A packing job that doesn't take all of the right things into consideration can easily turn a stress-free family vacation into the getaway from hell. Regardless of whether you travel frequently for business or you're heading out on your first big trip in years, it's nice to have a reminder of some of the most common suitcase packing mistakes we all make - so we can try to avoid them this time around.
The following list should give you an insight into everyone's most familiar packing woes, and what you can do to take some of the frustration out of preparing your luggage the next time you head out on a new adventure.
1. Over-packing, or Under-packing
First things first, the biggest mistakes that people make with their suitcase is either trying to fit too much into it at once, or trying to be so careful with space that they forget some crucial items. Having a plan of the must-haves (a tip we'll cover late) should help you avoid under packing, and when it comes to keeping your luggage light, try picking multi-functional outfits. Lay your clothing out and mix and match outfits to find shirts, pants, and jackets that will work in various different styles.
2. Leaving It till the Last Minute
While we all know that packing isn't the most exciting part of any travel experience, it is necessary, which means that one of the biggest suitcase packing mistakes is forgetting to do the work until you've only got moments to spare. Leave the task for too long and you'll end up stressed, packing things you don't need and leaving the items you do want behind. Start putting things together a few days in advance - if not sooner.
3. Putting the Wrong things in Your Suitcase
Not everything has to go in your suitcase - you are allowed hand luggage too. Of course, this means figuring out what should be stored away in the bigger pieces of baggage, and what you should keep with you. Don't be tricked into placing things like your windproof travel umbrella into your suitcase because you're sure you're going to arrive on a perfect sun-filled day. This one extra item isn't going to take up that much space in your backpack.
4. You Still Fold
Folding clothes is the packing method of the past - rolling is where it's at now. Rolling your clothes is a great way to maximize the space in your luggage - and it's so effective that even flight attendants recommend it. All you need to do is fold your item of clothing lengthways once, then roll tightly in the same way you would a sleeping bag.
5. Refusing to Plan Ahead
Simply formulating a plan and writing out a list of things you need can help you to avoid many of the most common suitcase packing mistakes. Not only can a list make sure that you take the right things with you on your next vacation, but you can also keep it in your suitcase to use when you're returning home - as a way of ensuring you don't leave anything behind.