14 Packing Tricks You Need to Know Now

Let’s avoid this look at all costs. Nobody wants to go to these extremes to meet their baggage allowance…

 

via GIPHY
 

 

If you want to travel light, a little bit of organisation goes a long way. Check out these 14 packing dos and don’ts and look forward to less hassle the next time you fly:

Do make a list of everything you’re planning to pack so you can easily see what you have, what you still need to get before you go and what you can buy at your destination.

 

Don’t take your entire shoe collection. Limit yourself to three pairs of shoes and wear the heaviest pair to the airport.
Do pack your shoes first, lining the sides of your case. Stuff your shoes with socks and smaller items of clothing, gadgets or jewellery. This will also prevent your shoes from losing their shape.

 

Don’t get footprints or other marks on your clothes – place your shoes inside a cloth/plastic bag before packing them. The free disposable shower caps provided at hotels are also perfect for separating your shoes from all the other items in your luggage.

 

Do pack your heaviest items (e.g. shoes, jeans) in the bottom of your wheelie suitcase. You’ll find it’s much easier to roll as the weight will be more evenly distributed.

 

Don’t waste unused space – roll your clothes instead of folding. They’ll wrinkle less and you’ll have much more room in your luggage to fit in any extras you pick up while you’re away.

 

Do make it easier to spot your checked-in luggage on the carousel, especially if your luggage is black, navy or grey (like 99.9% of the population). Add a colourful luggage tag or ribbon to the handle so that there’s no confusion on arrival.

 

Don’t keep all your packing space to yourself, especially if you’re travelling as a couple. Split your clothes between two pieces of luggage in case one of them gets lost in transit.

 

Do make a copy of your passport, driving licence and/or ID card and email them to yourself. It’s also a good idea to take photos of these and save them to the camera on your phone in case you don’t have internet access when you get to your destination.

 

Don’t let make-up or sunscreen leak inside your luggage and ruin your clothing. Secure the lids with clear tape or place a layer of cling-film between the lid and the bottle.

 

Do place essentials (pjs, toothbrush, toothpaste) at the top of your bag if you’re landing at night so you don’t have the hassle of unpacking everything when you arrive at your destination.

 

Don’t pack a rucksack in a rush. A little bit of forward planning will definitely pay off. Place heavy items in the middle of your rucksack, or as close to your back as possible – this will put less strain on your back when you’re walking. Follow the golden rule of rolling your clothes rather than folding. Not only will this give you more room, but you’ll also find that your clothes are less creased. At check-in, tie all rucksack straps together neatly to prevent them from getting tangled in the carousel when you land.

 

Do pack a lightweight, foldable bag inside your carry-on luggage.  If you’re asked to hand over your carry-on luggage to check-in crew at the last minute because the overhead lockers are full, you’ll have somewhere to stash your phone, e-reader, money, snacks and any other valuables you can’t live without during the flight. This small bag can then be placed under the seat in front of you.

 

Don’t forget your travel adaptor if you’re flying to European countries with different electrical sockets than at home. Bonus Tip: If you forget the adaptor plug for your phone, check the side or back of the TV at your accommodation for a USB port.  You should be able to plug your USB cable in and charge your phone from there.

 

Got your own packing advice to share?  Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear about your tried and tested tips.

Fiona Hilliard

Fiona Hilliard

A love of new cultures is what drives Dublin travel writer Fiona Hilliard to explore the cities of Europe and beyond.

54 Comments

  • RORY O'CONNOR

    Excellent sensible advice. Thanks

    9th August 2016 at 12:48 pm
  • Patricia

    Good advise never have to much help with packing hints

    15th August 2016 at 4:33 pm
  • D. Staples

    Excellent advice. Makes life so much easier.

    21st August 2016 at 3:37 pm
  • Sheila Haynes

    great advise and tips….I’ve been travelling for years but still managed to pick up tips i.e. rolling clothes rather than folding plus placing night clothes on the top !!!….just shows your never too old to learn…!!!… thank you…

    21st August 2016 at 6:43 pm
  • Mrs. Enid Holmes

    Travel to Carcassonne 3/4 times yearly. Miss Liverpool airport, but always been happy with Ryanair. Only ever take hand luggage, but great when it can go in the hold.

