Holiday hack 101: pack like a pro

So, you’ve booked an awesome holiday this December, and you cannot wait to leave for your destination, but the age-old issue of what to pack has reared its ugly head.  And, whether you’ve opted for beach, berg or bush, you know that you can be sure to expect rain, sunshine, wind and alternating bouts of sweltering hot days, peppered by some chilly ones too. With festive season celebrations in abundance, sparkly cute outfits will also be required, so the task of expertly selecting and fitting a summer/winter/casual/blingy wardrobe into one suitcase becomes a mammoth task of Jenga-like proportions.

Having faced this challenge head-on hundreds of occasions, hospitality-industry expert, Director of First Loyalty Plus and seasoned traveller Rioma Cominelli offers her 5 packing hacks:

1. Invest in a good travel bag: There’s nothing more frustrating than having a wheel break on your very full, heavily loaded suitcase when you’re away on holiday, so make sure that you invest in quality luggage. You’ll ideally want a suitcase that’s super light but that’s also strong and durable, so can withstand the wear and tear of being bashed around. It also needs to be big enough to hold everything you’ll need. Find a “spinner” case that can be manoeuvred easily with one hand and has wheels that can turn 360°. There are some great options available from the First Loyalty Plus online store, and as a member, you’ll get discounts of between 30% and 50% (https://firststore.co.za/collections/bags-luggage).

2. Wear the heavies: This is particularly relevant if you’re flying to your holiday destination. Heavy clothing items greedily dominate the space (and weight allowance) in your case, so wear your heaviest items when you’re travelling rather than packing these into your case (jackets and boots are generally the heaviest culprits).

3. Roll your clothes: By rolling (instead of folding), you’ll fit a lot more into your case, as this compresses your clothing and makes it easier to fit things into little gaps. This miraculous space-saving tip works well for t-shirts, pants, dresses, jeans, shorts, swimming costumes and PJs, but does not really work for bulky items (like sweaters) and button-up shirts (they tend to crease as the fabric bunches as it rolls), so rather fold these items. Rolling your clothes also keeps them wrinkle-free, for the most part, as there are no hard crease lines. You can also put things inside your shoes, as that is generally forgotten, wasted space!

Rolling your clothes also keeps them wrinkle-free, for the most part, as there are no hard crease lines

4. Choose one colour palette: By choosing one colour palette or lots of neutral colours to base your holiday wardrobe on, you’ll be able to mix and match with ease, creating multiple outfits from a handful of items. Using different accessories will allow you to dress an outfit up or down, changing the look entirely, taking you from casual daywear to party eveningwear with ease. So, pack items that are complementary, and with a little creative thinking, you’ll get away with a lot less. Remember that layering is the best way of keeping warm, so pack items that you can add or remove easily depending on the weather, and by sticking to neutral colours, this will be a cinch.

5. Buy travel-size toiletries: Toiletries are generally the biggest space-hoggers, so either buy travel-size items if you’re not too fussy about the brands you use (these are only available in limited ranges) or buy travel-size bottles and decant your favourites into these to save space. Make sure you pack these into a zip lock/waterproof/leakproof bag, as toiletries leaking onto your clothing will be a messy start to your holiday.

Rioma concludes, “Going on holiday is meant to be an exciting adventure, so don’t let the idea of packing your case stress you out before it even starts. Just follow these simple tips, and you’ll be well on your way in no time. Bon voyage!”