Packing is one of the essential things to do prior to one’s trip. Do it well and your trip shall be a breeze. Otherwise, you may encounter inconvenience and possibly incurring unnecessary costs. In preparation for my 05 months’ trip, I was very cautious, as I did not want to incur extra costs beyond the given 30kg (check-in luggage) allowance. The following are 7 simple tips that I applied and I hope these can aid you to acquire the art of packing. 🙂
Like most tasks, the art of packing is all about research and planning.
1. The Essentials
Identify your needs versus things you would like to have. This is not the time to be sentimental or vain (unless you have lots of spare cash to spurge on shopping/extra luggage allowance). Instead of trying to save on small stuff like cheap toiletries (which you may purchase at your destination), you can save the space for necessities such as warm clothing or whatever works for you. Instead of bringing valuable accessories for beauty purposes, think twice.
2. The Restrictions
Different destinations have different restricted items that you are simply not allowed to bring. While the UK abhors imitation branded goods, the South Pacific region (Australia, New Zealand etc.) is very strict with food – especially those that are raw. Knowing the restrictions of the destination that you are travelling to shall help you to save on luggage space and unnecessary fines. When unsure, just do a google search or log on to the immigration website of the destination that you are travelling to. NEVER waste your luggage space for restricted items!
3. The Checklist
Upon doing your research and identifying your needs, all you need to do is to draw up a checklist and stay organised! Work your way through the list and tick off items as you pack. This shall also help in your pre-trip shopping. Worry not about last-minute packing, as that is what I often do. Simply go through the above steps and make sure that you have everything on your list. In such cases, packing can be done in less than an hour if you are fast!
4. Maximise Space
Maximise your space by minimizing air! Vacuum bags are my new best friends when I was packing the winter essentials. Bulky clothes take up lots of space and a vacuum bag can work wonders! On top of that, it is a good way of organising your luggage content. J To get a vacuum bag, simply log-on to qoo10.com.sg or any deals’ website. If you are residing in Singapore, Daiso also sells vacuum bags at S$2 each.
5. Weight Matters
Do you know your weight limit? Different airlines, flight routes, class of seats etc. assign different weight limit. In order to pack appropriately and efficiently, it is best to make clear your weight limit. I was having trouble packing my luggage initially, because I thought that my allowance was 23kg. Upon checking my itinerary again, I realized that it was actually 30kg (!!!) and that allowed me to pack more items!
Besides knowing your weight allowance, you should also practice prudence to avoid an overweight luggage! Choose a lightweight luggage instead of trying to make a fashion statement with the trendy but heavy bag. You should also measure the packed luggage to ensure that you do not exceed the weight allowance.
6. Be Resourceful
Make the most out of what you have. If you realised that your checked-in luggage is going to exceed the weight limit, don’t forget that you are entitled to hand-carry luggage. Some airlines allow 7kg while others provide 10kg hand-carry luggage allowance. As mentioned, do your research well and distribute your travel “necessities” effectively.
7. Regarding Your Valuables
This is a no brainer but sometimes people still does it. A note of reminder (and touching wood!): you never know when your luggage may get lost, so do not put any valuable/fragile items or money in your checked-in luggage.
Last but not least, you may call me “kiasu” (way too cautious), but… an extra lock never hurts.