It doesn't matter which way you pack your clothes, as long as there's a little space left in your case and it's not packed too tightly.

There is a fine art to packing and Theresa Szejwallo, managing director for guided holiday specialist Trafalgar and herself a very well-travelled lady, gives us the inside scoop.


Clothes flat or rolled?

“It's a divided topic - do you roll and risk wrinkles, or lay them flat and potentially lose space?” says Theresa.

What she has found is that it doesn't matter which way you pack your clothes, as long as there's a little space left in your case and it's not packed too tightly. With this in mind, try and squeeze socks and underwear inside shoes or around bulkier items.


Toiletry bags

Sometimes I don't actually take a toiletry bag. Instead, I just bring a plastic sealable bag to save space and help reduce the number of bottles I take with me. Remember that most hotels provide soap and shampoo, plus a range of items that are available from reception, so don't waste too much precious packing space on that massive bottle of conditioner.


Wear your heaviest clothes on the plane.

To save space and weight in your bags, Theresa recommends wearing the heaviest items, especially shoes, to the airport. This will save you valuable weight and space in your checked-in luggage. Remember “less is more” when it comes to holiday wear so mix and match wherever possible.

“This is a particularly good hint for us South Africans as often we move between the Southern and Northern hemispheres to completely opposite weather conditions. If you're leaving our sunny climes for a holiday during autumn, winter or spring then be sure to take enough warm clothes - wear your heavy coat and boots on the airplane and save yourself some luggage space”, says Theresa.


What order to pack in?

I always pack the largest or bulkiest items first, filling in any empty space around them, before layering clothes on top, pressing them down as you go to remove the air.


Don't bring too much

I can't stress this enough you don't need to bring vast amounts with you. You can always wash your clothes during your trip or buy more. Not filling your suitcase to the brim also leaves you with room for all-important souvenirs and gifts to bring back on your return!

And you could have some styling new clothes to parade that afford you some bragging rights. “This leather jacket? Bought it in the Recoletta District in Buenos Aires on my last Trafalgar holiday.”

These suggestions are to minimise what you have to carry on your trip, but of course, it could also allow you to fit more into your bag. Most importantly, just stay under the weight limit and bring whatever you need and whatever you find comfortable.

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