How to pack light and avoid lost or delayed baggage this summer – curate your wardrobe and fit everything in a carry-on bag
- Post-pandemic staff shortages are causing chaos at airports around the world. Avoid holiday stress by following these tips, designed to help you pack light
- No matter which airline you fly with, rolling your clothes, thinking about space, and mixing outfits will reduce the amount of baggage – and stress – you have
I always wanted to be part of the hand-baggage-only crowd – the people who smugly stepped off the plane and into a taxi and were sipping a cocktail while I was still struggling with my oversized suitcase. But having to decant my moisturiser and only bring one book never made it feel worthwhile.
Until now, that is.
Wherever you are in Europe or the United States, airport chaos reigns. In Amsterdam, people are waiting six hours for their baggage; in Nice in the South of France, bags are being lost every day and in London – where I live – frazzled baggage handlers are breaking down in tears when they’re interviewed by the media.
Why is this happening? A mix of post-pandemic staff shortages and a busier-than-expected summer season, but the result is that anyone flying away for the summer should think light.
Take heart, however, in the fact that there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to make the process a lot less painful (and allow you to wear more than one dress). “Begin by writing down the events you’ll need an outfit for – from day trips to pool days,” says organisational expert Sophie Liard.
“You’ll find this process gives you ideas of how to mix and match your clothes, building multiple outfits out of fewer core items.”
If, like 56 per cent of people, you fold rather than roll your clothes – shame on you. Rolling each item means that not only do your belongings emerge relatively uncreased at the other end, but you’ll save a lot of space. Or try zip-up bags.
“They are perfect for packing in tidy and organised categories, whatever your preference. You can access your clothes easily and use these in the drawers of your accommodation, too – so anything you don’t end up using is packed and ready to go,” says Liard.
Put belts around the inside edge of your suitcase, and opt for lightweight fabrics.
If you need something bulkier, then think very carefully about what you wear on the plane, as (thankfully) even the most rule-bound airlines are not yet at the point of weighing passengers.
“As with packing smart, it’s crucial to shop smart,” says Rich Simmons from styling service Stitch Fix. “The key here is to invest in a few quality pieces that you absolutely love so that you can re-wear and restyle them over the course of your trip.”
So if you start imagining yourself wafting around in Pucci kaftans when you’re a denim shorts kind of person – stop. The you of tomorrow will thank you for it.