Portable luggage scales
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Take the guesswork out of how heavy your bag actually is – and avoid repacking at the front of the check-in line when it’s overweight – with your own luggage scale. Just hook your baggage onto the strap to find out those kilos.
A compression packing cell
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Squeeze bulky items such as a puffer jacket or winter coat flat-as-a-pancake, no vacuum required, with this handy compressor from Kathmandu. All you need to do is zip it up, open the valve and push down on the cell until all the air is gone. Plus, the cell itself only weighs 70 grams.
A lightweight suitcase
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The easiest way to keep the kilos under control? Make sure your suitcase is as light as possible – especially if you’re weight limit is seven kilos of carry-on. Samsonite’s 55-centimetre Lite-Shock Spinner suitcase weighs 1.7 kilograms, leaving you with more than five kilograms of packing weight use. And though it’s made from a lightweight material, it’s designed to be hardy and resist unexpected impacts.
A multi-tasking folding board
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When you’ve streamlined your packing list, there’s no need to squish your belongings into every available bit of space – instead, clothes can be placed neatly within your bag. Keep shirts perfectly folded and wrinkle-free with this nifty contraption, which weighs just 300 grams and comes with a folding board.
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Keeping all items in separate compartments makes it easy to organise your suitcase so you can take advantage of sneaky pockets of space. This set from Eagle Creek features three different cube sizes made from lightweight fabric, with each weighing between 36 and 50 grams.
Leak-proof beauty bottles
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Decant bottles of shampoo, body wash or moisturiser for an easy way to reduce bag weight. These GoToob bottles from Howards Storage World come in Travelsecure-approved sizes, have a no-drip valve and are made of squeezable silicon so you can use every last drop of product.
A slim wallet
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Streamline the contents of your wallet by leaving the coffee and shoe-shop loyalty cards at home (not to mention those faded receipts tucked into the back compartment) and take only the essentials while on holiday: travel money cards, ID and medical cards. Then, pack them all into a slimline wallet that fits snugly into your pocket or takes up just centimetres in a bag, such as the travel wallet from Bellroy that also fits a passport.
A foldable duffle
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Planning on indulging in some serious shopping on your next holiday? There’s no need to take an extra-large bag in case you want to fill-up and fly out. A feather-light duffel bag that folds flat, such as the Flylite Folding Duffle Bag from Strandbags, lets you take the smallest suitcase you need while still having a back-up plan for carrying on-the-road purchases home.
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Every piece of available packing real estate counts when you’re flying with just carry-on luggage and these tiny Apple headphones prevent tangled wires or bulky headsets. Tunes play automatically when you pop them in your ears.
The PackPoint app
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If you’re a traveller who tends to pack five pairs of pants but wear only one, then this app will help you pack with pragmatism. Simply input your destination, dates, length of stay, type of trip and any activities you’ll be doing (such as swimming or hiking) and the app will generate the perfect packing list.
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A tablet with e-reader functionality does double duty: it nixes the need to carry a laptop and allows you to quadruple your holiday reading list without having to pack bulky paperbacks and hardcovers.
A scarf with hidden pockets
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A trusty scarf works hard on the road: acting as an extra blanket in chilly hotel rooms, a cover-up when travelling into temples or rolled up into a pillow on planes. Wear one with pockets and you’ll have an extra spot to stash your phone, cards and passport without taking up extra weight in your bag.
A collapsible water bottle
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Whether you’re trying to stay ultra-hydrated on a flight or travelling to a country where it’s advisable not to drink the tap water, a reusable water bottle is a suitcase essential. This 750ml Sea to Summit bottle can be flattened and folded when it’s not in use and doubles as an icepack in moments of need.
The Stylebook app
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Narrow down exactly what items from your wardrobe will get to go on a holiday, too, with this app. Simply photograph clothing items and the clever algorithm will determine what pieces work together to create the perfect capsule travel wardrobe.
A foldable keyboard
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If you are using the aforementioned tablet for work and typing for long stretches, a foldable keyboard will save your wrists and space in your bag. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard connects to Android and Apple devices via Bluetooth, is five millimetres thin and, once folded in half, is under 15 centimetres long – the perfect size for tucking down the side of your suitcase.