Suitcase packing tips: 10 packing hacks to make your holiday preparation easier

Holidays are finally back on the cards for many of us, with surveys showing that plenty more Brits plan to head away in 2022 than in the previous couple of years. Whether you’re heading off on a UK holiday or jumping on a plane and jetting off abroad, one thing you can’t avoid is packing for your trip. But how can you make packing easier?

We’ve rounded up the best tips and hacks to help your holiday preparation become a breeze, and hopefully stop you arriving at your destination to find you’ve left half your essentials behind. From working out the best outfits to pack, to first-class suitcase organisation, these ideas will have you covered. Now happy holidays!

Suitcase packing tips and hacks

Use a packing checklist

Hands up who’s spent a weekend away squinting because they forget their sunglasses, or had to beg the hotel’s reception for a toothbrush when they realised they hadn’t packed one? In the busyness of getting ready for a holiday, it’s very easy to forget things, which is why the packing checklists online are extremely handy. You might not need everything on the list, but it should cover most bases of the things you do need, providing a great way to feel more secure in the knowledge you’re properly armed for your trip.

Choose clothes in one palette

suitcase packing tips

It can be tricky getting in the headspace to pack multiple outfits plus matching accessories and so on, particularly as most of us like to look our best on holiday. Choosing a colour palette and sticking to it when packing is a good idea, with colour-coordinated outfits that you can mix and match between.

Lay everything out on the bed or floor

A good tip when packing clothes and accessories is to lay everything out on the bed or floor before putting it into your suitcase. Otherwise it’s very easy to forget what’s already in your bag and end up with six tops but only one pair of trousers. It will help you see any obvious gaps, allow you to work out how items can be mixed and matched, and also let you see if you’ve got too many of one thing.

Roll rather than fold

suitcase packing tips

Rolling clothes takes up less room, and makes it easier for you to see everything top-down when you open your suitcase.

Take a big scarf

If you’re heading somewhere cold, a big, blanket-type scarf will keep you cosy when you get there and serve as an extra blanket on the plane. If you’re heading somewhere that occasionally requires you to cover up (e.g. the UAE or Asian temples) a lightweight scarf is a good option. Even in warm countries, it will help you stay snug when the evening chill picks up or you’re in a seriously air-conditioned building.

suitcase packing tips

Always pack a bag for your laundry

It’s irritating when you don’t have any means of separating out dirty clothes from fresh ones, so remember to pack an empty bag for laundry. If you’re feeling fancy, this could be a proper mesh laundry bag, but a carrier bag will do (in fact, we find packing a few spare carrier bags in your luggage always comes in useful once you’re on holiday).

Pack the heavier stuff near the wheels of your bag

When you pack a suitcase that’s lying flat and open, you might not be thinking about what happens when you stand it up. Consider putting heavier items near the wheels of the bag to make manoeuvrability easier once you wheel it along.

Use packing cubes

If your suitcase tends to end up looking like it’s exploded within minutes of reaching the hotel, you’re not alone. Packing cubes are the answer, with different sizes available and see-through mesh so you can easily spot what’s inside. They’re the route to suitcase organisation, rather than chaos.

Take a spare outfit in your carry-on

Most of us will have learnt from bitter experience that luggage can sometimes go missing, and having a spare pair of pants and a change of clothes in your hand luggage can ever-so-slightly soften the blow until you are reunited with your suitcase.

Make your luggage distinctive

If you have a plain black suitcase, then it’s quite hard to distinguish it from all the other plain black suitcases spinning round the carousel at the airport. You don’t need to go and buy a whole new suitcase – instead, you could tie a little ribbon to the handle or add a distinctive luggage tag, making it much easier to spot.