Packing for a trip is a stressful and difficult event, especially if you are packing for an entire family. There are some things that you can do to reduce the number of bags and the amount of weight that you need to carry on a plane or drag around a city. Here are some genius travel hacks to help you.
Rather than folding, roll up everything that you put into a suitcase. For pants, put the legs together and roll them from the waist to the ankle. Place socks on top of each other and roll them into each other, wrapping the elastic top over the ball that you make.
That same can be done with everything from under-clothes to parkas. This is especially important for jackets that have a lot of air in them, like fibre or down-filled winter coats. Rolling can compact everything by nearly 50%. This is a trick that militaries around the world teach to recruits to save space.
Many rolled items won’t stay that way by themselves. Buy some jewellery hemp or twine to tie things closed. It will keep larger things compressed. It’s a good idea to buy a nice quality string that doesn’t shed all over everything. It also makes sense to take some unused twine with you to repack after the trip.
Keep a change of clothes in your hand luggage
If your luggage is lost, you will have something to wear. Only pack the minimum you need to survive, like shorts and a t-shirt for a warm location and jeans and a flannel shirt in a cold destination. You will have two outfits to wear while you find your luggage.
Buy liquid castile soap
This soap is a universal cleanser. You can use it to wash hair, clothes, and hands as you need to. It is hypo-allergenic and has natural scents, so it is something that almost everyone can use. Buy a small closable bottle, dilute the soap by 50% with water, and you are good to go.
Put a towel in your hand luggage
Anyone who has read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy knows the usefulness of a towel. If you don’t you will the first time you use your bath towel as a blanket in an airport on an emergency layover. It seems strange to lose that space, but when you need it, you will be very happy that it’s there. Use twine to tie it up compactly.
Pack a book
Batteries die and boredom kills. Put a small paperback into your bag. It can also be used for a place to jot notes and even to start fire, if somehow on your flight to Sydney you end up stranded in the Himalayas.
The key to packing well is simply to find things that can work in many different circumstances. One tool, like a towel or twine that can serve multiple purposes, can save your life or at least make you more comfortable. And since each additional bag can cost you a fair amount of pounds to put on a plane, you can save big money by learning to pack well! Happy packing!