The simple act of packing a bag for a holiday can be just as exciting as booking your holiday or boarding the plane to your holiday destination.
However, this excitement can lead to what we like to call the ‘just in case’ syndrome, where you end up packing nearly everything but the kitchen sink – just in case.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with feeling excited and wanting to make sure you’ve prepared for anything – whether it be a change in weather or a change of plans. But with such strict baggage restrictions both inside South Africa and globally, it’s important to be selective about what you pack and how you pack it.
Here are 3 holiday hacks to help you travel light:
1. Be Prepared Without Overpacking
As we mentioned above, ‘just in case’ syndrome can lead to overpacking, which often leads to extra baggage charges.
To keep your baggage weight down and to make sure you’re prepared for any changes in weather, we suggest you plan your outfits for each day.
Items such as: jeans, shoes, jerseys, jackets, gloves, scarves, beanies and hats can be used multiple times before needing a wash, which is why we recommend you put together outfits that incorporate them into your travel wardrobe. This way you can pack, for example, two pairs of jeans, alternate them and pair them with various T-shirts or long sleeve tops.
Remember, in cold months, layers are your friend and in summer, always pack a jersey because you never know what the weather will do.
2) Leave The Liquids at Home
As you may know, both international and domestic flights have restrictions when it comes to liquids, gels, pastes, lotions, creams and even drinks in carry on luggage. But do you know exactly how much you’re allowed to take on the plane with you?
The answer: the maximum amount of any liquid-like substance allowed per a person in carry on luggage is 100ml, that’s including your shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and if you wear contact lenses, even your contact lens solution. Not much is it?
That’s why we recommend two different tactics, depending on how long you plan on going away on holiday for.
As a rule, we’d say if you’re going on holiday for two weeks or less, rather purchase smaller bottles and decant your products and take smaller amounts with you. Whereas, if you’re going on holiday for two weeks or more, we recommend buying your toiletries when on holiday.
Buying toiletries while on holiday may seem a bit wasteful, but if you buy smaller amounts, it’ll actually save you from having to make 100mls of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and deo last.
Alternatively, you could opt to pack your toiletries into your main luggage which means you won’t be as restricted by quantities, but it also means you won’t have access to them while travelling.
Important note, if you decide to take products with you, you need to make sure they’re packed in a 20x20cm transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, so if the cabin pressure causes any leakage, your clothing and other toiletries won’t be destroyed.
3) Forget The Fold, Opt For The Roll
Remember back in the day when your mom used to tell you to fold your clothes? Well, you can now tell her, she was wrong. The best way to pack a suitcase for a holiday away is actually to roll your clothing, not fold it.
Rolling your clothing doesn’t only allow you to pack your bag quickly, it’s also great for fitting more clothing into a small space. You see, because folded clothing is doubled over it often occupies more space than needed.
Not to mention, rolled clothing doesn’t look as creased when pulled out of a bag. Often folded shirts and pants are left creased because they have been folded and stuffed into a tightly packed suitcase.
Can you think of any other hacks to help keep your baggage from tipping the scales and costing you extra?