– Always roll your clothes, it really helps save space in your bag and prevents clothes creasing.
– Use all available space by stuffing things such as shoes with socks or underwear – it will also help to maintain their shape.
– Re-use plastic bags by using them to separate different items. In particular, ensure any liquids and dirty items such as shoes are wrapped in bags to prevent staining other contents.
– Pop a few sheets of ‘Bounce’ tumble dryer sheets in between your clothes to keep them smelling fresh.
– Don’t wear lots of loose items when travelling: you will be asked to remove belts, jewellery, jackets and shoes through security so, to save time, keep these items to a minimum.
– Remember not to carry any sharps in your hand luggage. Lots of people make this mistake with nail scissors and then have them removed.
– Put your money and your address details in a separate compartment or near the top of your bag so that you can reach it easily without unpacking items.
– Have your boarding pass to hand (or know the flight number) if you plan to head to the shops before your flight as you will be asked for it. Having a bag with a zip pocket to store this is really useful.
– Decant liquids into 100ml bottles and seal them in a clear bag to save time at security. Cabin crew also often carry a small shoe horn in their hand baggage to enable them to get shoes on and off through security as quickly as possible.
– Ensure you check the hand baggage guidelines for the airline you are travelling with before you depart. Some airlines (such as British Airways) have a more generous luggage allowance. Be aware of the charges if you go over the allowance. You can buy cheap handheld scales to weigh bags, which are a good way to check before you leave.
– If you know you might have to pay for excess luggage at the airport, ensure you have cash with you. Some airlines insist you pay additional charges in cash at the airport and if you are in a rush, this can cause you real problems.
– If you are packing all your luggage in a carry-on bag, go for something with wheels. You can buy very small bags with wheels now and even with a small amount of luggage you will appreciate having something you can pull if you have got a long walk to the gate!