As July and August are nearing at rapid speed now I officially have started my countdown to the holidays. Going on a holiday also means packing… So today’s travel post will be a bit different as I want to fill you in on some of my packing secrets!
“Duifhuizen tassen en koffers” let me choose two fab suitcases to do a review. I will happily fill them up for our trip to Germany 🙂
We will be going to Germany in August, but I always plan my trips well in advance so it won’t be a surprise to you that I’ve already started thinking about what to see and do.
But a good holiday starts with a well-planned packing scheme in my opinion!! And that’s what this post is all about…
Before revealing some of my packing secrets though, I will tell you about the two suitcases I chose from the online shop from “Duifhuizen tassen en koffers“. I opted for two suitcases from American Tourister (Bonair-series) : the trolley and the large suitcase (75 cm).
- the suitcases are really solid as they are made from 100% polypropylene
- they don’t weigh much in themselves : the trolley weighs 2,5 kg and the 75 cm suitcase only 4,2 kg!
- both suitcases have a 3 digit lock for extra security
- they have 360° spinning wheels
- the trolley is cabin size approved
- there are several compartments and fixation straps
- the suitcases come with a 2 year warranty
- none… although if you travel by plane make sure to check the weight of the large suitcase as you can really pack a whole lot in it!!
My packing secrets
I will now reveal some of my packing secrets. I’ve got yearlong experience in packing for an entire family so in the years that have passed I’ve mastered myself in some fab packing tricks.
We always travel abroad by car so we can pack a lot… but even when you travel by plane, please read until the end as I am sure there are some tips ‘n tricks that might be useful for you too.
I always make a list… or lists that is… If you’ve got to pack for an entire family it definitely takes some planning. So a couple of years ago I decided to type out my lists in an excel-file and save them on my computer.
These lists are adapted everytime we go on a holiday: I take in mind the duration of our holiday, who I have to do the packing for and of course our destination. Needless to say that my list for a week to the Peak District looked completely different than my list for a fortnight to the Côte d’Azur!
I’ve got several categories on my list :
- beauty and medication
- clothing and shoes: I always try to pack clothes with which I can do various combinations.
- food and kitchen stuff: we usually rent a house when on holiday. Over the years we’ve found that most kitchens in holiday homes aren’t equipped really well. We always take some kitchen stuff just to be sure (like a potato peeler, an extra pan, washing up liquid, a bottle opener,…)
- documents: I make sure that all documents we need for our trip are in one folder which I keep with me in the car.
- tools and electronics: we make sure we’ve got some tools like tape, a penknife, an extension cable, an adapter when we travel to England,…
- pleasure: books, Ipads, games, cards,…
- what to do the weeks/days before departure: this is also part of my list… the weeks before departure are always hectic so I tend to write down everything that needs to be done, e.g. buying the needed medication, a check-up of our car, asking neighbours to check our mail, making sure all garbage is out,…
These lists are a guidance and I couldn’t do without them anymore. It saves me a lot of trouble having these ready!
Now I could just copy/paste my lists here, but these are so personal that I think it’s best you make lists for your own personal situation. If you search the net you will definitely find standard traveling lists which you can use as a start to make your own!
How to save space and weight?
- fill up collars of shirts with a belt or lingerie
- buy multi-use products (e.g. a moisturizer you can use day and night, a CC with an SPF, a bodylotion which has an SPF in it)
- pack samples: I usually pack samples when I go on a weekend break. I don’t take my usual moisturizer,… but I take skincare samples I get at the perfumery or I fill up little jars like the one you see in the photo below (I bought them at Primark).
- buy travelsize products: many products also come in travelsize like deodorant, shampoo, body lotion,…
- buy (beauty) products at your destination : if like me you’ve got to pack for an entire family, a travelsize shampoo won’t do!! But if you’ve got to pack fullsize bottles of shampoo, showerlotion, bodylotion, SPF, aftersun,… that will take a lot of space and it will weigh a ton! Perhaps you could save space and weight if you would buy these items on your holiday destination?!
- pack clothes that you can easily combine together
- wear your heaviest shoes on departure and pack the lighter ones!
- you can fill up your shoes with socks to save space
- role up your clothes instead of folding them… it saves space!
- use every space in your suitcase. In the suitcases I got to chose from “Duifhuizen tassen en koffers” are a lot of pockets and compartiments which makes it easy to put away stuff. That way your suitcase will remain neat.
Make sure you’ve got food!
When you rent a cottage or a house, you won’t have diner waiting for you when you arrive at your destination. We usually arrive quite late at our destination which means that shops are closed. For our first night in our holiday home, we always take homemade spaghetti sauce with us so all we have to do is cook some pasta, heat up the sauce and diner’s ready! And while my husband is cooking diner I’m emptying our suitcases!
Make sure you’ve got your personal medication!
Of course you need to take a bit of medication ‘just in case’… something against headache, diarrhea, some bandaids,…
But if you’ve got a certain medical condition, make sure you are prepared! My husband has to take heaps of medication because of his transplant kidney so it is extremely important for him not to forget any medication. He always takes plenty (more than is necessary… just in case!) and he also takes with him the instructions of his medication.
We also look up the adress of the nearest nephrology center. Fortunately we haven’t needed that yet and I know that if something goes wrong we can always search the net for information on nearby hospitals. But we want to have that information beforehand… just to be sure…
If you rent a holiday home, always check if bed/bath/kitchen linen is available… This takes up a lot of space in your suitcases so if it’s available you will travel so much lighter! In most places it is either available or for rent.
We always take a couple of extra towels with us just to be sure and we also take disposable washcloths with us!
Another tip : beachtowels take up a lot of space in your suitcase. When we travel to the sun (by car), we put the beachtowels on the backseat and the kids sit on them whilst traveling. That way the towels don’t take up any space in our suitcases!
Make copies of your documents
I always make copies of our documents : driver’s licence, ID, insurance papers, papers from the car,… I keep them in my documents folder. If something should get lost or stolen at least we’ve got the copies… I don’t know whether they’d be helpful, but I’d like to think so 🙂
Whether you travel by train, plane or automobile… you can always suffer from travel sickness… Make sure you’ve got some tablets, water and a plastic bag within reach!
Packing your suitcase to return home is never as fun as on departure… but here are some extra tips to save you some trouble when packing to go home:
- take plastic bags with you to put in really dirty stuff
- on return you will have to do the laundry… so when I pack the suitcases to go back home, I try to sort the laundry as much as possible. When I unpack, it’s so much easier to make the different piles of laundry! I always use a laundry bag I got from my aunt years ago but you could also use a pillowcase.
- some things I don’t bother to take home with me… leftovers of shampoo, bodylotion, food,… when it’s not much I won’t take it home with me! I leave it for the next tenants or the cleaning lady!
Make sure to air your suitcases
When you’ve unpacked your suitcases, let them air for a couple of hours or even a bit longer! That way, you get rid of unpleasant odors. I usually spray my suitcases with a textile refresher before storing them.
Update your lists for the next time
If you’ve found out that your packing lists lacked something, make sure to update them as soon as you think of it…
Well… that’s all I can think of right now…All that remains me to say is… happy packing… and a happy holiday!!!
Do you have anymore tips? Feel free to leave them in the comments! We can all but learn from them 🙂
*this is a sponsored post