For most of us, packing before a holiday is a chore that is usually put off until the very last minute, when everything is haphazardly thrown into a bag.
But for travel bloggers and tour guides it’s part and parcel of the job, and something that they have mastered over the years.
With the summer holidays almost upon us, Business Insider spoke to several travel experts to find out their top tips for getting the most out of your baggage allowance – which these days is notoriously stingy.
So whether you’re off for to Barcelona for a mini-break, backpacking around Europe for the summer, or just spending a week by a pool in Tuscany, we’ve got you covered.
1. Halve it
According to trip leaders at group travel company Topdeck, the first thing to do is lay out all of the clothes you are planning to pack.
“Now put back half of everything. This includes everything from week-long to year-long trips,” they said. “Chances are, you’re never going to wear three t-shirts a day and you’ll be glued to your flip flops.”
2. Invest in your carry-on
Ott, who most weeks finds himself flying in business or first-class across the globe, says it is a very good version of other designer luggage pieces for a fraction of the price.
The hard-shell suitcase is set on four wheels and features a built-in battery that can be used to charge iPhones or USB devices up to five times, and lots of interior compartments for organising your things – including a hidden laundry bag.
3. Vacuum bags are your saviours
Instagram influencers Karolina Valeikaite (@outsideboxx), 23, and Italian Marco Coppola (@gypseetravel), 25, who recently turned a two-month backpacking stint into an eight month trip staying in luxury hotels for free in South-East Asia, swear by vacuum bags.
Coppola, who confesses took far too many pairs of shoes when they set off on their travels says: “You can get them from eBay for about £3. You just stuff all of your clothes in them, seal it up and and roll. We’ve been travelling for a long time and these are great for organising.”
We found these medium roll-up PackMate travel vacuum bags on Ebay here (£4.95 for two).
4. Swap heavy toiletries for travel-friendly items
The Topdeck team advise you to save space by swapping bulky toiletries for smaller alternatives.
“Hair products can weigh a ton and you get through them pretty quickly. Make a pit-stop at Lush and get a shampoo bar (with a tin) – the tiny bars will save you loads of space and weight and the smells are out of this world. Oh, and they last for a couple of months too!”
This could be a particularly useful option if you are not putting luggage in the hold, as travel size shampoos and conditioner often run out quickly.
5. Use ziplock bags to organise your kit
James Asquith (@jamesasquithtravel), the youngest person to visit all 196 countries, says that when he’s packing for a trip, ziplock bags are his go-to.
“Try to pack similar items in the same areas as each other, and use ziplock bags, to split up toiletries, wires and plugs. That way, when you need something quickly, you’ll know roughly where it is without having to unpack your whole bag.”
6. Roll don’t fold
All of the bloggers agree that when it comes to packing a bag, rolling is far superior to folding.
The Topdeck crew say “You can stuff four pairs of socks per shoe (dependent on your size) if you’re really nifty! That space is otherwise going to go wasted, so make the most of it.
Asquith adds: “Try and cover up your shoes to avoid staining light colored clothes, and pack white and light tops inside out. Your bag is likely to accumulate dirt, and it’s not great turning up on holiday with already dirty clothes.”
7. Try a bumbag
“There’s no denying the effectiveness of the all-powerful bumbag,” according to the Topdeck team. “You’d be surprised by how much you can squeeze in these, and it’s unlikely to be counted as hand-luggage. Pop all of your essentials and travel documents in here for easy access and save yourself from having to carry an extra bag.”
Fortunately bumbags, like this Topshop one here (£18) are back in fashion, but if you don’t think you can pull that off, why not try something a little classier like this leather Aspinall travel wallet (£130).