The Art of Packing - Sophie Hunt
There are so many experts out there, each with their own rules, who often fail to grasp the type of travelling you are doing.
After 25 years, I’ve progressed from a seasoned backpacker to a short-trip business traveller, in all seasons, with special events like camping, hiking, sailing regattas and long trips with children in between.
My overwhelming advice for any traveller is to TAKE LESS STUFF.
Place it all in a decent four-wheel case, not too big, with a lightweight folding bag inside for side trips or shopping (such as a Bric’s or Longchamp folding duffle). Make sure your luggage fits your transport;
~ a cruise ship will have limited storage,
~ a safari in Africa might require a tiny soft bag,
~ and European train and car travel is best with smallish wheeled cases.
Lay your clothes out on the bed, eliminate as much as you can, and make sure your outfits mix and match.
Take a change of clothes in your carry on bag, and never check your coat through – just in case your luggage doesn’t keep up with you. Arriving in New York at night, coat-less, in a snowstorm, taught me that!
In a recent article in the Sun Herald, I mentioned one of our secret weapons; the Hunt Organizer, and the phones rang hot with queries and buyers. Even in our stores it’s a well-kept secret; you have to see it in action to know how well it works. So, here it is.
I use it like a set of drawers; when I arrive, I hang it in the wardrobe or on the back of a door. You don’t have to unpack; you simply unzip the pockets and leave them open for quick access. No more leaving your favourite t-shirt in a bottom drawer and no more wondering whether the hotel drawers are actually clean in the first place.
It’s easy to pack - I fold it in half and lay it over my shoes and toiletry bag on one side of my suitcase.
The top two pockets are small, perfect for underwear, stockings, socks, ties or scarves.
The next two pockets are slightly larger, perfect for larger undergarments, singlets or sports tops.
On the back, there are two large zip pockets, great for t-shirts and knits, pyjamas or leggings. These are all visible from the front, as each panel of the organizer is transparent.
It’s versatile – we’ve used it as a couple, and even taken it camping! It eliminates that mess of small things floating around in your case. It helps protect your delicates, and makes repacking so much faster.
Now, for packing. I’ve tried rolling, folding, and using drycleaner plastic bags. Each is good but depends on your garments and your technique. I am not a patient person and have yet to master Marie Kondo folding, so I generally lay garments as flat and smooth as possible, with as few folds as possible, on the flat side of my 4-wheeled suitcase (the side without the telescopic handle bumps). Sometimes I even leave them on hangers, which makes for even faster unpacking at the other end. Use the gaps for small items – converter plugs might go into a shoe! Heavy things, like papers, go to the base of the case.
My personal goal is to travel with less and less, to travel lightly, to move more easily, and to see more!
- Sophie Hunt