Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 4th May 2024

I’ve Travelled The World - Here’s How To Make Packing For A Holiday Simple

Image by ivabalk from Pixabay
Image by ivabalk from Pixabay
With spring here and the summer holiday season fast approaching, many of us will be preparing to jet-set on our next trip. Whether it’s a city break or a trip of a lifetime, there’s one thing we all need to tackle… packing our bag.

To find out what we struggle with the most when it comes to packing our holiday bag, retailer House of Fraser analysed Mumsnet data which revealed the top three packing challenges, such as:

1. Deciding what to take with you
2. Fitting everything in your bag, including getting it to close
3. Overpacking in case of ‘what if’

To help you pack your bag - while meeting your airline's rules - House of Fraser has partnered with Emilie who has been a flight attendant for 16 years, to share her advice:

1. Avoid taking multiples of items

The art of the capsule wardobe is important here, with Emilie sharing: “If you’re taking a short flight and only going for a few days, travelling with a carry-on bag or backpack can be a more practical option, helping you to avoid delays while waiting for baggage on the other side. Just make sure you’ve checked your booking details to make sure your bag meets the criteria before you travel.

“Pre-plan your outfits in advance to ensure only the essentials are being taken and try to avoid taking multiples of items as this will free up some space. For example, take one pair of trainers, jeans, a jumper or cardigan and a coat. Take a few t-shirts and enough underwear and one nice dress if you know you’ll be going out. Flat trainers are both practical and use less space, so bring these if you can.”

2. Try this trick if you’re a frequent flyer

Emilie suggests having an essential kit which is always ready to go, explaining: “If you’re a frequent flyer or tend to have regular staycations, set aside essential travel items in your backpack or weekend bag, to help you plan ahead. For example power banks, plug adaptors, travel toiletries, medication and sun cream. Having these essentials handy and ready to go can help you pack quickly for your next trip.”

No chance of leaving anything behind!

3. Never pack these items next to each other
Cabin pressure can have adverse effects on your toiletries, so because of this, Emilie advises: “The change in air pressure can sometimes cause liquids to leak, even if they are under 100ml and the top is screwed on. To avoid this, I always recommend taking the pad or wipe, or solid bar versions, when possible, to prevent spillages in your backpack.

“For extra precaution, keep important items like your passport safe by keeping it in a clear ziplock bag to protect it from accidental spillages so it’s fit to travel with.”

4. Don’t take a hardcover suitcase

If you do take a bag for the cargo hold, Emilie warns: “Passengers tend to think that hard shell suitcases are more resistant than fabric ones, but it’s actually the opposite. Hardcovers can get easily broken by the pressure of the other bags once they’re all packed together in the hold.

“To avoid damage to your bag, I always recommend choosing a fabric suitcase as these are actually more durable. Picking one in a bright colour can help you spot your bag more quickly during baggage delivery, just avoid white as it won’t stay that colour for long!

Emilie adds: “Another common bag mistake people make is opting for a four-wheel suitcase. These are never as durable or reliable as a two wheel spinner and I’d always avoid them.”

5. Avoid taking fresh food in your bag

Whilst it's nice to bring local delicacies back from your tip, think about whether they'll get through customs. “Food and drinks are ok to pack in your suitcase as long as they are packed well and protected from leaking. Make sure to avoid anything with a strong smell as that might attract the attention of sniffer dogs at customs. Cold meats, cheese and fresh food in general are often forbidden in international travels so make sure to keep this in mind," Emilie shares.

6. Ensure your bag is light enough to lift

While it’s crucial you don’t overpack to meet your bag weight limits, Emilie also adds: “Please don’t pack a bag that is too heavy. If you can’t lift it and place it in the overhead compartment yourselves, it’s too heavy for us attendants too and we don’t want to injure our backs to lift your luggage.”