How to nail city break suitcase packing

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Jetting off for a city break? Here’s how to ace packing your suitcase

Between baggage charges and how hard it can be to cart around multiple bags, there’s great value to packing a bag efficiently. If you’re heading off on a staycation or taking to the skies for a weekend getaway, these tips and tricks will make sure you’re not stuck with an overflowing boot or an airport surcharge.

Choose the right bag

What bag you bring will depend on destination, mode of transport and budget. A stellar deal on a Ryanair flight is great, but it doesn’t often include any luggage. That might mean it’s just you and a backpack for the weekend. Maye you’re just throwing a bag in the car, so any will do. Choosing the right bag for your journey can make packing much easier. Many will be versatile, with compartments or a range of straps to help carry everything. If you’re opting for airport carry-on or check in, choosing a hard case could be wise. If it’s soft shell, you run the risk of desperately overfilling, which could tip you over the scale, too.

Saving space

When it comes to bag packing, strategy is everything. Learning to fit what you have in a small space is a valuable skill, and one that comes in handy here! Using a set of packing cubes can help you condense your clothes, protect delicates, and even plan outfits. They make it easy to divide your clothes into underwear, day/night wear, or by outfit. There are options, too, for compressed versions – providing even more space.

Another way to fit more in is to optimise the space you already have, by folding in a savvy way. Arguably the oldest trick in the book, rolling your clothes can help you save space, compared to folding and piling. Here’s how to do it:

On the day

Choosing your travel outfit wisely will make sure you’re not pulling the carefully packed bag apart on the floor of departures. Depending on where you’re going, layering up will make sure you’re ready for both the home climate and that of your destination. Plus, each layer is one less thing taking up bag room. Wear your bulkiest shoes (but beware of airport security shoe removal!) to travel, once you’re still comfy, to make sure they aren’t robbing bag space. Often, airlines will allow you to have a very small handbag in addition to your luggage. Great for popping your phone, passport, and charger into, they’re a handy way to keep essentials close. But it’s best to double check with your airline’s guidelines just in case.