Jane McDonald shares her top packing tips
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Luggage restrictions can make packing one of the most dreaded tasks when it comes to travelling abroad. Squeezing in everything from shoes and clothes to accessories and toiletries can seem impossible with tight size and weight requirements, but there are a few clever ways to get it all in without paying extra. Here are five of the best travel hacks you should know to help you pack all the essentials and more in just one suitcase.
Over-packing is something many of us are guilty of when going on a trip, but it can be an expensive habit to have while travelling abroad.
Luckily there are plenty of small changes you can make while loading up your suitcase to make sure you have everything you need, without exceeding the weight limit.
Stick to a colour scheme
Whether you choose a bold orange or stick to neutrals like white or black, planning your clothing items around one colour is the best way to condense your wardrobe.
Choose the colour of your staple items and plan multi-use outfits which can be mixed and matched to avoid over-packing.
Accessories are the best way to make re-worn outfits look different – just choose lightweight scarves, jewellery, bags and hats to switch up monotone fabrics.
Use the one week rule
While it may seem odd to pack just one week’s worth of clothing for a longer trip, there is one simple way to make sure your clothes will last you the full duration of your holiday.
All you need to do is pack for one week and make sure you wash your garments while you’re away.
Whether you do a quick hand-wash in a hotel-room sink or make use of a laundry service, it is much cheaper to do this than to foot the bill for excess baggage.
This simple hack is best suited to hot destinations where lightweight fabrics can be easily washed and dried without proper laundry facilities.
Planning your outfits visually makes it much easier to know which items work well together and to understand how much you need to fit into your suitcase.
Lay items out flat or keep them on hangers to pair outfits together before packing.
This way, you can stick to your colour scheme and rest assured you’ve got everything you need.
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Use the rule of three for shoes
While shoes come in pairs, it is best to stick to the rule of three to save space in your suitcase.
Set a maximum of three pairs that will work for more than one activity.
To free up even more room in your luggage, place flimsy footwear such as flip-flops inside larger shoes like boots, and use packing cubes to separate them from your clothing.
You should always pack shoes at the bottom of your suitcase near the wheels in order to distribute weight evenly and reduce strain on your back and shoulders.
Separate items into ‘fold’ and ‘roll’ piles
Rolling your clothing into a compact tube may seem handy for making space, but it’s not always the best for your fabrics.
It is important to think about which garments should be rolled and folded in order to decide whether it’s worth taking them.
If you have lots of large jackets or shirts that can’t be neatly rolled without creasing, it is best to condense your options down further.
Cotton shirts and similar fabrics should be kept flat, while synthetic materials can be tightly twisted up without wrinkling.
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