    26th August 2016 at 10:54 am
  • Cathriona

    Excellent advise. Thank you.

    29th August 2016 at 10:11 am
  • Stephanie

    try packing womens shoes inside mens shoes if small size – saves space. if not, fill mens shoes with rolled up socks or small items.

    29th August 2016 at 10:22 am
  • Sean Redmond

    Very good tips to know will change the way i pack for my holidays

    1st September 2016 at 9:34 am
  • Anne

    if you are traveling with only hand luggage make sure all liquid cream gels Vaseline makeup in a sealed 1liter plastic bag decant anything you can into smaller pots take solid soaps and conditioner have them and all electrical items ready for inspection at security

    6th October 2016 at 1:11 pm
  • Peter

    Pack a couple of supermarket bags (5p ones) to stash your dirty clothes in.

    9th October 2016 at 12:00 pm
  • debra

    Travel in your sandals you would wear on an evening so you only have one pair of flip flops for day time if your taking hand luggage only

    14th October 2016 at 11:25 am
  • Alessandra

    i’ll follow your advice! thanks

    14th October 2016 at 12:17 pm
  • Maire

    If you don’t use a kindle, most resorts have secondhand/charity shops where you can get English books ie Nerja, Puerto del Carmel, Alvor

    18th October 2016 at 5:13 pm
  • Lucy

    If you can’t bear to be without your knitting, get 8 inch bamboo circs and take socks or gloves in progress, they also won’t be seen as dangerous sharp objects!

    22nd October 2016 at 4:25 pm
    • Anne

      Thanks Lucy! I’m one of those knitters who like to knit on holiday.

      7th March 2017 at 11:42 am
    • Joss

      That’s exactly what I was looking for information on knitting as love to knitcas often as I can especially long journeys ty Lucy

      15th May 2017 at 1:50 pm
  • Paula

    Rolling clothes is a good idea but roll easily creased things in tissue paper for best results.

    24th October 2016 at 10:29 am
    • james

      I was going to suggest the same – tissue paper is a must if you have delicate, creasible clothes!

      10th April 2017 at 6:31 pm
  • Your name

    Some good tips’ footwear at the bottom of the bag a new idea for me. I understand that a second bag is allowed on board now Ryan air, how big can that be” how heavy ?
    Thanks
    K lynch.

    26th October 2016 at 4:15 pm
  • Doren

    if you like dressing up ladies buy light silk ..you can have 5 beautiful outfits that fit into a tiny bag . just make sure there is an iron where you go but it gives younlots of choice and luxury without the weight. i put mine into a small vaccuum bag ..roll it to take out the air and put into my handbag .. can carry them in hand luggage so if my luggage goes missing i still have nice things to wear

    7th November 2016 at 10:55 pm
  • Silviu

    Nice guide, the GIF was so funny, especialy when u work in a travel agency =) Didn’t knew about the ideea of rolling the cloths. o.0

    8th November 2016 at 8:51 pm
  • Mary Morrissey

    Personally I like to fold flat (fold once only), and always keep a “travel set” of clothes, old, warm and comfy, for returning home to the rain in.

    16th November 2016 at 3:26 pm
  • Gunilla

    Since rules changed I put a small belly bag round me and turn the belt in front. My camera, mobil, passport, money, throatpill, tissue in it. Out in the box for Xray but noone can steal it in a crowded airport and noone counts it as a bag because it’s invisible! The Xa bag 33x20x20 size, allow us to by taxfree or carry a laptop.- exept for the handluggage I get under the seat in front. Going from warmer to colder country/season or vice versa? Take on thin layers of clothes which gives warmth of air between them. Nylon tights under comfy trousers is just to take off @ plane toilet. . A big scarf can be used as miniblanket on legs while flying, as pillow when leaning for a nap, round neck or head for cold winds. . A tiny nailbrush for anything when landing..; scrub potatoes, brush a stain on clothes or cleaning shoes. No iron needed if clothes are thin, just finger-stain them with a little of water and put on hanger to dry! Check first with the accomondation what’s there- and U save time, huzzle and space for presents or souvenirs instead!

    2nd December 2016 at 11:24 pm
  • Annie

    Good advice here. I always have light extra bag slipped into outer zip pocket of trolley case. I find it useful to stash jacket/scarf/hat/gloves that are needed for winter journey to/from airport or even getting onto plane. Usually airport is too warm to be wearing such items while waiting to board. We are now allowed have a duty free bag and that can can also be useful for odd items.

