Travelling is one of the finer things in life for many people. It was Mark Twain whose words on the benefits of travel led to the saying, ‘travel broadens the mind’, although he didn’t actually use those words. The only downside for some of us is the necessary packing and preparing that comes beforehand.
Here are a few tips to help see you off feeling relaxed and ready for adventure.
Space Saving Ways to Pack Your Suitcase
Start by knowing what you need and what you don’t need for your trip. If you’re having a casual family holiday, you may not need formal clothing or matching outfits so leave them behind.
How you pack your case depends on your holiday type and destination. If you’re going to one single destination and plan on unpacking when you get there, pack your case however feels most natural. If, however, you’re travelling between locations and will live out of your suitcase, a front to back ‘filing’ system may be best. Folded or rolled, pack items vertically instead of laying them flat in the case. This way, you don’t have to dig through layers of clothes to find the ones you want. They’re all visible inside the case, neatly stacked on their ends like papers in a filing cabinet.
Rolling rather than folding can save space – and that includes rolling socks instead of tucking them inside each other in a ball. Try it if you don’t believe it. Folded socks make a much smaller package. T-shirts also become much smaller if you roll them up. The only things that don’t benefit from rolling are items that crease easily, such as shirts. Those, you may want to fold normally and place on top of rolled items.
When you’re packing bulky clothing, such as coats or jackets, consider vacuum bags that will fit inside your case. They crush items down to much smaller sizes, although you won’t want to do this with formal outer wear.
Securing House and Home
While you’re away, advance preparation can prevent nagging concerns about home security.
- Hide away valuables so they’re not visible through windows. For very valuable items, consider packing them up and asking friends or neighbours to mind them for you. Alternatively, book a self storage room or locker for the duration of your trip. They don’t cost much, and you can hire one for a week or more.
- Get someone to keep an eye on your home, watching out for unlatched gates or other signs of trespassing. If they can pop in to close curtains or switch on lights, even better. If not, invest in a timer for lighting so lamps come on during the evening hours.
- Have someone stay in your home while you’re gone. You could rent out through companies like Airbnb, or hire a pet sitter instead of putting animals into boarding kennels.
Check Import Regulations and Airline Restrictions
You can’t rely on last year’s information regarding airline restrictions and requirements, so always check what you can and can’t take before you pack. Make sure your containers and liquid quantities fall within the guidelines, and always weigh your bags before you leave home.
Depending on your destination, you may find some curious import regulations that restrict what you can take into a country. Read up on current restrictions as these can sometimes extend even to the mud on boots if there’s a suspicion it may contain harmful bacteria or organisms. The most likely restrictions will concern food, so take care over the snacks or ‘home comforts’ you carry with you.