Friday, 10 August 2018

The ULTIMATE Packing Guide with Expert Tips!

Packing … some may call it the WORST part of travelling….except if you are the few that love it, like myself! I am a self-confessed control freak when it comes to planning literally everything in my life. So packing is fun for me so I know exactly what to take and when to use it.

Yes the fun part is choosing what outfits to wear to a certain party or day when you want to take photos but it goes wayyyyyy beyond that! So leave plenty of time before your travels to pack your bag (I am a hypocrite because I am a leave it till the last minute girl!)

Below we have 10 of the best tips for the perfect packing guide to help you start your trip the right way! Under each tip, there will be resources to my favourite bloggers websites who have the expert advice! All you have to do is click here and keep on reading!

1 - Choose the Right Luggage

First up on our list is choosing the right luggage, admittedly when I saw this tip everywhere I thought it was obvious and a bit silly….could not have been more wrong! Firstly it depends on how long you are staying. If it is only a few days, a hand-luggage sized suitcase will be more than enough. Anything longer than that, obviously the average suitcase in hold will be more than enough unless you want a backpack!

It isn’t just about how long you are staying, it is what you feel comfortable. As much as I prefer suitcases because I feel vulnerable carrying a backpack in certain cities, it isn’t that comfortable. Your arms ache from carrying it around, so then perhaps a backpack is more suited for comfort. The first tip from this packing guide is to write down how many nights you are staying, visualize how much stuff you will need and how much comfort you would like. If you already have your perfect luggage, then great, if not then read the links below from our expert bloggers and get buying!

Smarter Travel - Choosing the Right Travel Luggage Travel Fashion Girl - Suitcase 101

2 - Pack for your Duration

This is the most stereotypical thing I have ever seen, especially when it comes to my dad saying you packed too many outfits! Yes, I will admit I overpack but I need backup outfits just in case!

However, unless you don’t want the risk of your bag breaking or an excess charge of £10 per extra 1kg, definitely try and pack to your weight limit as close as possible! Because, if you are anything like me, I like to buy souvenirs! Realistically, if you have a 3 day weekend break, you won’t need a 20kg suitcase. You can save money, use hand-luggage and use that extra £20 for a meal or a souvenir.

I went to Amsterdam in January, where the warmest it was, was 5 degrees celsius. I only was there for 3 days, but I had to pack layers and coats. Let’s just say, at 5am after coming back from a night out, with 4 hours to pack, sleep and leave for the airport, it was a rush. I somehow forgot that I overpacked, didn’t know how to pack and my suitcase nearly broke. I didn’t use half the clothes I packed! I will not use gender stereotypes in this ultimate packing guide, because I am sure boys overpack too! But boys and girls, if you overpack read the links below for some advice… i will be to!

Travel and Leisure - Long Term Travel Packing Guide

3 - Clothes for Every Occasion

I can’t help it, there is something I must confess. I love to have a different outfit for different occasions, but it sometimes just isn’t feasible. For special occasions and nights out, of course have different outfits if you want! However, to save space and time packing/deciding what to wear, take clothes that you can use 2 or 3 times max.

For example, if you are walking around a city or going to a museum, wear just a plain basic top. No ones really cares what you look like and you can wear it twice and style it up with some shoes or accessories. Now down to the practical stuff… weather!

Unless you are going to a country that guarantees sun, make sure to pack a waterproof or an umbrella with some walking shoes at least! Because you never know when an odd shower will occur! My nan went to Rome and Barcelona in May (normally hot weather) and there was just constant rain, yet in England, since May we have had nothing but great weather! Just shows you have to be prepared!

Capsule Suitcase - How to Pack for the Rain

4 - Roll don’t fold

Myself and most travellers LIVE by this rule! Ever since I came across this rule (I call it a rule because this changes EVERYTHING), I have used this every time I pack. The rule is simple, don’t fold but roll your clothes. It does two fab things!

One it saves so much more room in your suitcase. I swear, I have way more room for even more clothes!! Two it doesn’t crease your clothes! It is true, tried and proven and my clothes looked clean and crisp!

If you don’t believe me, click on the links below to other packing guides with the roll rule!

Tortuga Backpacks - Folding vs. Rolling Clothes
5 - Back up documents

I have learned many things from my dad, but the main thing he teaches me about travelling is to backup my documents! Most documents online, so I always make sure I have them backed up on a USB stick and also printed off two!

