Whether you’re working away for business or taking a holiday to a warmer climate as Britain’s cold weather kicks in, packing for your return trip can be tricky. Not only are you usually in a rush to get your stuff together before checkout, but you’ll inevitably have clocked up a number of trinkets and home accessories to remind you of your travels – all of which you need to squeeze into an already brimming suitcase. Sound familiar? If so, we’ve got some stress-saving packing tips for your return trip – all of which will leave you with much more space for that African beaded head ornament or Moroccan rug.
1. Pack smarter
These tips count for your outbound trip too, but whenever you’re packing a suitcase, try these savvy swaps: roll your clothes instead of folding them, replace packaging around purchases and souvenirs with soft clothes like sweaters, use packing cubes to keep your things organised and compact, and fill shoes with things like underwear and swimwear. All of these tips will ensure there’s space left for those Greek bowls and souvenir t-shirts.
2. Leave books behind
Holiday reading is an essential – but how many of us cart our bulky paperbacks and hardbacks home with us after we’ve enjoyed them by the pool? Most hotels will have somewhere to leave your well-thumbed literature, and if not, look for a charity shop that might be able to take them off your hands. This’ll free up weight as well as space, should you be bringing extra things home with you after days spent exploring markets.
3. Ship bigger items
If you’ve really made the most of the handmade, artisanal homeware you can find abroad, you might want to consider shipping big pieces like handwoven rugs and handmade vases to your home. It’ll usually ensure they get there in one piece, and often works out cheaper than paying for extra baggage allowance at the airport.
4. Donate your unwanted clothes
If you’re someone who buys a whole new holiday wardrobe every year, think about donating your unwanted clothes before you fly home, instead of after. That way, you’ll free up plenty of suitcase space, and will give someone else the chance to make use of your great pieces. Most cities will have charity shops and stations that will accept your clothes before you fly.
5. Make a plan before you start
Avoid the pack-and-repack rollercoaster by making a plan of attack before you start. Prioritise big, bulky items or new market finds that you want to keep protected. Once you’ve visualised where these pieces will go, it’ll be easier to start to mentally fit things around them – stress-free and simple.