How to pack like a pro!

At last! Your long-awaited, overseas trip will soon be upon you! For your convenience, our Travel Experts have put together a list of tips to make your task just that little bit easier.


2min read

Published 23 December 2022


At last! Your long-awaited, overseas trip will soon be upon you! For your convenience, our Travel Experts have put together a list of tips to make your task just that little bit easier.

As much as you would like to pack everything you think you may need when you arrive at your destination, the airline you are using has set limits on the weight of what you may take with you. This is not the airline being difficult in any way, it's simply because aircraft are limited in space, they have in the luggage bay as well as taking balance and the total weight (mass) of the aircraft plus people plus luggage into account. 

So, what this means to you is that you must be very selective in what and how much you pack for your trip. As the old saying goes, when packing for a trip, it’s best to take half the luggage and double the money, but, of course, that’s far easier said than done! 

Therefore, you have very carefully to consider how best to pack everything into your suitcase and hand luggage. 


Bundle your outfits

Roll, don’t fold, your shirt, pants, underwear, and socks together to form a single bundle. Then, when you need something to wear, you have it already all together.  Rolling your clothes has the bonus of preventing wrinkling.

Make your clothing multitask-able

A scarf, pashmina or stole is the most versatile item you can pack.  It can act as a sarong, a warm cover-up or even a means to wrap your dirty clothes in if need be.  Bring clothing items that you can wear for multiple occasions or mix and match them with other items.

Choose a neutral clothing colour scheme

Choose a neutral colour scheme to which you can throw in a few contrasting colours to add a splash of individuality.

Take crease-proof clothing

Pack as much wrinkle-proof clothing as possible. Polyester, denim, wool and knitted fabrics are far superior to linen or cotton when travelling.


Solid toiletries

Avoid packing liquid toiletries of any sort. First, they take up a lot of space and have the potential to spill.  Anything in powder form may arouse customs officials’ suspicions that you may be carrying drugs so their investigations may delay your departure or entry at airports. Solid shampoo bars, soaps, and even solid perfume, makeup removers, bug balm, and sunscreen are readily available at most pharmacies or online to purchase. Place plastic wrap under the cap of your toothpaste tube to minimise leakage.

Keep all your personal toiletries in their own bag

If you don’t want to go the solid route, keep your toiletries together in a toiletry bag and decant large bottles into travel-sized ones to limit the amount of space they take up (not to mention adding weight to your luggage). Pop them into a Ziplock bag to ensure they don't leak during your flight. If you wish to take some with you in your hand luggage familiarise yourself with the policy around LAG’s.

Draw up a packing list

Draw up a packing list and cross off each item as you load it into your suitcase. There are also packing lists you can download from the Internet to make this tedious, but essential, task simple for you.

Wear your bulkiest clothing while embarking on the aircraft

Wear your bulky item like a coat, jacket, windbreaker, anorak etc. onto the plane. You can usually make room for it in the overhead locker when you reach your seat. Use its pockets to stow your camera or techno items and their chargers.  Wear sneakers or boots with thick socks. You can always take off your footwear on a long-haul flight and since you’ll be seated most of the time this will keep your feet comfortable for the duration of the flight. 

Foldable day pack

Include a collapsible day backpack that can fold up small and will take up virtually no space in your luggage. Carrying a small, light backpack allows you to tote a few essential items with you during your day out in your chosen destination while at the same time keeping your hands free.


Keep your jewellery tangle-free

By using one of those seven-day pill containers to separate jewellery items like flimsy gold chains you will ensure that they don't tangle. Ultimately, however, try to keep your jewellery to a minimum for security reasons.

Do regular laundry

If you have packed correctly, a good-sized suitcase should carry enough clothing to see you through the week. Otherwise, depending on where you're travelling to and how long you are staying there you may have to make use of a laundromat or get your laundry done at your accommodation if that option is available to you. Underwear can often be easily washed/rinsed in the accommodation's bathroom basin and will probably dry overnight.

Keep your luggage smelling fresh

Adding a small muslin bag of rice to your luggage when travelling to a humid destination will absorb any moisture and keep your clothes free of mildew. A top tip is to keep a stick of cinnamon in the same muslin bag, which leaves your luggage always smelling fresh. You can get tumble dry sheets, also which you can add to your dirty items to absorb unwanted smells.

Wrap your shoes in plastic bags

Often overlooked is the condition of your footwear when it comes to packing, whether leaving or returning home.  Shoes are the closest pieces of your attire to the ground and therefore are the items that will get the dirtiest. Wrap each item of footwear individually in its own plastic bag, and bingo, your clothing will be kept free of any dirt or mud.


Carry on spare clothes and essentials

For your peace of mind, always keep fresh underwear, one day’s change of clothing, and sleepwear in your carry-on bag, just in case your main luggage gets lost. Pack flight essentials like your passport and other travel documents (e.g., hotel reservation and vehicle rental information), internationally accepted credit cards, medical insurance cards, cash, a good book, ear plugs, sleep mask, headphones, and sanitising wipes. Also make room for any irreplaceable essentials (for example, medicines - accompanied by a doctor's prescription in the case of scheduled medications), and items like your car keys or long-term parking coupon so you can easily lay your hands on them when you return.

Take photos of what you pack

What would have been a time-consuming and expensive chore some years ago, taking photos of what you pack before you go is now quick and easy using your cell phone’s camera.  The reason for this is in case your luggage gets lost, and you must file an insurance claim.  Having these pictures can save you a lot of time and furthermore add authenticity to your claim.



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