Packing tips to lighten your load

With airlines (and even trains and buses) enforcing tighter baggage rules, it pays to be able to pack efficiently to make the most of any restrictions. Whether your trip is a simple weekend away, or a longer gap-year type adventure, you’ll need to be able to bring enough clothes and toiletries to get you through it, and still have room for any purchases you’ll want to bring home. Since travel is kind of our thing at Palmers Lodge, we’ve compiled a list of our best packing tips so you can make the most of your luggage space.

Check with the airline, train, or bus services in advance to see exactly what the restrictions are. This way, you can work within them and avoid getting an unpleasant surcharge surprise at check-in. Airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair do charge for checked luggage, but it’s often easier to pay online than at the airport.

It sounds simple, but buy an extra light suitcase or backpack.  Luggage nowadays is lighter and more durable than ever, so your suitcase shouldn’t way more than the stuff in it.  If you’re unsure whether your luggage will be over the weight limit, weigh it – ideally with a handheld luggage scale.

Don’t weigh down your bags with large bottles of liquids like hair products.  Transfer your lotion, shampoo and shower gel into travel bottles.  You can always buy more products upon your arrival if you need more.  Same goes for other toiletries like toothpaste.

Before putting an item in your luggage, ask yourself, ‘Do I really need to bring this?’ Travellers often overpack (put down that 4th pair of shoes, you won’t need them) or fail to consider the facilities available to them where they’re staying.  Facilities like free linen or washing and drying services mean you can cut down on the amount of clothes and bedding you bring.

You can pack a lot more into your luggage by rolling your clothes rather than folding them.  However, this has the disadvantage of causing wrinkles, so for clothes that need to stay crease-free, it’s best to fold them along the creases they should naturally have.

Hey, we know that anyone who comes to London is going to want to bring home some souvenirs. Even if you’re not a shopaholic, this city is full of fun and quirky shops, many of them just around the corner in Swiss Cottage. To minimise space, wrap souvenirs in your T-shirts rather than packaging, and always place items in the centre of your suitcase, surrounded by other clothes that will act as a cushion. Always keep any valuables in your carry-on luggage.

Finally, don’t forget to label your luggage so you can properly identify it, or so the transport company can send it to you in the unfortunate event it gets lost.