The Honeymoon Project’s guide to packing

Aside from the anticipation of being about to go away, packing is undoubtedly one of the more mundane aspects of going on honeymoon (or holiday). So, I’ve put together this brief guide (with a few handy, if not totally inspiring, photos) to help you get packed for your honeymoon (or your next trip away), and to make things a bit easier, both when you’re packing and once you’re at your destination.

  • Firstly, and this is one of the most important things, in my opinion: roll your clothes, don’t fold them. While it’s impossible to avoid your clothes getting creased in transit, rolling them does make a difference – no matter how nicely you fold them, once you tip a bag on its side, all that nice folding is going to go out the window and make your clothes very creased.
  • Unless I know there’s definitely going to be an iron at my destination, I always iron my clothes before I pack them. Yes, it’s a bit of a pain, and yes, my clothes still end up more crumpled than they were when I packed them, but ultimately they’ll look a lot better when I wear them than if I didn’t bother in the first place.

  • The most important thing, after the whole rolling your clothes thing, is to put the heaviest items at the bottom of the bag. By bottom of the bag, I mean what is the bottom of the bag when the bag is upright, so in the photo above this is the far left-hand side of the bag. So, your shoes and big items like trousers should go here. Always wrap your shoes in a bag of some sort (mine are in that fancy yellow shoe bag, above),to stop your clothes from getting dirty because of them. By putting your heaviest items at the bottom, they’re far less likely to crush your lighter, more easily creased clothes once the bag is moved about.
  • If you’re taking more than one bag, share both of your clothes out between each bag. That way, if one bag gets delayed or lost in transit, you’ll still have some clothes in your other bag. I learnt this vital lesson after my bag got lost a few years ago, and now always make sure that our clothes are spread out between the two bags.

  • Unless you’re not taking very much, or you’ve not got a very deep bag, you’ll want to do two layers of clothes, so don’t worry about packing all of your heaviest things at first. I’ve filled up the rest of this layer using a mix of medium-weight (shirts, maxi dresses etc) and lighter clothes (skirts and t-shirts). T-shirts are great for cramming in smaller spaces, and generally you don’t have to worry too much about them being too crumpled as the creases drop out pretty easily.
  • The easiest (and most space-saving) way of packing underwear is to use it to fill up little gaps between the clothes – these usually crop up in the corners and between mis-shaped items, and you can just stuff them into the gap (unless they’re rather posh items of underwear, and then you might want to be a little more careful…).

  •  Again, with the top layer, keep the heaviest items at the bottom and follow much the same pattern. The one thing you really want to think about here is what you might want easy access to when you get to your destination – toiletries, nightclothes (if you’re arriving late), swimming cossies (if you’re going to want to jump in the pool as soon as you get there) etc. That way they’ll be right at the top of the bag when you open it up. I know that if I’m tired after a long flight, the last thing I’m going to want to do is unpack, and what I’ll just want is to have everything I’ll need to hand straight away.

  • I always find books tricky to pack. Obviously, one or two will go in hand luggage, but if you’re going away for longer than a couple of days then you’re bound to have more (unless you’re carrying them digitally, of course). My suitcase has a handy zip-up compartment  (see the top section of the suitcase, above), which has straps that can be tightened to hold things in place – I keep our books in here, fitted snugly beneath the straps. They do still move around a bit, but are generally at less risk of getting damaged.
  • If you’ve got straps inside the main part of your suitcase, I’d really recommend using them. Obviously, they can’t keep everything still, and there will still be some shifting about as your bag travels, but if you tie them tightly they will help keep things in place (though it does depend on how full your bag is – the contents of a full bag will move a lot less than they will in an empty bag).
A few final pointers:
  • Always label your bags, including your destination address and flight number, and put something with a name and contact number inside the bag in case your bag is lost and the luggage tag comes off.
  • Padlock your bags. If you’re travelling to the USA, they do prefer you to use TSA-approved locks, and they won’t hesitate to check through your bags if they want to (you probably won’t notice until you find a note in your bag saying so).
  • Don’t put anything valuable in your luggage – take it in your carry-on.
So there you go – a few easy steps for successful honeymoon packing.
All photographs © The Honeymoon Project
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