You're probably making these packing mistakes. Here's how to fix them.

Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, you’ll always need to deal with the sometimes-daunting task of packing your suitcase.

Before you go on your next trip, check out these tips from Skyscanner Australia on how to avoid common packing mistakes.

Not knowing your limits

There is nothing more annoying than finishing packing your suitcase, only to get to the airport to find you are over the baggage limit and will get hit with a massive charge.

The solution? Research your airline’s baggage size and weight restrictions ahead of time, and make sure to give yourself some wriggle room for souvenirs or other purchases.

Not planning ahead

There is no point packing an endless amount of bikinis or two pairs of your favourite boardies only to find you’ve planned your beachside holiday in the middle of monsoon season. Don’t assume that just because it looks like a warm destination means you shouldn’t pack some light layers; deserts can get cold at night and summer in some places can still be the wet season.


Know exactly where you're going, and plan ahead. (image:istock)

The solution? Research the average temperature and weather conditions for your destination for the time you’ll be visiting. Loads of forums online will point you in the right direction of what to wear.

Similarly, have a think about what sort of activities you will be doing once you arrive. If you’re planning on visiting cultural or religious sights, you may need to dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees. If in doubt, pack layers.


It seemed like a great idea at the time to pack everything you own in your bag. But that’s going to get heavy and take up space you could be using for souvenirs and other purchases. Take a moment to consider whether you really need to bring your laptop, iPad, mobile phone and camera with you. Could your phone double up as your camera? Can you download a selected amount of movies from your laptop onto your iPad?

The chances of you using or wearing everything you pack is normally quite slim. The solution? There are a few ways to avoid over-packing:

1. Make a list of the things you absolutely need before you start adding on any extras.

2. Lay all of your clothes out across a bed or on the floor. Then halve the amount you have. Simple and effective and will force you to prioritise.

3. Only pack clothes that will go with everything. Stick to neutral colours appropriate for the season and you’ll be able to get a good amount of wear out of every item you pack.


4. You really don’t need more than two pairs of jeans: you may like to pack one casual pair for the day and a nicer pair for night (or one light colour, one dark).

Too many shoes!

Over-packing shoes deserves its own category, as it is an all too common rookie packing error when travelling.

Shoes are heavy. Shoes are awkwardly shaped. Shoes will ruin your perfectly packed suitcase dreams.

The solution? Try and limit yourself to just 2-3 pairs of shoes (including what you will be wearing on the plane).

Make sure you pack shoes that are multipurpose. It’s great if they look good, but they should also provide your feet with good support for all the walking you’ll be doing.

Ladies, think about whether you’re actually going to an occasion that would require heels before you pack them, heels can take up a lot of unnecessary space and be quite awkward to pack. If you’re going to pack them, go for a neutral pair that will go with a large number of outfits.

No, you don't need Carrie Bradshaw's shoe wardrobe while you're travelling. (image: HBO)

Creating chaos in your suitcase.

If you’ve left packing to the last minute, or you’re unpacking and re-packing multiple times in a trip, things can get messy in your suitcase. You lose track of what’s clean and dirty, where you’ve packed your socks and what you’ve done with your phone charger.

The solution? Two words: packing cubes. If you haven’t used them yet they will change your travelling life. There are loads of packing cubes on the market but if you’re strapped for cash you can apply the same principle using large zip lock bags or draw string tote bags.

Packing need not be such a hassle (image: istock)

Packing cubes are a brilliant way to keep your suitcase organised. They come in different sizes and you could use one for socks and underpants, one for tops and one for dresses. It makes unpacking and finding things a breeze.

They’re also great if you’re travelling carry on only. If you’re asked to open your suitcase at security everything will stay neat and organised, and most importantly your underpants won’t fall out for the world to see. What a bonus!

This post originally appeared on Skyscanner Australia and was republished here with full permission. To read the original article, go hereSkyscanner Australia is a leading travel search engine, comparing millions of prices from airlines and online travel agencies to help travellers find the best deal on their flightshotels and car hire with no added fees. You can also find Skyscanner Australia on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.