It is important to have backups, in case your phone loses battery or (touch wood) you lose your email confirmation for your hotel, transport or plane tickets! Yes it sounds boring, yes it sounds time-consuming but it is sooo worth it!

Especially with trips that are long-term or to new countries, or moving countries it is important to have backups. When I moved to Spain, it was top priority to have extra documents because any situation was going round in my head! For more info on travel guides to protecting your documents, click on the links below!

6 - Toiletry Bag

Packing my laundry bag and makeup bag, will forever be the worst part of packing. No matter how many tips I follow, something will always leak or spill onto something dry. So I have two tips for you. If you only have room in your hold luggage, make sure all liquids are standing up right and facing up when you are carrying your suitcase. When you pack them, rip part of a plastic bag off (reusable use) and put it over the liquid bottle before you put the top on to prevent spillage - ta-da!

However, my personal favourite is putting as much liquid as I can in my hand-luggage. Especially if I have a bag which I can put under my seat, this is so I can always check on it during my flight, coach or train!

Top tip: If you can, find dry replacements to liquids...such as dry shampoo and conditioner, soap, Lush is a great shop that sells this! These packing guides are fab for advice on this! Travel Made Simple - How to Pack Light with Liquids

7 - Laundry

Unless you are on a long-term trip, have bed bugs (happened to me) or have a laundry room in your hotel I doubt you will be washing your clothes. So there are two simple things that you can do.

One is to bring some plastic bags, this is so you can separate what you have or haven’t worn. If you are like me, after a long day exploring, I will change and chuck my old clothes somewhere in my locker. Then I forgot which clothes I can wear and I spend more time at home finding what to wash. This will also prevent your dirty clothes mixing with clean and nice smelling clothes.

If you really want to take it to the next level, there should be separate compartments in your luggage.. So just stuff your old clothes in there, unless you really want to make use of the washing facilities! I have only used it once, but it was free because I had bed bugs (I don’t hold that against the hostel because worst things can happen!

8 - Money, Money, Money

I had to use an Abba reference because of the second movie that just came out, yes I nearly cried and I felt like an empowered woman who can move to Greece and open a hotel! Anyway, back to the packing guide! This is the TOP tip that my dad always gives me, even now, separate your money!

These days, unfortunately there is a lot of pick-pocketing going on in some places, so you have to be really careful when travelling. Do not let this put you off! Some places to think about: safe, suitcase, secret places in your hotel room. Always keep your credit card separate to your money, in case either gets lost at least you have a backup! Read the travel guides below for some more money advice!

Lonely Planet - Travel Money Essentials

9 - Packing Cubes

Known to be called the luggage tamer, packing cubes are super useful for every type of traveller. It can be used to separate luggage if you are travelling in a group or just to keep it looking tidy! As well as being able to organize clothes and save time rummaging through your suitcase, as Her Packing List explains, it can be used as a pillow! If you are stuck in the airport and tired, you have a pillow!

Her Packing List also lists the ways you can misuse packing cubes, including bringing too many and not filling it up! The key is to use every space so that it saves space in your luggage! For more information

Never Ending Voyage - How to Use Packing Cubes

10 - Lock and Electronics

We are now in the generation of phones, cameras, computers and Generation I! We all want that Insta-Worthy shot and granted we want to stay connected with friends and family. However, there is a reality that things may get stolen or lost when travelling. So we must all keep our stuff safe.

First thing to do is buy a lock, some hostels (not as much hotels) will have lockers as you are sharing with others. You may have  a key card to this locker, some hostels have storage but you need your own lock… so buy one! As much as I love cases for electronics, it looks so obvious so make sure it is not on show and your electronics are somewhere vague.

When packing, try and keep all of your important and valuable electronics on you, preferably in your hand luggage. Keep your cables separate and place in a small storage pocket to keep them de-tangled and safe.

Her Packing List - Tech Gear Packing List


Hope you all found my ultimate packing guide useful! Packing has to be one of the most stressful parts of travelling -- but I can’t help but love it! Make sure to click onto some of the links I have suggested, I have learned a lot from fellow bloggers!

If you found this post useful, make sure to let me know in the comments below or on my social media! Make sure to catch up on my recent post “RECENT POST”.

I am off to Barcelona on the 17th-21st of September and Rome from the 21st to 25th September, so if you are there and want to explore or work together email me!

Have a good day guys, Mol x


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