Ten steps to perfect luggage packing

The challenge for packing your suitcase is invariably how to cram in as much as possible within the airline luggage allowance whilst keeping clothing wrinkle-free.  I’d like to share with you this vacation season, my 10 tried and trusted commandments for hassle-free travel.

  1. The first rule is to check the weather forecast and your itinerary so that you can plan appropriate clothing around the events.
  2. When I travelled to both cold and hot weather destinations for business, I kept my capsule wardrobe and toiletry bags permanently on standby.  The cold weather bag contained thermal underwear, tights or thick socks, wool scarf, gloves, moisturizer and lip balm plus a cold remedy.  By contrast, the tropics version carried a cotton scarf that doubled as a sarong or beach towel, cotton bandana, bikini, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and hay fever remedy.
  3. Must haves for all seasons are glasses (with transition lenses to double up as sunglasses), toiletries decanted into miniature bottles and skincare samples in sachets.  Ensure no bottle, not the remaining volume of the liquid, is over 100ml or 3.4 oz if hand-carrying.
  4.  Pack everything that you might need on arrival at your destination in the outer pockets for fast retrieval.
  5. Always place the heaviest items (shoes, toiletry bag) at the bottom of the case, nearest the wheels to avoid them crushing other clothing. Shoes should be stuffed with small items such as socks and underwear.  The next layer should be rolled up soft garments such as sweaters, night dress/pyjamas, t-shirts, work-out/fitness clothes, ties and scarves.
  6. Finally to pack longer items such as trousers, jackets or dresses, drape the item horizontally across the open case and layer on top a folded t-shirt before folding the ends inwards.   This is similar to using tissue paper to minimize creasing.  Use the inner straps to keep everything as flat as possible.
  7. Wedge bulky items like adaptors, shavers, medicine and belts into gaps to provide cushioning and prevent sliding of the packed clothes.
  8. Take care not to stack books and other documents on top of each other in the luggage.  Instead, spread them evenly throughout your bag.  Better still, store name cards and data as soft copies on a thumb drive or your smartphone.
  9. Items that you should organise as carry on include your tickets, travel documents, telephone, SIM cards and charger plus obviously computer, mouse and charger.  I include also a pen,  inflatable pillow and collapsible water bottle which I fill up at the gate once past all security scanners.
  10. Finally, pare everything down to the minimum: instead of carrying your entire set of keys, just bring the front door key.  Empty your wallet of the local cards and replace with those necessary for your destination (stored value transportation cards, international driving licence etc).  If you’re not 100% sure you’ll go to the gym, leave the running shoes and kit and just bring swimwear and goggles for exercising.

Travelling well is an art that can be learnt  and enjoyed!  You’ll soon see the advantages by saving time (keep a checklist of the clothes/product that served you best), money (no fees for overweight baggage and less tipping to bellboys) and stress (no more worrying if your bag’s spilled out all its contents).

Read report:  Women change clothes four times a day on vacation


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Asian Professional Organisers is the first member in Singapore of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers, serving clients in Singapore and Hong Kong. Georgina Wong started out as a professional event organiser before transferring her expertise to where it matters most - in the home and workplace. We offer all forms of organising from home staging of your property to workplace productivity and from wardrobe auditing to digital decluttering.