Now, I know what you are thinking, the old saying of teaching a grandma to suck eggs but this is actually something that a lot of people fail at and I was one of them until I learnt a few tricks that I’m going to share with you.
1. Check the weather
Knowing what the weather will be like at your holiday destination is going to be key. This will help you work out what clothes you will need without taking too much. You can Google your destination and Google Weather will give you a forecast so that you have some idea of what to take. If it’s going to be hot, there is no need for jumpers or coats but maybe a cardigan for the evenings if you are planning on going out. Just like dresses and bikinis will be no good if you are going somewhere that is cold all the time. My husband learnt this one the hard way when we went to Orlando, I told him that it was hot but he still packed jeans, trousers and thick t-shirts and hardly any shorts or vests. He soon realised his mistake the first time we went out and we had to go clothes shopping to get him better clothes. He knows to listen to me now haha.
2. See if the hotel has a laundrette
If they do or if they have a shop that may sell laundry detergent, you will only need to pack for half the holiday as you can do some washing one evening or morning when you don’t have anything planned. In Orlando, the hotel had a laundrette so half way through our 2 week holiday, we’d had a long day so couldn’t be bothered to eat out and did laundry instead. It meant that we only had to pack enough clothes for 8 days and had more room for souvenirs to take home. On our trip to Kos, they didn’t have a laundrette but the shop had laundry detergent so we got a box for 3 euros and then washed our clothes in the bath half way through the holiday. We did them in the morning and then hung them up on our balcony and in the bathroom when we went out, they were dry when we got back.
3. Plan your activities
Try to plan what you are going to be doing on your holiday so that you know you have the right clothes. If you are planning on sitting by the pool for the whole holiday then you don’t have to pack too many day clothes but if you are planning on going out in the day and then changing for dinner, you will need to make sure you have enough. A simple black dress, skirt or trousers could be worn a few times so that you don’t have to take a different pair for every night, you just need a couple of pairs for the whole holiday.
4. Wash out your swim suits at the end of each day
I usually take 3 or 4 swimsuits with me if I am going on holiday for 2 weeks and know that most of that will be spent in the hotel pool or at the beach. At the end of each day when I take off the swimsuit, I soak and then rinse it off in the sink with warm water before hanging it up in the bathroom or on the balcony to dry. Then the next day I use another swimsuit, by the time I get round to the first swimsuit again, it’s dried out and ready to use again so you don’t need a swimsuit for every day.
5. Roll up your clothes
This is a great way to get more in our suitcase and you will have less wrinkles in your clothes when you unpack.
6. Put socks and undies in your shoes
If you are taking shoes or trains, put socks and undies inside them, they can take up a lot of space and you might as well use the space inside so that it doesn’t go to waste.
7. Download everything to your phone instead of printing it off
It’s amazing how much room and weight paperwork can take up so if you don’t need print out of confirmations, just make sure that you have them on your phone as PDFs, try an online storage site like Google Drive, Drop Box, etc or you can attach them to an email and save it as a draft so they are easily accessible. Same goes for books, I love reading while on holiday as it gives me some real time to just chill out. I can get through 2 or 3 books on a holiday, especially if I am enjoying them. I have Google Play Books and download my favourite books onto my tablet and phone before the holiday so that my case doesn’t get taken up by lots of books. When I went to Orlando, I promised to bring back voucher books, brochures, etc for a friend until I worked out that they weighed 3kgs all together. I took them out straight away and put some of them in my hand luggage.
8. Check out the hotel power plugs
I made the mistake on previous trips of not going on Trip Advisor to ask people what plugs the hotels have and ended up taking too many travel adapters or the wrong ones. When I went to Italy, I took an adapter for my phone, my tablet and my husband’s phone so that was 3 adapters and 3 USB power pack. If I had checked first, I wouldn’t have needed to take any because all of the power plugs in the room also had USB slots. they might be small but that is still weight and space for something else. Plus, some hotels in Italy use the old 3 prong plugs instead of the European ones, always best to check.
9. Don’t overdo it on toiletries
Unless you need special toiletries, don’t bother taking any. I usually wash my hair the day that I travel and then use hotel shower gel until I get to a local shop and get all the toiletries that I need. Bottles of liquids can weigh a lot especially if you have a lot of them, next time you are in the shower, hold all of our toiletries in your arms and see how heavy they are. Wilkinsons and Boots do small travel sized bottles of toiletries to keep you going on weekends away or to cover you for the first few days of your holiday. If you really want to take your own and wish they were in smaller bottles, nip to Pound Land as they have little bottles that you can fill up with creams, shampoos and conditioners.
10. Always have a carry-on bag
No matter where I’m flying to for however long, I always have a carry-on bag and I have the same things in it as well. A change of clothes for me and my husband including socks and undies (just in case something happens to our bags), the tablets, leads for the electrical items, one power pack and on adapter. It’s never full up which means it’s great for any bits that we pick up from duty free. This will also mean that if you pick up one too many souvenirs on your holiday, you will have a little bit of extra baggage.
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