Going on holiday and planning for one is always fun, but it can quickly become a logistical nightmare if your luggage isn’t up to the challenge. For the modern woman with a penchant for travel, mastering the art of packing is essential. Many find it to be a stressful task just because there is so much to remember, but it doesn’t have to be.

Whether you’re travelling for work or going on your next vacation, dodging common luggage pitfalls can make a difference in your travel experience. In this guide, we spill the tea on insider tips that will help you pack efficiently without making the usual mistakes. Buckle up!

Image by Arnel Hasanovic.

1. Overpacking drama: This is the absolute cardinal sin of travel. Resist the urge to pack your entire closet and stick to versatile pieces instead, which allows for some mixing and matching. Less is always more.

2. Bad organisation: Before packing cubes, my suitcases were somewhat messy, but thanks to this nifty organisation tool, your belongings can be neatly compartmentalised.

This not only helps you find things quickly but also prevents the dreaded suitcase explosion when going through airport security.

Image by Liu Revutska.

3. Pay close attention to size and weight: Airlines have strict regulations on luggage dimensions and weight, so each time you travel, comply with these rules. It’s always best to spend a bit more when buying a suitcase too–opt for lightweight but durable. We’ve all seen how these bags get thrown around.

4. Welcome TSA-friendly features: No matter where you’re travelling to, save time and stress by always opting for TSA-approved luggage. This helps any unforeseen security checks to be a smooth process. Also, it helps keep your belongings secure.

Image by Tyler Nix.

5. Forgetting liquid rule: If you pack your best beauty products in your carry-on, be mindful of the liquid rules. Invest in good quality travel-sized containers so you can wash and reuse them.

6. Don’t skip the essentials: Always carry a small toiletry bag in your carry-on. Must-haves include toothbrush, toothpaste, facial spray or wipes, and some make-up basics. It’s always a good idea to have a quick refresh during a layover.

Image by Austin Distel.

7. Not wearing protection: We mean for your gadgets. Avoid potential damage by investing in a sturdy, padded laptop sleeve. Bonus: Have added level of protection from prying eyes by installing a privacy screen protector. Also, we tend to drop our phones more while travelling, so spend on some quality cover.

8. Forgetting adapters: International travel? Don’t let your gadgets run out of juice because that would be the worst. Research and pack the right adapters to keep your devices charged and ready for information at your fingertips. And stay connected with your loved ones back home.

Image by İrfan Simsar.

9. Underestimating space for souvenirs: Leave room in your suitcase for those knick-knacks you’ll want to gift to family and friends. Pack a foldable tote for your return journey, or you can even mail items home to avoid overpacking your luggage.

10. Ignoring customs regulations: Before bringing home anything exotic (and if it seems suspicious, we suggest avoiding it altogether), research customs regulations to avoid surprises when re-entering your home country. Certain items may be prohibited or subject to specific restrictions. Always rely on official immigration websites instead of travel blogs when it concerns the rules and regulations of any country.