You may be travelling for a family holiday, business trip or backpacking journey with friends; whatever the occasion, it is a useful life skill to know how to properly prepare your luggage.
This means you can’t continue to hurl everything in, mixing up clothes and grooming products; instead, begin with an immaculately packed bag for a more relaxed trip.
Don’t pack too much
If instinct tells you that you have packed too much, you are probably right. The author of Unstuff Your Life! Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good, Andrew J Mellen, flies at least once a month as a motivational speaker. He comments that the number one mistake he sees in other travellers is packing too much.
For a man, he recommends one well-tailored suit and some smart shirts; for casual trips, he favours shorts and a single pair of jeans.
Roll – don’t fold
Rolling instead of folding will create space and reduce wrinkles. Mellen comments that he even rolls up dress trousers, as they are less liable to crease. Other rolled items include T-shirts, shorts, jeans, swimming costumes and gym gear. For ease of access in the morning, group your T-shirts, shorts and underwear together on top of each other.
Use the extra square footage
To maximise storage opportunities, Mellen recommends that you roll up your belts and stuff them with spare socks in your shoes. This will maintain the shape of your shoes and free up storage in your luggage, working in the same way as a shoe tree.
Leave the travel-sized bottles
Having to pour your favourite toiletries such as body wash and hair product into small travel-size bottles is annoying and inefficient. Arash Shirazi, president of The Bullitt Agency, travels up to 200,000 miles a year. He suggests visiting a department store and asking for small samples of the grooming products you love – whether face wash, shaving cream or shampoo – and comments that these bottles can be easily thrown into your luggage and discarded after use.
If you are planning to hit the shops at your destination, be sure to leave enough space in your suitcase for purchases.