If you’re anything like me, you’ll find the notion of packing for a holiday to be a stressful one. Not because the actual packing part is problematic, but more so because there’s never enough time in the day for all the normal stuff, let alone planning everything you need for a few days or even weeks. So to make things easier for you (and me) here’s the busy girl’s guide to packing…
You’re one week away from your holiday. You have a mental note of things to take, stuff to buy and outfits mentally thrown together. Plenty of time, right? Fast forward 5/6 days and suddenly the airport is practically in sight with the plane on the runway ready to go and you’ve still not packed your suitcase. There’s bags of toiletries from Boots dotted around the house in various places (some probably lost) and delivery packages of new sandals and bikinis waiting for attention. But nothing has actually made it into the case. Sound familiar?
I always have the best intentions of packing earlier than normal for my holidays. I have the intention but it pretty much never actually happens. I’m too buys with work and the kids and I buy all the essentials, mentally prepare but I’m still throwing things in my case on the day I leave. That’s just me. So how do you turn pre-holiday packing into organised chaos inside the bag? The Busy Girl’s Guide To Packing should help:
Make a List
It sounds cheesy but a quick list of things I can’t forget usually gets started a week or maybe two before I go away. This has the normal things to buy (sun cream, toothpaste, shampoo etc) and then morphs into a new list entirely withing about 3 days before departure as it become a list of things I can’t forget to pack but can’t physically go in the case until the last minute (medication, camera, laptop etc.) Making lists is the best way to keep on top of what you need to do – take the list out of your head and put it on paper and you remove the risk of forgetting something vital. (Like I have many times.)
Buy Clear Plastic Bags
When doing your food shop a few weeks before the trip, pick up some clear freezer food bags from the supermarket. You can get them for as little as a pound or two. This means you can be ready to sort your hand luggage liquids out ahead of airport arrival (even things like lipsticks have to go in the clear bags) as well as medication you may need on the flight. Plus a single bag can cost around £1 each if you wait until the departures hall depending on the airport, so it’s much cheaper as we usually take extras for putting dirty clothes etc in while we’re away.
If like me you take medication, vitamins and/or supplements each day then it’s important to plan this ahead of time for your trip. Now I have to take multiple things per day, this is the first holiday I purchased a pill organiser. I got a two week system just in case and it’s got a compartment for each day. In here I’ll be putting my daily medication, supplements and vitamins as well as some less vital medications. You can pack things like this in your checked luggage with no problems. For my I-can’t-be-without-these medications, I put them in a clear bag and have them in my carry-on bag or handbag. These are the things that I can not risk being without if my bag got lost. Just remember if you carry medication like this then you need to pack the original packaging with the doctors/pharmacy label showing.
Roll Don’t Fold
Another big tip for the busy girl’s guide to packing is something I heard many, many times before I actually did it myself. And then when I did, I realised how much better it was and never looked back…rolling your clothes saves a huge amount of space in your suitcase compared to folding. I’m talking a LOT of space. AND it has the added bonus of less creases in your clothes – winner. No-one wants to get to their holiday and have to iron (except my husband apparently who never listens and ends up having to iron his clothes every day LOL.) I roll anything that can be – towels, clothes etc. And anything that can’t be, like swimwear, goes inside another rolled item. You’ll be able to fit way more in this way.
Place Cotton Wool In Your Make Up Products
From one beauty lover to another, my biggest tip for travelling with your make up is to take a thin cotton pad and put it inside any palettes or compacts you may have. This fills the gap between the lid and base, stops product moving around and prevents breakages. I learned this the hard way last year when I took a £46 eyeshadow palette on holiday and it broke in my suitcase. I wept inside.
Check Your Allowance
When it comes to travelling, every airline is different on weight limits and carry on bag sizes. It’s essential to check with yours before arriving at the airport because if you get there and your carry on bag is larger than they allow, they’ll make you check it and hello pricey fee before you’ve even left the country. The same applies for fees if you go over your weight allowance. Check ahead and ensure you’re within your limits so you don’t eat into your holiday budget before you fly.
Plan For Mishaps
I’ve heard of so many people losing luggage or theirs being delayed (did you see Jeffree Star lost his luggage on the way home from the UK with a handbag inside worth more than a house – ouch!) So to avoid the absolute horror of losing a case (I honestly think it would ruin my holiday) I now split both mine and my husbands things across both cases rather than us having our own. This means that should one get lost we’ve both still got something to wear, clean ourselves with and swim in etc until the situation can be resolved. Carrying a change of clothes and whatever you deem as ‘essential’ in your hand luggage could be another great way of making sure you’re covered.
A totally ‘extra’ tip: scent your bag
Okay now this one probably isn’t for the busy girl’s among us (because who has time for this?!) but it’s a really nice idea: use a drawer scent or scented car hanger to ensure all your clothes are nicely scented when you arrive at your destination. Sounds cool right?
So when it comes to packing, whether you do it weeks or months ahead (yes, there are people who do – my mum being one!) I’ma firm believer that as long as there is some organisation in the chaos then you should be absolutely fine. Planning with lists and researching the things you need to know about carry on luggage sizes etc means that even if you don’t physically pack your case more than a day or two ahead then you know you’re as organised as can be.
I’ll never be someone who packs earlier than the day or two before I go away. I just hate the thought of packing something I need in those few days and having to dig it all out when I’ve packed neatly. So for me these busy girl’s guide to packing tips at least make me feel like I’ve nailed the pre-holiday prep.
Read more from my Travel Category.
Welcome to Lady Writes! The multi-award winning blog by Chloe Brewer and home of everyday beauty and lifestyle for the everyday woman.