How to pack smart - The ultimate list of travel packing tips

How to pack smart - The ultimate list of travel packing tips

Team GILBANO is made up of avid travellers. Not only do we design beautiful and functional travel accessories but we also spend our lives on the road and can, therefore, provide first-hand experiences of what we believe are the best travel tips. For this blog post, we compiled an epic list of our favourite travel and packing tips. Make sure to bookmark this article if you are currently planning your next trip. It provides many invaluable travel tips which will guarantee to make your journey more joyful. 

1. Luggage Policy - Begin by knowing your airline’s luggage policy. Why is that important? Well, we’ve all been to the airline check-in desk and found out that we’ve packed more than we were supposed to. If that happens, there are only two solutions: Unpack/Repack or pay the extra fee on the spot. To get around these headaches, we recommend preparing ahead of time: Know your airlines’ baggage policy BEFORE you start packing. You can usually find these policies on your ticket purchase confirmation email or the airline’s website. For example, click here to see the luggage policy for British Airways.

Luggage Policy British Airways

2. Packing List - Most people dislike packing their suitcase. They wait until the last minute and then either cram way too many items or - under stress - forget to bring half of the things. The number one reason frequent travellers find this exercise easy is because they use a packing list: A packing list is usually a compact document outlining all travel essentials. So at least in theory forgetting travel items should be a thing of the past. You will stay organised and packing your suitcase will be done with a peaceful mind - once and for all. If you don't have one, we recommend using an App for your smart phone. Our favorite "The Ultimate Packing App" designed by Mariano Rezkis.  


The Ultimate Packing App designed by Mariano Rezk

3. Durable Suitcase - No matter where your trips might take you, having a stable and convenient suitcase is crucial. In our view, any luggage should be versatile, lightweight and big enough to hold all your clothing items. Also, keep an eye on the warranty. We know from first-hand experience that the German brand RIMOWA has a fantastic warranty in place. For example, when one of their suitcase wheels came off, we could walked into one of their global stores and they provided us with a free substitute - upon showing our original purchase receipt. Some of the brands we furthermore recommend include Briggs & Riley, Tumi, Samsonite, Rimowa and Delsey. All of them have been in the business for years and manufacture a wide range of suitcases, rolling luggage and 4-wheel bags. If you are not a fan of hard case bags, you might also want to look into their into selection duffel bags, wheeled backpacks, travel backpacks and carry-ons. The beauty of only flying with a carry-on is that you can leave your destination airport much quicker and you don’t need to wait - sometimes for hours - at the luggage conveyor belt.


Rimowa suitcase

4. Luggage Cover - We highly recommend investing in a high-quality luggage cover. Owning a suitcase cover still seems to be a travel secret with which not too many people are familiar. Not only do they protect your valuable travel suitcase, but they also help your bag stand out from the crowd! If you’re a frequent traveller like ourselves, your luggage needs to have an extra layer of protection. We highly recommend using a luggage cover. Before you buy one, make sure to measure your suitcase correctly.

5. Save Space - Have you heard of the “Put-everything-you-need-on-the-bed” trick? Here is how it works: Collect all your items for your journey you THINK you will need and place all of them on your bed into different piles. Group your basics like socks, T-Shirts and underwear, other clothing items like dress-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, jackets and trousers. Also, add travel essentials like your toiletry bag, an extra pair of shoes, your tie case or travel pillow. Depending on which time of the year you travel add an extra pair of swim-shorts or a scarf. Next, open your suitcase and place it next to all your items. If you pack like most people, you will see that you will have to eliminate a few of the things: Start by removing some of the items you are most likely not going to need. That trick should already reduce your items by 10-20%. Also, tests have shown that rolling up your clothes saves valuable space in your suitcase in particular if used in combination with compression bags. 

Pro tip: Rolling your clothes to save space in your suitcase

6. Create A Packing System - Keeping everything organised in your travel suitcase can be a challenge. However, having a system in place can make a huge difference. The "system" we like best is called "packing cubes": These are usually lightweight, small nylon bags with zippers helping to keep your travel items organised. Our very own version of travel packing cubes provides fantastic value and functionality: They help you stay organised and reduce up to 30% in space by using the built-in compression zippers.

7. Travel Gadget Case - We recommend bringing your electronics and chargers in a separate pouch. If you are travelling around to multiple destinations, make sure this bag contains all items to keep you connected to the power outlet on any train, aeroplane or bus. There are various words for this type of pouch (e.g. travel pouch case, electronics organiser, etc.). However, we prefer the term gadget case. It typically carries a wide array of technology devices, cables, charging modules, adapter, earphones and the likes. GILBANO offers two types of travel gadget cases: One made from durable nylon and one made from luxurious Spanish cowhide.

8. Transparent Travel Bag - This is the small travel bag you can throw in your travel carry-on. Keep in mind though that in most countries (including the US and all European countries) you are not allowed to bring any liquids on the plane which exceed a certain size. The limit for any liquid or gel is set at 100ml (~3.4 ounces). Throw in all toiletry items you might need during your trip: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, deodorant or mini shampoo. Read more about TSA regulations here.


9. Important Travel Papers - If there is one item you NEVER want to lose it's your travel wallet. It usually contains all your cash, credit cards, passport, ID, health insurance cards, travel insurance information, boarding passes and some other essential travel documents. To keep all these documents in one place, we recommend the luxury travel wallet by GILBANO. Most modern travellers use an app like the Apple Wallet to keep hotel bookings and boarding passes. However, if you like to be on the safe side, we usually recommend bringing a print copy of all critical documents. The wallet also provides space to keep a physical copy of your international travel passport. We’ve had friends whose travel wallets got stolen, and they had no way to leave the country. You'd want to avoid this at all cost.

gilbano leather travel wallet

10. Travel Documentation - A few weeks ahead of your next journey, check if your passports and potential visas are still valid. For all non-US citizen travelling to the United States, it’s essential to have an up-to-date ESTA document. If you don't fill in their online application before your journey, chances are you won’t be allowed to enter the United States.

11. Finances & Legal Tender - Last but not least, make sure to exchange some cash before your next journey begins. However, be reminded, you usually don’t get reasonable rates at airport currency exchange counters. In contrast, your local bank will most likely be able to provide you with a much more favourable exchange rate. In either case, we suggest using an app on your smartphone to cross-check current exchange rates. If the value you see on your smartphone diverts too much from what the bank teller offers, go to the next bank. Speaking of banks, it usually helps to inform your bank before your trip commences. If you don't, your credit card might get blocked because your bank could assume fraudulent activity.

So here you have it. This is our ultimate travel packing list. If you believe there are important items missing on this list, please email us!

Safe travels!


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