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The healthy traveller’s guide to… packing like a pro

The back of a young woman with a large backpack and hat strapped to her, looking out at a river

Skip the stress and pack like a pro with our tips.

The back of a young woman with a large backpack and hat strapped to her, looking out at a river

Taking a holiday not only gives us the chance to switch off and unwind, but it can have some very real health benefits – just planning a vacation has been shown to boost our levels of happiness and within a day or two of going on holiday, stress levels can drop significantly.

So, wouldn’t it be nice to get your trip off to a stress-free start?

Let’s start with ‘packing’. The last thing you want is to be throwing everything you own into a suitcase an hour before you’re meant to check-in.

Skip the stress and pack like a pro with our tips.

1. Plan ahead

A bit obvious but, don’t leave it to the last minute. Get your suitcase out a week or two before you go and start to casually add the bits to it that you’re planning on taking. Use the weekend before to properly plan out the clothes for your trip and get any washing/drying sorted a few days prior.

2. Take the weather with you

To really knuckle down on the over packing, check up on the forecast of your destination and make sure you’ve cover any weather essentials. Ideally, plan a daily outfit and night time changes – add in minimal footwear, underwear, workout gear and something warm, just in case.

A young woman smiles as she lays on a bed next to her packed luggage

3. Be a shoo-in

Practice minimalism when you pack your footwear – keep it only to the must-haves (and shoes that have already been broken in). A good tip is to put a shower cap or plastic bag around your shoes. This will protect the rest of your clothing #propacker101.

4. Pack smart

Down to practicalities (or pack-ticalities?!?). Heard of ‘Packing Cubes’? They allow you to pack tops, bottoms, underwear etc. into separate little zipped compartments. Why bother? Well it means you can simply unpack (without fully unpacking), and you won’t have to rummage around trying to find that top that you know is in there… somewhere.

5. Make it a mini

Packing toiletries can be a nightmare. They can be heavy and a pain to decant. Try and stock up on travel sizes of your favourite shampoo, face wash and body lotion – it will make the whole packing process so much smoother.

6. Get creative

Be crafty with space. This means packing items inside your shoes like socks and any additional toiletries. Wait until the end to wedge any valuables between the leftover crevices - it will keep them safe and secure.

Credit: Tom Ayzenberg

7. Prepare for the worst

Be prepared in the event of a suitcase going - gulp - missing. Take a photo of the outside AND the inside your luggage before you go. That way, if it gets lost or misplaced, you’ll have the pics to help the airline locate and identify it. And remember if you have to bring any valuables with you, check what cover is available under your travel insurance and make sure you have proof of its value Tip: Scan and save any receipts for those valuables to ensure you have proof of value in the event of making a claim.*

8. Keep calm and carry on

Following on from above. Absolutely pack a carry on. Include a few changes of undies, a top, swimmers and basic toiletries – that way you can survive a day or two in relative comfort and enjoy the pool if your case goes astray!

9. Back it up

Organise your carry on too – include a small travel pouch that you can easily pull out when boarding the plane and keep under your seat for the duration of the flight. Include the toiletries you want to have handy plus headphones, flight socks and a book.

10. Do the heavy lifting

Finally, check your luggage is not over the weight limit – before you get to the airport! Use either your bathroom scales or a hand-held luggage weighing device. There’s nothing more stressful than having to frantically balance the weight between suitcases at check-in.

11. Stay protected

If you are planning a trip, don’t forget your travel insurance so you can make sure you and your luggage are covered – wherever you are!*

The fine print

*Coverage is subject to the terms and conditions for each policy, as contained in the Product Disclosure Statement.

nib health funds limited ABN 83 000 124 381 AR 264068 (nib) is an authorised representative of Cerberus Special Risks Pty Limited, ABN 81 115 932 173, AFS Licence No 308461(Cerberus). This insurance is underwritten by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s and arranged by Cerberus. This is general advice and you should consider if this product suits your needs. Before you buy, please read the Product Disclosure Statement available from

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