Travel Diaries | Stress Free Holiday Packing (Part One)


This summer my friends and I went on a girly holiday in Sicily. After a relatively quiet year my summer travel schedule was jam packed with work trips and holidays. I visited Sicily, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Budapest, Toronto, Boston, Frieburg and Borneo (phew!), as well as travelling through various cities and up and down England.

As you can imagine, this amount of travelling takes it’s toll on a girl’s wallet! so I often fly with budget airlines and I take a small, hand luggage sized suitcase to avoid the mounting cost of baggage charges. At first this seemed like a daunting task- but with a few tricks here and there I figured out a way to fit all the shoes a reasonable amount of shoes and plenty of outfits, makeup, toiletries and other bits and bobs to see me through!

Are you going somewhere lovely soon? I hope so! Here are my top tips for stress free packing:

1. Check the dimensions of the bags you’re allowed to take into the hold:

This one might seem obvious, but you don’t want to be that person who’s trying to force your bag into one of the regulation boxes before you get on the flight.

A lot of small suitcases are designed especially to fit this purpose, so ask before you buy. If you already have a case you can simply measure it beforehand- all airlines will publish the dimension restrictions online. In my case, I didn’t have a tape measure so I resorted to using out a battered old 30cm ruler from my school days (complete with graffiti hearts…). Another tip is to use a fabric bag which gives you more wiggle room 🙂

2. Vacuum pack bags!

These are an absolute dream. I bought 3 for £1 in The Pound Shop and they allowed me to basically double the amount of outfits I can take with me! Plus they make packing and unpacking super easy.

3. Organise your itinerary

The Tripit app places your forwarded booking e-mails into a handy itinerary format.

5. Separate smaller items into bags

So your makeup and jewellery doesn’t get lost!

6. Use ziplock bags

For some reason your toiletries can sense when your on holiday and often seize the opportunity to spontaneously explode all over your electrical items (this has happened to me before…). What’s more headphones and sand do not mix! Simple ziplock sandwich bags will give you peace of mind.


7. Bring more than one plug adapter:

Got a kindle, a phone and a laptop? then you’ll need more than one adapter!
8. A simple scarf has multiple uses:
Sun shade, towel, sarong, wrapping for previous souvenirs, the list goes on…I chose this one in pink from Primark £4

9. Leave room for souvenirs!

Why not reward yourself for packing so light by taking home a lovely memento of your trip, after all- you’re on holiday!

10. Download a phrasebook on your phone:

Learning a couple of phrases of the local language can really enhance your trip! alternatively if you’re less confident you can simply whip out your phone, type in a phrase and point to the translation 😉

I could go on… but let’s keep it to 10 shall we? If you enjoyed this post, look out for Part 2 where I’ll go into more detail about toiletries and makeup!

Believe it or not- this all fits easily in a Ryanair sized hand luggage bag!


What are your top travel tips?
A British ex-pat's experience of Toronto life as a twenty-something abroad

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