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Eight packing tips for a stress-free short break

Eight packing tips for a stress-free short break

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By Heather Cowper

26th May 2016

While we all love to go on holiday, somehow the preparations for a trip can leave us worn out before the holiday has even begun! If you're planning to fly away for a short break this spring, here are my packing tips for a stress free and enjoyable start to your holiday.

1. Start preparing the week before

Are you that person who throws everything into their case the night before, then arrives having forgotten some essential item? If you start your preparations a few days before you travel you'll avoid those last minute panics. A week before your holiday it's time to get all the paperwork together, make sure you've booked your airport parking, print off your flight details and check in online if you can. Find your passports and put them together with all the rest of your paperwork. Make sure the clothes you want to take are washed and ironed, then put them to one side ready to put in your case.

2. Check your airline luggage limits

These days airlines seem to offer a bewildering range of luggage allowances so it's better to check on the airline website what you're allowed. Find out the exact dimensions and amount of carry on luggage you're allowed as well as any weight restrictions. If you're putting luggage in the hold, check your weight allowance, so there are no stressful surprises or unexpected costs at the airport.

3. Pack light

If you're only going away for a few days, consider travelling hand luggage only. Do you really need three pairs of shoes and two outfits per day? Once you know your hand baggage allowance, use a case that gives you the maximum space within that allowance, then you'll be first out of the airport rather than waiting in the terminal for your case to appear. On the other hand, if you have problems lifting luggage into the overhead locker, you might be better to take a smaller bag as hand luggage and then check in your case.

4. Check the weather forecast

Check the weather forecast

Be sure to check the weather in your travel destination a few days before you travel on your mobile phone or computer. You can generally see a 7 day forecast which is enough to tell you whether to expect unbroken sunshine, in which case pack a hat and some extra sunscreen, or whether there's rain on the way in which case an umbrella and waterproof jacket will be required. Look at the temperatures too so you know whether to pack one jumper or three.

5. Pack a colour co-ordinated wardrobe

Pack a colour co-ordinated wardrobe

To help you pack light for a short break it's ideal to stick to one colour scheme, with clothes that all work together. Your clothes will be able to multi-task and you'll avoid that scenario of plenty of clothes but none that quite work together. A neutral coloured skirt or trousers can be paired with different shirts or tops and be dressed up or down with jewellery or scarves which won't take up too much room in your case.

6. Use packing cubes

With packing cubes, the unpacking is so much easier and there seems to be a lot more space in your case. These ultra-light nylon zip-up bags are sized so that they fit neatly into a small suitcase and help you compress your packing. They are often sold in a set of three so that you can use a small one for underwear and larger size to fold up tops and knitwear. They keep everything neat in your case and when you get to your destination can be used as a handy organiser when you go out each day.

7. Wear bulkier items

If you are travelling with items that are bulky or difficult to pack such as a warm coat or a tailored jacket then wear them on the journey to save luggage space. If you are planning some hiking that requires sturdy boots other equipment, then wear these on the plane.

8. Keep a toiletry bag ready to go

Toiletry bag

If you are a frequent traveller, why not keep a small toiletry bag ready to go with miniature versions of all the essential items. Use hotel size shampoo bottles to refill with your favourite products, ask the dentist for samples of toothpaste, or buy a few miniature toiletry items when you pass through the airport. If you keep a toiletry bag ready stocked for overnight stays and short breaks, you'll save time hunting for those small items the night before.

By following our packing tips we hope that you'll avoid that stress of trying to find everything the night before and arrive feeling relaxed and ready to enjoy your holiday.

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