Follow our suggestions on how to minimize stress and pack like a pro for your next villa holiday in Thailand
Cut the stress out of packing by following our top tips
When it comes to pre-holiday preparations, packing isn’t nearly as fun as some of the other pre-vacation tasks, like getting your hair cut or shopping for new holiday outfits. In fact, trying to squeeze clothes into an already over-stuffed suitcase can quickly become a stressful nightmare, and that’s before you factor in the added worries on the way to the airport of whether you’ve actually packed all of the things you’re going to need. All of these concerns can be exacerbated when you’re travelling long-haul to far-flung destinations like Thailand, and you know you’re going to be away from home for a couple of weeks.
However, there are ways to minimise the stress and enjoy a pain-free packing process the night before you leave for the airport. Whether you’re travelling with your partner or on a multi-generational family trip with grandparents and little ones, there are a few fail-safe rules when it comes to any successful packing experience.
Follow our top tips on how to make packing your suitcase as pain-free as possible.
Hints for your hand luggage
Taking a soft-sided bag for your hand luggage often allows you to squeeze more things in
For many people, packing hand luggage is something of an afterthought. However, this is the place where you keep all of your holiday essentials – passport, money, and travel documents – so it’s essential to get this right. While it’s rare for airlines to lose your hand luggage, it’s still a possible scenario. That’s why it’s important to keep all of your valuables, including cameras, tablets, laptops and money, in your hand luggage where you can keep an eye on it. If you are travelling with electronic goods, don’t forget to keep your chargers and adaptors in your hand luggage as well. After all, there’s no point having a laptop hogging precious bag space if you can’t even turn it on because the battery is flat.
In terms of hand luggage content, we recommend that you should always keep a spare chance of clothes – at least a fresh set of under garments – in your bag. That way, you’ll still have something fresh to change into just in case your hold luggage does get lost on the way. Plus, you should always try and keep electronics and toiletry goods near the top of the bag. That way, they’ll be easy to whip out and put away when you go through security at the airport.
If you’re carrying a lot of different items in your hand luggage, another top tip is to use a soft bag rather than a hard case. That way, it’ll be able to stretch a bit so you can squeeze more in.
Use a vacuum bag to roll the air out of your suitcase and see your clothes shrink
One of the most common packing nightmares occurs when you’ve selected all the clothes you’d like to take on holiday, but they simply won’t fit into your case – even if you are still under the weight limit specified by the airline. One way to cut down on bulk in your suitcase is by opting to wear heavier items on the plane, and pack smaller items in your case. For example, if you’re planning on going trekking whilst in Thailand, it makes sense to wear your hiking boots on the plane as they will take up a lot of space in your case.
Vacuum bags are also a smart solution when it comes to shrinking down the size of your clothes. They’re cheap to buy and you don’t need to use a vacuum to get them to work – simply roll the air out by hand. Bear in mind, however, that your clothes will still weigh the same – even if they do look smaller.
If you’re still struggling for space, then consider cutting down on the amount of cosmetics and toiletries you’re taking with you. Essentials might include shower gel, moisturiser and shampoo. Thailand is home to an array of high-quality pharmacies and beauty boutiques, so you’ll be able to pick up all of the things you need once you arrive, saving you from having to haul them halfway round the world in the first place. Plus, this offers a great chance to try out some new beauty brands you might not have at home.
Packing for kids
If you’re travelling with little ones, capsule packing can save a lot of stress when you arrive at your destination
When it comes to packing, things can get confusing when you’re packing for little ones as well as yourself. The best place to start is by making comprehensive lists of what each person needs. This can be dividing into clothing, toiletries and entertainment items (this category could include everything from teddies to books and colouring pencils). In each section, make a note of everything you’ll need to allow room for – t-shirts, shorts, dresses, underwear etc. That way, you can approach the packing process systematically, and simply tick everything off as you go.
If you’re travelling with several children, allocate each individual his or her own bag. While it may seem like more hassle to carry an extra suitcase to the airport, it’s actually easier than the confusion that can arise later on when you’ve got two pairs of hands digging through one suitcase.
For younger kids, capsule packing is also a wonderful solution that will make life so much easier once you arrive in your final destination. Essentially, this means grouping items into mini-outfits that comprise everything your child will need on that day – t-shirt, shorts and underwear, for example. Pack each outfit into its own separate Ziploc bag. That way, little ones can pick out their own outfit for the day in a fuss-free way – and you know whatever shirt they choose will have the right bottoms to match up with.
If precious suitcase space is limited, pack versatile items that will work for multiple occasions
When you’re packing for a holiday suitcase space is precious, and every nook and cranny needs to be filled efficiently. To make the most of every inch, you’ll need to select a range of carefully chosen pieces that can be worn on a variety of occasions. For example, a classic “little black dress” for ladies, or a pair of chinos for the guys will see them through a range of outings, from casual daytime trips to the beach to cocktails at a chic bar in Bangkok. A selection of well-chosen accessories or different coloured shirts can also help transform the look of an outfit, so it seems like you’ve got an array of different ensembles when in reality, it’s been the same dress or pair of trousers every time.
The same rule goes for shoes – it’s important to select versatile footwear that’s suitable for a variety of venues. For example, there’s no point taking five different pairs of formal footwear when you’re planning on spending most of the time sun bathing on the beach, and only going to formal establishments once or twice. A well-chosen pair of neutral-coloured shoes that matches all of your evening outfits will help you save a lot of suitcase space.
Just In Case
As a kid, having your own mini suitcase to take case of can be a lot of fun
When you’re young, having your own suitcase to be responsible for can seem like a lot of fun. There are whole ranges of suitcases designed especially for kiddie fun, and some versions like Trunkies even feature wheels so that luggage can double up as a cart for mum or dad to pull along. Getting your kids involved in the packing process can also help them get excited about the holiday, especially if they know they’ve got a new book to read on the plane or a new sun hat to wear by the villa pool.
Check out our top packing tips to make life easier once you arrive at your final destination.
- Make life easier for yourself by packing your nightclothes and toiletries near the top of your suitcase. That way, when you arrive at your accommodation totally tired out after the long journey, you can get ready for bed quickly and easily.
- Don’t overfill your case on the way out to your holiday destination. It’s always wise to leave some space for the souvenirs you’re bringing home.
- Packing too many clothes to take on holiday is an error many of us make. Instead of packing directly into your suitcase, lay out all the clothes you want to take on a bed first. Then, aim to reduce this pile by a third to get closer to the amount of clothes you’ll actually need.