Take a minute to learn these travel tricks

Font Size:

Whether you’re heading away for a weekend or for a year, these essentials must ride with you.

Many a seasoned traveller will tell you that there’s a trick to travelling light. But this is no David Copperfield take-seven-years-to-master trick. It’s really quite an easy one to learn. All you need to do is follow these pro-packing tips.

What to pack

1. Coordinate your clothes
Pack a variety of neutral coloured clothing (tan, grey, black, white) and add a few more colourful accessories to complement your outfits. You’ll find that these neutral colours work well in most situations. Try to match every top with every bottom and choose lighter clothes over heavyweight items. If it gets cold, you can layer up.

2. Pack a sarong, pashmina or scarf
This is the most versatile thing you’ll pack. You can use it as a scarf, blanket, or even a towel after an impromptu dip. You can string it up as a makeshift curtain or drape it over your head on the plane for sleepy times.

3. Dental floss
Not just for cleaning teeth, a few metres of dental floss can act as a clothesline, temporary shoelace or belt or as a curtain line for your pashmina drapes (see above).

4. Digital tablet
Forget the heavy books. Just download your novels and guidebooks onto a digital tablet, which also doubles as a pseudo computer for emergencies, last-minute bookings and as a time-waster (if you have time to waste).

5. Quick-dry clothes
Choose lightweight materials over heavier fabrics. That way, you can wash and dry them in your hotel room, or if you get caught in the rain, the dry time won’t be as long. Also, you’ll save a heap of space and weight in your bag.

6. Spare clothes in your carry-on bag
This one has saved many a traveller from embarrassing smelly clothes after a cancelled flight, or as insurance from the ever present threat of spilling coffee or food all over yourself onboard your flight. And, if your luggage gets lost, you’ll at least have a spare outfit to get you through the hard times.

7. Small lock
A small lock can be used to secure your stuff in the hotel room, your bags at the airport or to deter thieves while you’re ordering beer at the bar.

8. A couple of plastic shower caps
You may not need it for showering but used to cover your shoes when you pack them, they can protect the contents of your bag from dirt, grime and whatever else your feet have picked up along the way. If you don’t have any at home, make sure you take the ones from your hotel bathroom toiletries kit.

9. Lightweight power board
Unless you’re cruising (because you can’t take one on a cruise ship), a power board will prove invaluable for overnight charging in rooms with limited power points. Make sure you have a universal power adapter, though, or your forward thinking could be for nought.

How to pack

10. Roll your clothes
Anything that can be rolled, should be rolled. Underwear, T-shirts, singlets, tops, pants and jumpers can be rolled tightly and layered to take up less space in your bag. Items best left flat are jeans and bulkier fabrics, such as wool and denim.

11. Heavyweight ziplock bags
Stuff your socks, undies, T-shirts and other light fabric clothing into ziplock bags, then zip them up so that only an inch is unlocked, suck the air out and pack. And, when you start wearing your clothes, you can use these as dirty laundry bags so your other clothes don’t get stinky.

12. Leave some room
You never know what you’ll purchase on holiday, so leave some space to take it home. Even if you don’t buy anything, the extra space will allow you to stuff your clothes away at short notice, say, if you sleep through your alarm and end up frantically packing to make it to the airport on time.

13. Protect your toiletries
Don’t just stuff your toiletries into a toiletries bag, pop them in a ziplock bag beforehand to give yourself some extra protection from unexpected explosions. You should also have your liquids in a clear plastic bag anyway, for ease of scanning at airport security. For oils and runny liquids, pop a piece of clingwrap between the opening and the lid, or wrap some around the lid and fasten with an elastic band. Dry shampoos, bars of soap and roll-on deodorant are also preferable to liquid products.

On the ground

14. Hide your valuables
Choose a non-branded backpack or bag to store your everyday essentials. Don’t parade around with a Nikon camera strapped across your body or a Luis Vuitton handbag hanging off your shoulder – stuff those inside a backpack to avoid becoming a target for thieves. Also, follow our tips for hiding travel cash.

15. Divide your money
Never take all your travel money out with you: hide some in the hotel safe, in a secret compartment in your bag back at the ranch, or in cards stashed inside books. Keep some in your wallet and stash a few bills in your socks or in different pockets. That way, if the worst happens, such as losing your wallet or being mugged, you’ll hopefully still have something to get you out of a jam.

Do you have any travel tips to share with our members?

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


The cleverest way to hide travel cash

This is the cleverest way to hide travel cash that we've ever seen!

Packing secrets that will save you money

Packing these five items when you travel will save

Packing tricks for simpler travel

These simple packing tricks will have you packing smarter and lighter for your next tri

Written by Leon Della Bosca


Total Comments: 2
  1. 0

    I use a money belt. Looks like an ordinary belt, but has a zipper running the length on the inside. Just fold the notes and you can stash quite a bit in there.

  2. 0

    packing cubes are the way to go…they are amazing
    here is how to do it if you dont know what they are




continue reading

Seniors Finance

Read this before buying candles for Christmas

Gary Mortimer, Queensland University of Technology and Jana Bowden, Macquarie University Christmas marks a peak in consumerism across the West....

Health news

Climate change means Australia faces more heatwave deaths

Experts are warning that heatwaves present a greater risk to public health than bushfires. Heat-related illness is our "silent killer",...


Dairy-free Banana Ice Cream Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote

Nadiya Hussain has become more aware of her dairy intake, saying: "We need to do our bit - I know...


Supermarkets urged to stop promoting unhealthy foods

Supermarkets have been seen by many, particularly older Australians, as somewhat of a saviour throughout these strange days, but a...

Health news

What a home DNA test can’t tell you

Genetic testing is easier and more popular than ever. Swab tests and saliva tests can be sent to your home,...


Social connection boosts fitness app use

Most of us have experienced the benefits of exercising with a friend or loved one, it's more fun and it...

Health news

Massive blood test trial offers hope of earlier cancer diagnoses

One blood test could detect 50 forms of cancers if the trial of a liquid biopsy undertaken by the British...


The trends from 2020 that support a positive outlook in retirement

For most of us, the pandemic changed our lives in a big way. We were forced to dig deep and...