Packing Tips – Packing

We’ve covered everything except actually packing.

As you know I’m a planner.

Everything that I want to take on my trip is on my list.

Around a month before the flight, I’ve got my bags out, and things are being put it.

(OK, depending on how I’m feeling it might be a bit earlier…)

At this point, I’m getting things together, not necessarily packing them properly…

Then a few weeks before the flight, it’s time to start the actual packing.

I usually pack around 2 or 3 times, adding things and moving items around

Pick a bag

Hopefully, you’ve already chosen what bags you’re going to be using, but now you need to decide what gets packed where.

OK – I’ll be honest, I’ve already partly done this, as I like to organise my packing list, based on the bags.

Cabin and Hold

Based on my previous experiences, I now always pack an emergency change of clothing in my hand luggage. This goes into a small packing cube (to keep things together) and into the back pocket of my ruc sac.

All other clothes, goes into the hold luggage.

Hand Luggage Only

As this is always with you, there is less chance of it “going missing”.

You’ve got a couple of choices – treat the hand luggage and personal item as extensions of each other, and split items across them.

Or, put all of your clothing into the hand luggage, and other bits and pieces (tech, essentials etc) into the personal item – of course that depends on what size your personal item is.

Packing Options

Folding or Rolling

A much discussed topic.

It boils down to taking up the least amount of space, and trying to have the least wrinkles in your clothing.


This is probably the easiest option, and arguably the quickest option.


There’s folding, and then there’s folding

Standard Folding

There are still options that you can follow:

Easy fold – folding in half (horizontal), keeping the sleeves together, and then in half (vertical).

The ‘shop’ fold – folding the arms in first, then folding the ‘body’ up once or twice.


Popularised by Marie Kondo, the Japanese organising consultant. Although designed for home, it ends up small enough for packing as well.

An example of how to fold a t-shirt.

There are more videos about folding different types of clothing on YouTube.


Like the folding option, there are variations of rolling as well.

(Bet you never thought it would this complicated)

You’ve got the standard – just roll things up.

Then you’ve got the “make it small” and roll it up – trying to keep everything to the same size (length)

Ranger Roll

You can also have a go with the Ranger Roll, or one of it’s other names.

The idea is to make an self-contained ‘packet’.

Whichever option you choose, the idea is to make your clothes the same size to fit better.

Now everything is ready – but do you pack directly into the bag or use…

Packing Cubes

While I love packing cubes I don’t get to use them that much.

I enjoy taking gifts for friends and that usually means that things (other than clothes) need to be packed.

And your clothes make great packing materials to help protect things.

However, I have got a nice little collection of cubes going on…

I hope that my next trip, I’ll be taking more clothes than things, so I’ll actually be able to use some of my packing cubes.

Packing cubes allow you to organise and keep clothing together.

However, they do take up more space than the clothes might otherwise.

You can also buy compression packing cubes, which squeeze out a bit more air, than the standard cubes do. Making the cubes that much smaller.

Some cubes have handles on the side, making it easier to carry them.

You can also choose to unpack at your destination just moving the cubes into drawers.

What do I prefer?

Depends on what I’m packing into.

The vacuum bags need to have the clothes folded, to allow everything to fit in and roll up (squeezing the air out).

Other packing cubes I can choose either option.

If I’m only travelling overnight or a couple of days, then I tend to fold, as I don’t have that much to take.

For longer, or with more options, I’ll roll them up. To me it feels like they take up less space.

Next Trip

My plan is to group things together by type

  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and night gear

Rather than organise them by days/sets.

I’ll roll the clothing up, and then pack them into a cube, before adding the cube to my case.

And playing Tetris to fit things in!

I’m likely to just fold my jeans/trousers over the top of the other clothes – if I use the rolling hand luggage.

If I use my ruc sac, then I’m likely to roll the jeans up.

What packing option do you prefer?

Next post – Final Tips

9 thoughts on “Packing Tips – Packing

Add yours

  1. >>> (Bet you never thought it would this complicated)

    My last role pre-Covid had lots of UK travel and overnight stays. I kept ten overnight bags packed permanently in the hallway. Each was labelled with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and a “C” or a “P”. These numbers represented the number of days/nights supplies contained therein, with “C” being for a car journey and “P” being for a journey by public transport. I tended to take a slightly wider choice of clothes if travelling by car.

    Other than clothing for wearing at home, stuff was never “put away”. The return home routine was unpack in the kitchen, wash, iron and straight back into the bag or case.

    The only time that my routine didn’t work was if I had two separate trips of the same length in the same week – say two nights away (Sunday and Monday) then a night at home (Tuesday) and then two nights away (Wednesday and Thursday) in the same week. Even if both were car or both were train journeys, case 2C and bag 2T would both be utilised.

    But generally, that routine worked well for me, particularly when trips were organised at a few hours’ notice.

    1. Wow Paul! That was a lot of travelling.
      I’m lucky that my travel wasn’t that much. But we’ll done for such an organised process.

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