Whether you're a last-minute packer or you start the job weeks ahead, these handy hints will make the job easier.

•When you are packing, get out the ironing board and use it to fold clothes on.

•Roll some clothes, like T-shirts. Lay face down, fold in sleeves and roll from the bottom up.

•Fold clothes in type — trousers together, shirts together. It all ends up more useable.

•Use “packing cells”— they keep everything together, help to compress into less space, and are easy to take in and out so that you are less likely to lose things.

•Use compression bags and other roll-top bags you can squish the air out of. Ziplock bags do the same.

•Pack only what you know you will use.

•A piece of cardboard taped in makes a good suitcase divider.

•Pack an empty day-bag.

•Some travellers swear by drawing up a packing list, and refining trip by trip, and knocking off the things you didn’t use.

•Wear layers and pack in layers.

•For travelling watches, see the Swatch range — inexpensive, waterproof, some glow at night.

•Carry a universal plug with surge protection.

•Leave room in your case to bring things back — don’t go out with it as tight as a drum.

•If you don’t have room on the way back, just use a cardboard box, taped and tied, with non-breakables such as clothes.

•A sarong is all-round-useable for women.

•Pack a needle and thread, string and cable ties.

© The West Australian

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