    18th December 2016 at 1:48 pm
  • Pip

    Charging devises from USB port in the back of a TV…… very useful to remember, I would never have thought of it….. Thank you.

    27th December 2016 at 9:34 am
  • Karen Collins

    Two tips you may find useful. I only travel with 2 or 3 choices of clothes colours, normally black and red/pink, very occasionally white, if I’m going for a longer time. The advantages are you can mix and match skirts, t-shirts and tops, giving you more permutations of outfits. It also means that if you need to get washing done, you can hand in a bag of just red/pink or black items and reduce the risk of colours running. I’ve been doing this for over 15 years and it works well. It’s also easier to match your shoes.
    My other must do trick, which has saved my clothes on several occasions, is to put a bin liner inside my back pack or soft suitcase and place my clothes inside this. It stops your clothes from getting soaked if it’s raining when they’re loading or unloading the plane, or if your bag has to go on a roof rack. It also adds a bit to security,as if your bag was to be unofficially opened, then It would take longer to rummage through which opportunists don’t like.

    3rd January 2017 at 6:56 pm
  • Maxine

    I always travel with just hand luggage. My disabled son takes a holdall bag. I place food at the bottom on it and then place his rolled up clothes on top of this. I hang this holdall bag on the back of his wheelchair. My daughter takes a little suitcase. I put small food in the front pocket of it. I place large food at the bottom of her suitcase. Then I roll her clothes on top. I take a small backpack so I can push my son’s wheelchair.

    3rd January 2017 at 9:25 pm
  • Jane

    If i’m going on a city trip, I bring older tops & runners that are at the end of their sell by date, so I get one last wear out of them, then bin them before I return home. So much less to carry home then. Or if you want to buy some new gear you have plenty of room.

    7th January 2017 at 4:23 pm
    • Mal

      Pack small odds and ends and any of your must have travel essentials in a soft zip close pencil case, handy for phone leads memory cards medication and plasters etc, easier to find and keeps them safe. Hang onto the plastic entry card and use it next time to keep the electricity on in your room if you go out,then you can leave things charging. Always take a small torch, great in the event of a power cut and ideal for finding your way down dark lanes,hotel grounds.Mine is fastened inside my ruck sack along with a trusty lightweight windproof umbrella.

      4th February 2017 at 1:19 pm
    • Heather Blevins

      Don’t bin them, take them to a charity shop, or give to a poor local : – )

      8th February 2017 at 10:38 am
      • dani fuerteventura

        Give the poor locals totally worn out apparel and shoes? They belong in the bin. If you want to help poor locals give them stuff that is still good and most of all spend money in your destinaton: dont be too cheap, dont bargain too much, give tips. And dont bring things from home that you can buy there… this also sabes you space and weight in your luggage.

        19th March 2017 at 10:42 am
  • Terry

    In some countries they expect you to carry your passport as ID at all times – not ideal as it can be lost or stole. In Spain they accept a reduced, colour version of the personal page from your passport as an alternative. I got mine from a copier shop in 10mins. Its smaller in size than a credit card and encapsulated in plastic.
    Just a thought about mens trousers. They tend to be of heavier material than for ladies and rolling isn’t as easy or stop wrinkling. An alternative is to lay the top section flat with the legs over the side of the case. Then place a layer of your other clothes on top. Now fold over the legs to create a clothes sandwich. If using a small case or you’ve long legs you may need to repeat this process. If you have more than one pair to pack, go through the same procedure again on top of the first pair. Result – no fold crease and no wrinkling.

    24th January 2017 at 10:09 am
  • colette

    I take old socks, flipflop, underwear and towels for beach. Then I leave them all behind.

    27th January 2017 at 9:36 am
  • SavvyBoy

    I always take a small 4 way extension lead (you can get them at the pound shop), this way you take just one power adapter but can charge everyone’s low power items at teh same time, like a phone and laptop

    29th January 2017 at 7:15 pm
  • Jo scott

    Unless you’re utterly addicted to 1 brand buy shampoo conditioner sunscreen at destination n leave behind
    And yes it’s a bit anal..but I do a checklist of tops/skirts/trousers. If a top works with almost any trousers /shorts/skirt it gets packed..add two lightweight dresses..underwear..allow 1 set on..I. set in Washington. 1 ready to wear. Ive managed 3 weeks travelling around Italy by train with one carry on and a shoulder bag .

