Nine high-profile frequent flyers share their tips that will change the way you pack your luggage.
Delta Goodrem, singer/songwriter
I find out what the weather will be where I’m going and put together outfits, bringing all my little trinkets that make wherever I’m going feel like home – candles, crystals. I put all my shoes in bags; I don’t want any rogue shoes. And I fold in a particular way.
I use luggage dividers – one for tops, one for bottoms and one for toiletries and stuff like that. I also have colour-coded zip-up folders – red for money and receipts, blue for background information on the story and green for travel documents. I’m a travel nerd.
I pack light – never more than one bag – then I have a small carry-on for essentials like my computer, notepads, pens, herbal teas, supplements and a few packets of nuts. I always have gym gear for doing a workout or going for a walk to take in the sights. Pack basics like jeans, shoes and tops that travel well and you can wear a couple of times. I place all my clothes in sections – shirts, underwear, socks, jeans etc. The bulky things go underneath and lighter things are on top or in a separate compartment. My husband [Paul Cutter] introduced me to the rolling technique – I love it. No creases and lots of room to fit in everything you need.
I start preparing outfits about two weeks in advance. I’m a folder. I have a suitcase for shoes and I have a suitcase for coats if it’s winter. Or one side of the suitcase is coats and the other side is separates. I organise it in a way that I can unpack it and re-pack it systematically. I usually get off the plane, go to the hotel, unpack and go straight to a meeting so I have to make sure nothing is creased.
I put my clothes into outfit piles. The full outfits get a run; the extra things go in a drawer to forget about for another year. I fold my clothes in a big bag and roll in a smaller one. That way you don’t go over weight. It also means there’s room in the big bag in case you get involved in the shops.
Before a trip, I’ll have everything perfectly set out. The more I travel, the more I become like George Clooney in Up in the Air. I like having a sense of control over my life; I think it’s a way of mentally surviving. I don’t need much; four or five items get constantly washed and reused. It’s military style. Spartan. I’m a folder.
A couple of days before, I’ll have a good look at what I need to bring and make sure everything is clean and goes together. I don’t like to bring things that I don’t wear. Last year I travelled with UNICEF to Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. I only had a backpack, Doc Martens, jeans and a UNICEF T-shirt for a five-day trip! But generally I don’t like to travel too light. We’ve all arrived somewhere and bought things that aren’t suitable for our normal world. All of those sarongs; what do you do with them when you live in the mountains? You need to plan. Not many shoes, one good coat, silk scarves and a few pieces of jewellery. Scarves take up very little room but they change an outfit instantly – you can wear the same thing the next day and look different. I fold, not for any logical reason, just out of habit. I understand rolling is better but I’ve just never done it.
Pack only staple items. Whenever I can, I try to just use hand luggage. It makes travelling that much easier. Pack outfits that complement one another so you can mix and match. I lay my clothes flat. No folds or creases.
Greta Bradman, operatic soprano
I take clothing made from natural fibres that will be breathable and comfortable. I think about how many outfits I’m going to need for events and keep everything else as minimal as possible. If I’m away for less than two weeks, I go for one versatile jacket, one different warm outer layer and things that can be mixed and matched. I’m a convert; I roll. It saves space and leaves your clothes in better condition. And I think it’s easier to find things.