockets along with the small first aid and grooming kits. If you are carrying only one bag, then your travel documents can go in there, too.
Just remember that when packing for your holiday, don't pack everything. After all, you can always buy what you don't have in your bags once you reach your destination.
Vincent Norman is a freelance writer living in the UK. He regularly contributes fashion articles for The Online Shopping Centre, who offer the best range of online clothes shops