You’re going away to beat the stress, but some people get so tense just thinking about what to pack they might need to book a second trip just to get over the hassle of the first. We’ve all heard the horror stories and seen holidaymakers running across the airport with a trail of heaving cases. It’s not a smart look. Thankfully, there are some great tips out there from savvy globetrotters, so you can be sure you’ve got everything you need to make it past customs and more.
Too many toiletries
You might think there’s no harm in taking your favourite shampoo and toothpaste, but remember – airports don’t like us packing liquids in carry-on luggage unless they’re in clear 100ml bottles. If you don’t have any, just make sure you take the barest of essentials – toothbrush, hairbrush and so on.
Bear in mind that many budget airlines have strict limits on luggage weight, and cosmetics add on more than you might think. Plus, you’ll be able to pick up things like suntan lotion easily once you get there.
Gadgets and gizmos
Okay, so we know we’re never going to convince you to go completely gadget-less, but, parents, you’re on holiday to get away from work so leave your laptop at home. And tweens, the majority of hotels already have hairdryers and, if they don’t, the tousled look is totally in this year! Save some space for the essentials that don’t take up too much space – an iPad for Skyping family back home and a Nintendo 3DS for unlimited in-flight entertainment.
Ease up on the bling
Unless you’re a hip-hop superstar who’s going on holiday to celebrate the latest album going platinum, you’re probably going to get away with being seen without oodles of jewellery. It’s practical for a lot of reasons – you don’t run the risk of your bracelet sliding off your wrist and over the railings during that boat trip, and your bag’s not going to be stuffed with more gold and jewels than the Tower of London. More to the point, you don’t want to end up with any dodgy tan lines!
Thick, fuzzy bath towels
You know what they say – you should always know where your towel is. But try rolling it up and seeing how much space it takes up in your suitcase. Save some drama and invest in a beach towel – thinner and more suited to the sand – or get your towel when you arrive at your sunny destination. As we mentioned earlier, buying the basics at the other side of the flight isn’t always a bad idea.
Bulky books in abundance
Nobody can blame you for wanting to read, be it on the plane or on the sunlounger. But think long and hard about how much literature can realistically fit in your luggage – pack a slim novel at best, or do what a lot of holidaymakers do, and take the e-book option. E-readers are becoming more and more affordable, or you can even get free apps on your phone that open a whole new digital library to you – definitely something to consider.
Steer clear of the banned list
Airport security is tighter than ever, and while a lot of what they won’t allow you to travel with makes sense – power tools, multiple lighters, large amounts of medication, etc – there are a few surprising articles on the list.
We have to wonder how some people found out not to take these things – tennis rackets, tent pegs, soups, fishing rods, party poppers, fireworks, cutlery, weedkiller, car batteries… the list goes on. Basically, don’t take anything you don’t actually need. With all those lotions, swimsuits and flip flops, you’ll need all the space you can get. Besides, you needn’t worry about that, because you’re already following our tips and taking the bare minimum of bits and pieces now, right?
Do you have any funny experiences with banned items? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.