The insider's guide to packing

Find out how to become a packing pro

Marcus Webb – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Marcus Webb | Independent Money Mentor

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist


Good packing is an art form. A well-packed bag will save you time, money and physical strain – and give you far more room for all those souvenirs. Here are six essential packing tips so you can become a legend in your own luggage…

Roll, don’t fold

When Liam Gallagher sang "you gotta roll with it, you gotta take your time", it’s quite possible he wasn’t referring to packing suitcases. But the Oasis singer was definitely onto something because carefully rolled clothes take up far less room than folded clothes and are less likely to get wrinkled.

Nice and squeezy

The 100ml rule: bad news for people who wash their hair obsessively, good news for manufacturers of miniature shampoo bottles. To avoid paying over the odds for travel-sized toiletries, invest in easy-to-wash, leakproof, TSA-approved squeezable travel tubes – and fill them with big-bottle liquids from your own home collection.

A new leaf

Despite reports to the contrary, print isn’t dead. People still buy books because staring at a screen will never match the tactile experience of lovely old-fashioned paper. But a holiday on limited baggage allowance really isn’t the time to finally get stuck into that hardback edition of Tolstoy's War and Peace gathering dust on your shelves. Instead treat yourself to an e-reader, fill it with weightless books, and keep your precious suitcase space for something more practical.

Weight watchers

There are few words in the English language more feared than "excess baggage charges", especially when uttered by airline staff at check-in desks. Avoid getting stung by extortionate last-minute baggage fees by weighing your stuff with luggage scales before you leave home (you can pick up a pair for around a fiver) and feel exceedingly pleased with yourself when your bag clocks in half a milligram under the limit.

Feet first

Shoes are bulky, cumbersome objects to pack, but your spare footwear can also be your secret weapon. Stuff them with objects that may benefit from a protective seal, or underwear wrapped in plastic so it doesn’t get dirty. If you’re travelling with multiple pairs of shoes you should wear the largest pair on the plane to keep the weight down. Unless they’re wellies.

Seeing the light

There’s a certain type of person who gets very excited about luggage durability. But the reality is that it’s highly unlikely that a car will fall on your suitcase during your trip. So eschew the hardshell options in favour of something lightweight and sturdy. After all, you’re the one who’s going to have to carry it.

Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.