Travel Tips & Tricks: How to squeeze everything into your suitcase!

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The beautiful, Merci Velez, is sharing her packing secrets with us – and as the owner of Ciao Bella Travel the online travel accessories go-to site, we know she might have some ideas we haven’t thought of! A girl can never have enough advice on packing (it is one of the most frequently asked questions), so read on and maximise your suitcase whenever, and wherever you go.

Packing for travel can be challenging anytime and especially if you have to do it at the last minute. A lot has been said about packing light but for those who cannot fit everything in a backpack or carry-on, the trick is to be clever and practical about what you put in your suitcase.

I tend to travel light on my outbound flight and then I fill up the gaps in my suitcase with my shopping trips – my holiday is not complete without a shopping experience in the country I am visiting! Plus it is important to pack for the climate you are travelling to. I find that clothes made from bamboo fabrics are very well suited to Asian destinations, for example.

Layering is another technique that is used by frequent travellers: mix and match tops, pants, cardigans, jackets and scarves with similar or contrasting colour palettes.

General tips:

  1. Pack clothes that are light, crease-resistant and will dry easily if you need to wash by hand.
  2. Layer clothes to keep you warm.
  3. Don’t leave without a Scarf. It is handy to accessorise neutral clothes, will keep you warm and for cover up when needed.
  4. A Little black dress is always handy for the unexpected dinner (Sascha Drake is ideal).
  5. A black comfy shoe will always match any colour palette. I always carry an older pair of shoes which I can dispose of if I need space.
  6. I always carry a black windbreaker jacket for the cool and wet weather.
  7. Most importantly, when you unpack, give your clothes a good shake before you hang them in the wardrobe. The creases will disappear quickly.
  8. Another trick is to mix new and old clothes so that when I get carried away with shopping, I can just dispose of the old ones and reclaim the space for my purchases.

Packing my Luggage for a long trip:

I used to pack my clothes by rolling them and piling them neatly in my bag, but by the time I got to my destination, they looked like they just came out from the washing machine. When Gabee came up with their luggage organisers in 2008, the sales rep gave me a sample to try them. I was sceptical at first but I used them anyway. I was very surprised to find out that my clothes came out with only light creasing which disappeared as soon as I had given them a good shake, and to this day I still use the same luggage organisers because they are so light. They come in 3 different sizes which provide easy access to your tops, pants, lingerie, and dresses. If you want to keep your clothes packed securely in place and wrinkle-free, check out the many luggage and packing organisers that ensure garments stay in their pristine packed state. For a range of clever packing organisers, check out the website.

Gabbee Luggage Organisers

The other gadgets I always carry are the Annabel Trends Sleep Mask and the Go Travel Ear Plugs for long trips and Weekend Getaways. The sleep mask and ear plugs are handy when you need to sleep in the plane, train or coach. These are also handy when you have to share room with someone. If I travel for more than 4 hours, I always carry an Annabel Trends Travel Pillow to support my neck because a short nap works magic before you reach your destination.

I find having charger bag/adaptor travel bag handy in packing my adaptors and chargers because it saves me from un-tangling chords and gives me easy access to the adaptors.

I use the Lapoche Travel Toiletry bag for all my cosmetic and toiletry needs, it is the mother of all toiletry bags as it is very light, waterproof and expands as you put everything including your kitchen sink! The best feature of this bag is having 5 elasticised compartments and 3 zipped compartments inside to hold various toiletry sizes.

Lapoche Travel Bag

Packing for a trip is not only about trying to fit in as much in your suitcase but more importantly packing for easy access to your stuff when you have reached your destination. This is where the packing organisers or packing cells become handy especially when you are transferring from one hotel to the other.

If you are planning on a big shopping spree abroad, pack a light foldable duffel bag for your loot but check first your baggage allowance to avoid surprises at the check-in counter.

Most importantly, I pack 3 plastic bags for emergency like wet clothes and toiletry spillage. I always carry small zip lock bags for my snacks. If you are like me and love to snack, I always carry a packet of mixed nuts or buy a big packet when I arrived in my destination and just fill up my zip-lock plastic bags for the day trip.

Last but not least do not underestimate the power of Lavender Essential Oil. This is my secret to getting a good sleep on the plane. It not only helps you sleep but it is very good if you suffer from Hayfever.

Great tips and thank you, Merci. Don’t forget that if you buy from Ciao Bella Travel, and quote TravellingDiva in the promo code box, you will receive a 10% discount off your purchases – very nice indeed!

That’s it for now, have a great week and chat soon.

Andrea xx

Merci Velez is the Owner/Director of Ciaobella Travel.

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