    23rd February 2017 at 11:12 am
    • JS

      I’m doing a 3 week trip around Italy. Any suggestions on what to pack please ?

      11th May 2017 at 4:10 pm
  • dave

    a good thing to do is pack your holiday cloths and toiletries a few days before your due to travel so you have a few days to put in the items you have after taught about also put your travel documents in the outside pocket of your on board flight bag when you get them. therefore the only thing you have to pack and remember is you lap top and charging wires for it and your mobile

    27th February 2017 at 11:13 am
  • Mick

    I use old socks to cover my shoes.

    2nd March 2017 at 2:57 am
  • dani fuerteventura

    Think twice: do you really need your laptop on your trip? Nowadays almost everything can be done with your smartphone.

    19th March 2017 at 10:54 am
    • Patp

      Not all of us have smartphones….

      24th March 2017 at 10:29 am
  • Gillian

    A three way adaptor plug takes up less room than an extension lead and plugs straight into adaptor to put in case. Ikea drawer dividers unzip so they can be flat packed, then are useful at the other end to keep jewellery , make up etc in.

    24th March 2017 at 10:50 pm
  • Carol

    To avoid creasing entirely, fold clothes carefully with tissue paper. Especially good for formal wear! Love the idea of taking photos of important documents !

    25th March 2017 at 7:19 pm
  • Victoria

    I usually make a list of the Essentials (such as charge cable to the mobile, Passport, toiletts items etc.) that I must always take in my travels and leave it inside of the suitcase. In that way I don’t have to Wonder if I have everything With me.

    26th March 2017 at 10:36 am
  • Maria Linnell

    Reversible clothing is ideal when just taking hand luggage. I have 2 White Stuff skirts which are great for such occasions.

    16th April 2017 at 7:55 pm
  • linda

    thank you for all the very useful tips.

    22nd April 2017 at 11:40 am
  • carmel

    Thanks to all of you. I have picked up some great advise from here since I like to travel light

    22nd April 2017 at 1:34 pm
  • Savvygal

    Buy your shampoos etc on line and pick them up from Boots after security. The website doesn’t allow you to purchase if the airport shop is closed. You still get the 3 4 2 offers etc. Simples!

    22nd April 2017 at 8:15 pm
  • MR J Gaskell

    Very good advice, also it helps if you have shoes on that are slip on so when you go through customs it
    is easy to remove them and to put them on, I have always forgot my self, this holds up the other people waiting
    after you,. Thanks RYANAIR your great.

    28th April 2017 at 8:27 am
  • Shirl

    I put all my flat shoes,flip flops at the bottom of my suitcase sole down inbetween the handle risers,then underwear,beachwear etc that don’t crease,this makes the base even..always pack tops,trousers on hangers,use the thin velvet covered hangers which are lightweight..this way straight out of the case and into the wardrobe at your destination..ensure you keep your packing flat as you go..toiletries,sunscreens,makeup etc in a vaccum bag and seal it..buy a large size so that it can be folded over..this will prevent any leakage..place this bag halfway through your packing..continue with the rest of your packing keeping level as you go..never fails for me..happy holidays✈✈

    27th May 2017 at 9:42 pm
  • Val

    All very good advice, for many years now I have created a CHECKLIST of things to do pre hols and I can’t live without because I don’t now set off thinking if I did this or that ie….fridge, bread box, water, heating etc etc the list is what you make it….clears your mind happy hols

    28th May 2017 at 10:28 am
  • Patricia Duffy

    Very Helpful Advice .

    28th May 2017 at 4:38 pm
  • sean darcy

    Here my tip were the heavy runners to the airport. Buy a travel iron in Spain . Irish one go on fire . Dunnes do travel bottles 100.mill you get 3 100mill and two 50mills. It’s great for saving in toiletries. Also get the biggest and lights carry on bags with in the rules. If your stuck for room. Buy towels over there. There cheap. Also if Ryanair what you to put the carry on in the hold. Because they have no room. Iet them . It’s easier and less stressful .

    28th May 2017 at 7:15 pm

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