Are you suitcase savvy?

by Lesley-Ann on July 10, 2012

Okay, be honest, how many times have your returned from your travels, opened your suitcase and taken out a pile of clothes that are in the same neat pile as when you left home?  Clothes that went on the same trip as you but never saw the light of day?  Even if you’re travelling light and have managed to squeeze everything into your 10kgs of hand luggage, I bet there’s something that you don’t wear or use?

Maybe, like me, you have lots of lovely summer clothes that you never get a chance to wear at home and feel obliged to attempt to wear when you’re on holiday to justify the purchase?  Or, maybe your trip involves lots of different locations and you’re not quite sure what you might need, so best take everything just in case!

It’s not just a woman thing

The truth is, most of us over-pack and this isn’t just a crime committed by women.  Take the Hubby, he’s certainly guilty as charged – every time we get back from our travels, he moans at how he’s only worn a fraction of what he’s taken, and that’s coming from someone who actually doesn’t take that much!

What about the cost?

It’s not just the annoying fact that you’ve spent time neatly packing the clothes in the first place, or that you lugged them half way around the world; it’s more the fact that you’ve probably paid for the privilege.  Most of us now do a lot of travelling with the low cost airlines and just when you think you’ve got a bargain with the flight price, you add some hold luggage and wham! you get hit with a whopping charge – anything from £22 per bag (up to 20kg) with Easyjet, £33 with (you do get any extra 2kg though) to £30 with Monarch and Thomson (both 20kgs), whilst Ryan Air charges anything from £15 to £40 (depending on season).

With a per bag cost, a family can soon rack up lots of extra charges so, why waste money by packing things that are just along for the ride and never actually get worn or used?  Wouldn’t you like to be suitcase savvy and avoid paying for unnecessary luggage?

Help is at hand

To get you started I asked Liz Haydn, owner of Elizabeth Haydn Style, for her tips on becoming suitcase savvy.

  • Check your itinerary - When you plan your trip think about your outfits too, nothing has to be set in stone, but if you know you’re spending 10 days sunning yourself on the beach and 4 days sightseeing then pack accordingly.  If you plan ahead, you won’t have any ‘what to wear’ moments on the day.
  • Know the customs - A light pashmina or sarong can add a layer of warmth when travelling (it can get chilly at 30,000ft), but it can also be used as a cover up in religious areas or where modesty is required.
  • Make a list.
  • Watch your weight - We all know we should travel light, but to do so needs a little thought and planning.  Wear your heaviest shoes and clothes to travel in and don’t forget to not only leave space but also weight for any souvenirs you may want to bring back.  Also remember it’s our bags that are weighed not us, so if possible carry any heavy items on you. Talking of bags, consider how heavy your suitcase is when it’s empty, do you really want 6kg of baggage allowance to be taken up by your case.
  • Use your space wisely - Pack small items such as accessories or bikinis in your shoes so as not to waste the space.
  • Think capsule wardrobe - Make sure your clothes can be mixed and matched. Think of items that can be worn one way for an evening out and then maybe tweaked and worn another day.  Choose items from a similar colour palette, so you can mix and match easily.
  • Avoid wrinkles - Linen creases, but there are many types of fabrics that are as cool but don’t wrinkle.  Small patterns and dark colours also disguise any creases.  To avoid having to iron, try rolling clothes or try the bundle wrapping method.

Liz offers an excellent service to take the stress out of packing.  She’ll come to your home and create a stylish capsule wardrobe – photographing complete outfits for each day so that you have everything on hand when you’re away.  If you’d like to benefit from Liz’s help and advice, her contact details are:

Liz Haydn
Call: 07980 789602
Visit her website:

If you feel you’ve mastered the art of being suitcase savvy and need a trip to test it on then please contact me to see how I can help pull together the perfect itinerary for you, to go with your perfect capsule holiday wardrobe.

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