Seven top tips for single bag travelling

Jenai Laignel ( 30 April 2018 )

Packing light can seem like a hard task, but by following these simple tips you may never need to wait patiently by the luggage carousel again.

1. Be ruthless

Single bag travel will never happen unless you are prepared to embrace essentialism.

Resist the temptation to pack for every weather condition, and look at a detailed weather forecast to work out exactly what you need.

You could even pack a small tube of handwash, and wash your socks and smalls to save even more room!

Select your essentials from our ultimate travel packing list

2. Choose a bag sensibly

Take some time to shop around, ensuring your bag fits within the measurements, can be safely stowed, is easy to carry and is durable. Choosing one made from soft material may be easier to stow in overhead lockers, but a harder material might afford your belongings some extra protection, so you'll need to decide on your priorities. 

Outside pockets on a bag are always handy to keep a passport, boarding pass and other quick-grab items.

3. Roll or fold?

Many seasoned travellers will tell you that rolling your clothes as opposed to folding them takes up far less room in your suitcase, and has the added bonus of fewer wrinkles – which means you can also ditch the travel iron!

However, the rolling vs folding technique is hotly debated, with several of Saga's experienced travellers declaring folding to be the superior packing method.

As Rob told us via Facebook, "I have been packing for nearly half a century and have tried rolling clothes, which in my experience takes more space. Clothes can be folded where creases (if any) don't show, although an experienced traveller already knows what crease resistant clothes to buy."

4. Wear as much as possible

Don't forget, what you travel in will be part of your wardrobe. Wear the heaviest or bulkiest items for travelling and choose such items strategically. 

A coat can double up as a blanket, for example, or a cozy jumper as a travel pillow. 

5. Think miniature

Invest in mini bottles of toiletries. If you can't find what you need, decant into small, clear bottles – readily available in most pharmacies or online. If you also pop these into a clear sandwich bag, you'll also save time going through security, something your fellow travellers will thank you for!

6. Invest in an e-reader

Books are incredibly bulky and heavy. Invest in an e-reader or tablet and download the Saga Magazine, your favourite holiday reads and travel guides directly to it.

7. And when you return…

Don't forget, you have to pack to return home, too. If you can't resist the temptation to pick up any souvenirs while away, make sure they will fit into your bag.

If you simply can't help yourself, consider shipping a package home before your return flight.

Get your holiday off to a flying start with Saga's great range of Travel Extras, with exclusive discounts on car hire, airport parking, hotels and lounges negotiated exclusively for our customers.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.