9 effective packing tips for your summer vacation

Being desis, we have a tendency to over-pack since we like to be prepared for every contingency in the world.

Urooj Hussain May 27, 2015
Summer is just round the corner, which means almost every one of us is in their ‘vacation-planning’ mode. Summers are usually the most convenient time for people, especially families, to take a vacation – mainly because of their children’s long summer break.

Whenever I plan a trip, I try to make sure I do as much sightseeing as possible during the limited time that I have. And one of the ways to do so is by travelling light  a challenge that most of fail to accomplish. Being desis, I think it adds on to the struggles of travelling light, as we have a tendency to over-pack and be prepared for every contingency in the world.

So here are some tried-and-tested tips that I have found very handy when it comes to packing light and making the most of your trip.

1. The two-third formula

Photo: Reuters

Put all the clothes you think you might need in the suitcase and then remove two-thirds of them.

This is where you follow your ‘you-never-know’ method of packing by dumping everything you may want to take along with you on your trip into your suitcase. Leave the suitcase as is for some hours and come back to reconsider what you might not need.

Do you really need that extra pair of pants?

What could you possibly need five shirts for when you can shop there?

Don’t you need spare space for shopping?

Keep doing this mental exercise and remove clothes from the suitcase until you are down to 30% of what you had originally stuffed in. It will save a lot of space and chances are that you won’t even use half of your luggage on your trip.

2. It’s not considered a fashion faux pas to repeat the same clothes during a vacation

Photo: Reuters

It’s okay to repeat the same clothes while you’re on a trip. You are going to explore and discover – you aren’t going for a rishta (marriage proposal) for yourself; always better to be rational. If you feel your hotel laundry services are too expensive for you, then look for a laundromat or a laundry service nearby if possible. It is worth paying for to save the luggage space.

3. Roll them away

Photo: Pinterest

Roll your clothes instead of folding them. This is an age-old trick which most people already know and it always comes in handy.

The only time this may not work is with heavy winter clothes like coats and jackets – you will need to fold those.

4. Size matters, a lot

Photo: Urooj Hussain

I’m sure you’re familiar with those small bottles of shampoo and soap that you get in hotel rooms – don’t throw them away. Once empty, use them or small sample bottles for toiletries. They can be re-filled with the shampoo or face wash of your choice while travelling and are small enough to fit in your travel bag as well.

One bottle will last you up to five days, and in case you want more, you can keep more bottles, since they don’t take up much space. Look at the size-comparison above.

5. Pack each shoe separately

Photo: Pinterest

Shoes being the terrible, bulky things they are, can take up a huge amount of space – especially if you are tiny like I am and need to wear wedges or heels most of the time. I solve this problem by never packing pair of shoes together. Wrap them separately in shoe bags or plastic bags and put them in the opposite sides of the suitcase.

6. Wear your heaviest clothes – if you can

Photo: Pinterest

Seriously, this helps. Do you really want to carry your heavy boots and jackets with you? Apart from the weight, these things take up a lot of space. Therefore, layer up and wear the heaviest ones while you are in transit. Most airports, trains and buses are air conditioned anyway; it is unlikely that you will feel uncomfortable.

7. Put rolled socks inside the shoes

Photo: Pinterest

It saves space. Simple enough.

8. An e-book is the way to go

Photo: Reuters

We all dread long flights and train rides, especially when we have nothing to do to pass our time. We end up buying a book at the station/airport lounge which we most probably do not end up reading, and it rather becomes a hassle to carry throughout the trip.

So, instead of buying a book at the bookstore or at the airport lounge, save yourself the trouble and pre-download four to five e-books on your phone or iPad to keep you entertained on long transits. You will have more reading variety and that even on one tablet.

9. Do you really need your hair dryers and straighteners? 

Photo: Pinterest

Do you really? They take up so much space and they are heavy as well, even the small ones. Most hotels will already have a hair dryer in their bathrooms and if they don’t, you can always ask for one. If that doesn’t work, just go to a nearby salon and get your hair fixed there, unless you are in Europe where these services tend to be expensive. If not, then this option is comparatively feasible.

For instance, I used to get my hair done all the time while I was in Thailand. Paying for it is still worth the space you can save up.

Well, there you go. Hope these can help you.

Happy travelling!

This post originally appeared here.
Urooj Hussain Media Planner by profession, and a wanderer at heart, she works to fulfill her dreams of seeing the world,meeting new people, having new experiences and writing about it in hopes to entertain, amuse and inspire. She tweets @suno_Urooj
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

Facebook Conversations


نائلہ | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend Just don't keep any liquids in the hand carry!! I learnt the hard way :(
Fareed Khan Afridi | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend bons conseils ! vous etes un expert ! [ "great advice. You are an expert." in French ] Like the part about layering your clothes. Great idea. Definitely saves space. Personally, own some wash/wear drip n dry shirts/pants. That you can wash in the hand basin of your hotel bathroom. Hang in the shower, to dry overnite.
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