Your ultimate packing guide

Beautiful tall woman with big pink suitcase standing on the white sand beach


Most people dread packing before a trip as it causes so much stress. In fact, a recent travel survey by the Post Office found that more than a third of travellers admit to being disorganised packers.

Thankfully No.1 is on hand to help! We’ve compiled a list of space-saving tips to help you figure out your suitcase and have a stress-free packing experience, because in the words of world famous fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg, “When you figure out your suitcase, you figure out your life”.


  • Not enough space

Vacuum pack your clothes by using a Hoover to suck out air from sealed bags. This shrinks the bundle of clothes so you can fit more in your case, but be wary as you may not be able to source a Hoover before your return journey, so your clothes may not fit back in!


  • Too many bulky bottles

If going with a friend, family member or travel companion, pool your toiletries – like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and mouthwash – and only take one of each.


  • Too early?

Try to pack at the last minute, leaving clothes hung up for as long as possible. Don’t pack straight after ironing, as clothes will keep their ‘folded shape’.


  • Not enough shoes

Do you really need more pairs of shoes than days away? Only take a maximum of three pairs of shoes – flats, trainers and heels. Select neutral colours so they go with more outfits.


pack 22 Smartphone camera


  • Struggling for space for a camera?

Don’t take a camera, especially a DSLR, as they are bulky. Instead, use your smartphone as a camera (switch on to airplane/flight mode to avoid getting unwanted calls/texts while on your break). Your smartphone can also double up as an iPod/MP3 player, so download all your favourite tracks before you travel.


  • Broken sunglasses

If travelling with sunglasses on your trip, put them inside your shoes to prevent them from getting damaged.


  • Hairdryer doesn’t fit in case…

Check if your hotel has a hairdryer in the room, before you set off, so you don’t have to pack one. They may also have an iron you can borrow on arrival – so you won’t need to worry about packing/unpacking crushed clothes.


  • Too many books?

Don’t take a book with you, this weighs down your luggage, instead borrow one from the hotel, a fellow holidaymaker or download one.


pack 15 Book




  • Pack some light wool clothing. This may sound bizarre, but experienced backpackers swear by it, because it regulates body temperature and doesn’t crease or wrinkle.
  • Roll your clothes; do not fold. This saves space and prevents clothes creasing.
  • Put your shoes inside a plastic bag.
    This will stop the soles of your shoes from making your clothes dirty.
  • Pack shoes carefully. Make sure they’re always at the bottom of your suitcase to prevent crushing.
  • Don’t overdo the underwear. Just take a few pairs of smalls and socks, and wash them in the sink (plus, when you are in a hot country, you rarely wear socks, and spend most of time in swimwear).
  • Wear as many clothes as you can to travel. You can always take them off on board the flight, and it’s a great way of keeping your luggage allowance to a minimum.


pack 3 rolled clothes



  • Too many eyeshadows… Instead of carrying half a dozen eye shadows, add colour to the tips of cotton buds, this will save space and prevent eye shadows from getting damaged.
  • Burst foundation… Take powder foundation, as this travels better than its liquid variety, and limits the risk of it oozing on to clothing.
  • Smashed cosmetics… Protect make-up and prevent compacts and eye shadows from smashing by placing a cotton wool pad inside the container.




  • Invest in a lightweight expandable soft-sided suitcase. A hard-cased one is heavier, weighing up to 15lbs, while a soft-sided one weighs around half that when empty.
  • Weigh your case. Add it to the weight of your travel companion, as some airlines allow you to pool the total weight. This means if you’re over the restricted weight, and your friend isn’t, you can ‘borrow’ a couple of kilos from them.
  • Hand luggage too heavy? Limit your hand luggage by wearing a money belt instead; in it put your passport, documents, tickets and money.


Laura Coventry