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Packing for a short break

06 November 2012, 10:15

Whether jetting overseas or staying closer to home, more of us are opting for shorter breaks rather than the traditional fortnight away.

Whether jetting overseas or staying closer to home, more of us are opting for shorter breaks rather than the traditional fortnight away.

If you’ve got something booked, either for business or pleasure, and are wondering about the best way of packing for a shorter trip, it can seem a chore. This is worse if you’re packing for a partner or children as well as yourself. Here are some tips to lighten the load:

  • Know your limits: Be very aware of your hand and hold luggage allowances before you start packing. The allowance for infants can be different, so if you are travelling with a tot, check that out as well. Then pack to get the most of your allowance. Go for bags or suitcases that are lightweight but robust. Try and weigh your luggage before setting off for the airport, and pre-book any extra baggage allowance, though that shouldn’t be necessary on a mini-break.
  • Make a list: Separate your list of things to pack into clothes (having had a good think about what you’ll be doing while you are away, and the likely weather) and divide other items into toiletries, books, maps and guide, accessories and gadgets, medical items and anything else you may need.
  • Lay everything out on the bed: Then get ruthless! Remember, you won’t be away for long, so put back all the clothes, shoes, gadgets and other things you probably won’t use. Not only is unnecessary stuff heavy to cart around, but airlines can be harsh when it comes to excess baggage charges.
  • Now start packing: There are three key techniques: folding, rolling and bundling. Place shoes (stuffed with things like tights and socks and wrapped in plastic bags) and books around the edges or at the bottom of bags or trolley cases. Things like underwear and T-shirts can be made into rectangular bundles - fold them and place items which are the most likely to crease on the top. Once these are inside the case, you have a flat surface for dresses, trousers and jackets - shirts can go on top of these, then any delicate items. While some people use tissue paper to create linings between the layers, you may not want to do that for a short trip.
  • Toiletries: Decant from bigger bottles into smaller ones, especially for a shorter break. Pack closely together in plastic bags which can be sealed up to prevent leaking.
  • Gadgets: These should be placed carefully in your bag, wrapped in other items you are taking for extra protection.
If you’re a seasoned packer, you’ll already appreciate the benefits of wearing your heaviest clothes and shoes to travel, a good lock for your case and having a change of clothes, a toothbrush and any vital medicines in your hand luggage.
Of course, on a shorter trip you may be able to take just hand luggage, making your journey less stressful. If you’re checking in a bag, make sure it stands out at baggage reclaim with a sticker or ribbon.

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