Packing Light

Over recent years airline regulations for baggage weights and sizes seem to have reduced dramatically, and we are all being faced with the challenge of having to pack more lightly. We’ve gathered a selection of the best trips and tricks to help you streamline your packing to avoid excess weight charges at the airport, while ensuring you have all the essentials.

Personal Grooming & Beauty Products

· Look out for multi-purpose grooming and beauty products to avoid the need for multiple bottles – two in one shampoo/shower gels are great value and come in handy if you need to wash any small items of clothing while you are away.

· Minimise your load by looking out for sample sizes, which are often given away free with with purchases, or buy travel sized products. These are great for short breaks because they hold just enough for a long weekend or so – you can even buy empty plastic containers and bottles and transfer your favourite brands to create your own personalised travel collection.

· Ladies – if you are going on a beach or active outdoor break, you won’t need the entire contents of your make-up bag/drawer. If the bare-faced look doesn’t appeal, try assembling a “skeleton” collection of cosmetics : waterproof mascara, bronzer and lip-gloss go a long way and weigh hardly anything.

· Unless your destination is somewhere very isolated, remember that you’ll probably be able to purchase any products you need at local supermarkets or beauty counters – so think twice about taking anything with you at all.

Clothes

· Experts say that with clever packing, for ever 7 garments packed, you should be able to create 14 different outfits. Think basic combinations of plain trousers, skirts and shorts, with different tops for variety. It may help to pick a colour range that is harmonious, to avoid finding yourself stuck with the Christmas elf look of bright red t-shirt and green shorts.

· Think about what you are going to be doing during your holiday and the type of weather conditions that are likely. You probably won’t need to wear full evening dress if you plan to cook in your accommodation every night of your holiday, but you’ll regret it if you forget to pack a light rain-proof jacket and end up getting drenched by an unexpected summer storm.

· Choose clothing which is light-weight and not excessively bulky. This saves space, especially if you roll the clothes rather than folding them and stuff small items such as socks inside shoes.

Entertainment & Souvenirs

· If you love to read on your holiday, consider getting an e-book reader and downloading enough books to keep you occupied during your break. This makes a huge difference for a voracious readers baggage weight, and is brilliant if you find yourself delayed on long journeys.

· Think about leaving space for any souvenirs you pick up while you are away. And avoid the trap that many travellers fall into – don’t be seduced by a bargain buy which you’ll never be able to fit into your bag. If you find something huge that you genuinely want, consider having it shipped home to save airport worries.

Packing Lists & Other Useful Tips

· Making a packing list may seem a little over the top, but it is worth spending the extra time on. Write down exactly what you will need to take, including passports, holiday money, tickets, driving license and insurance documents. When you have a complete list, assemble all your items in one place and tick them off as they are packed. Remember to take a spare list so you can double-check you’ve not left anything behind on the return journey.

· If you are really struggling to keep your bag weight down, be strict with yourself and remove everything that is not truly essential. You’ll probably only use about half of what you are left with : if you don’t believe us, make a note of what you do and don’t use during your next trip, and use it as a basis the next time you pack.

· Travel irons and travel kettles are great gadgets, but if you are staying self-catering you may well find that these are already available in your accommodation. Phone or email to find out for sure – you may save yourself several kilos of excess luggage in the process – yes, ladies, that means more room for shoes!

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