As we approach summer holiday season and jet off to foreign climes, a suitcase packing strategy and including everyday comforts can make it a home from home, writes Carol O’Callaghan.
The typical travel anxiety is watching as the airport baggage carousel belches out suitcases and fellow travellers hoist theirs off while you’re left standing, waiting, convinced yours is winging its way to an alternative destination.
Or what about this version? Yours is the last one to appear, minus the lid which, inexplicably, has been ripped off somewhere between the airports of departure and arrival.
That particular bête noir was my reality at Heathrow late one night, where the only thing which saved my belongings from being littered inside the bowels of a 737 was a last-minute decision to pack a towel which I laid over my clothes and tied with the internal suitcase straps.
It meant not a single item, including a slew of Christmas presents, was missing.
As a matter of course I now add a towel as a topping to my packing design if I know I’m checking in a bag, or in case a certain airline doesn’t like the size of my case at the departure gate and hikes it off to travel steerage.
It offers peace of mind if a little less space in the bag.
Having said that, until last year I could not pack a suitcase to save my life.
I could, however, create an Instagram-worthy picture of orderliness, but arriving to my holiday destination I’d find at least one-third of its contents were things I wouldn’t wear routinely, but for some reason believed I’d wear on holiday.
Through trial and error and with invaluable direction from a friend who has made packing a well-developed craft, I finally nailed it on a recent trip abroad with what is now my packing manifesto.
Now for the dreaded liquid restrictions if traveling with just hand luggage.
Finding space to take reminders of home makes such a difference to our well-being, especially if travelling regularly for work when we’d rather be at home.
Packing everything you need into a suitcase can be challenging when preparing for a trip, but with practice and dispensing with unnecessary items, it ensures success.
Bringing your own pillow if luggage space allows. It creates a connect with home and is particularly comforting for children unused to being away.
Restrictions with liquids when travelling with hand luggage only means considering alternatives to typical cosmetics and toiletries and reducing down quantities.
Unpacking necessities like toothbrush and facecloth on arrival at your destination creates a sense of being at home and makes the holiday accommodation feel like your own.
Take some favourite snacks and a quantity of your must-have beverage for early morning and late night rituals.