This week we hear from Sarah who has given us her top 10 tips for travel packing. Packing can potentially be the most annoying part of any holiday, but with a couple of simple tricks and some common sense advice it can easily become part of the fun.

Woman sitting on suitcase to try and close it

Planning for a big overseas trip usually starts months in advance, but one thing most of us seem to leave till the very last minute is packing our bags. In the rush to cram everything in, it can be easy to end up with an overflowing suitcase yet forget the essentials. Today I'd like to share with you my top 10 packing tips so you can travel lighter and smarter.

1. Choose the right bag for your trip

Choosing the right bag for your trip is the first essential step to a well packed bag. If you are going to be travelling a lot between locations on trains, buses and the like, a backpack may be your best option. Whereas if you're travelling by plane and staying in just one or two locations, a suitcase could work well. Whether you go for a suitcase or backpack choosing one with wheels can be a good idea. Rolling your bag along the ground is much easier than carrying it.

2. Don't over pack your bag from the beginning

When travelling we often find many souvenirs and must have items along our way. Make sure you don't over pack your bag from the beginning so you have some room for these items. An expandable bag can work well here.

3. Always roll your clothes

Remember the number one packing tip your mum probably taught you when going on your first family holiday, rolling your clothes is the most efficient way to pack. It can be tempting to just throw it all in the bag and hope it fits but taking the time to roll your clothes will be well worth it.

4. Wear outer garments on-board flights

Instead of packing bulky coats and jackets in your bag wear your largest one on board the plane. It will not only save a lot of space but it might also keep you warm mid flight when the air conditioning always seems to get so much colder.

5. Pack any medication and their prescriptions into carry-on luggage

Make sure any medication you are taking on your trip is in your carry-on luggage with their prescriptions. Checked in luggage does go missing sometimes so it's best to carry it on board with you.

6. Bring travel sized toiletries

Most toiletries now come in travel sizes so there is no need to waste space with large shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and body wash bottles. The amount of space you can save here is significant so think ahead and pick up some travel sized versions.

7. Remember your electronic chargers

Remember to pack all your phone and other electronic chargers in your luggage. You'll also need adapters for the countries you are travelling to if heading overseas.

8. Consider the weather

It can be easy to make blanket assumptions about the countries you are travelling to and pack a very one sided wardrobe. For example many overseas visitors come to Australia during the winter months with only a beachside wardrobe expecting it to be hot everyday of the year and are quickly surprised. Do your research on the country you are visiting and pack a range of clothing options. The best idea is to pack clothes you can layer e.g. t shirts, long sleeved tops, jumpers and jackets so that no matter what the weather, you will have something suitable to wear.

9. Don't pack glass bottles in your checked in luggage

It seems like an obvious one but many people seem to make the mistake of packing wine and other glass bottles in their checked in luggage. Your bags will be handled by airline staff along with many others and you can't be guaranteed these glass items won't break. I've heard more than a few stories of a whole bag of clothes practically ruined by a broken bottle of red wine.

10. Don't pack valuables into checked in luggage

Checked in luggage can easily go missing so it's best to take any valuables like laptops, cameras and jewellery on board with you in your carry-on bag. If you have any top travel packing tips you'd like to share with us be sure to let us know by listing them in the 'Was this page helpful?' feedback box at the bottom of this page.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of Cover-More Insurance.