Holidaymakers will spend more than a week of their lives packing bags

Holidaymakers will spend the equivalent of more than a week of their lives packing their bags for holidays, according to research.

A poll of 2,000 travellers revealed it takes an average of just over one hour and 40 minutes per trip mulling over outfits, and squeezing in the essentials.

Putting aside the travel restrictions from the last few years, the average holiday-goer will venture away twice a year – equating to 126 trips over their adult lifetime.

But one in three (32%) admit they find packing stressful, and half leave it until the very last minute.

The research, commissioned by online personal styling service, Stitch Fix, also found over two-thirds (68%) have not been abroad since the start of the pandemic, with 48% planning to dust off their suitcases for a holiday abroad this summer.

Rich Simmons, styling team lead, said: “It’s exciting that we’re able to pack our bags and jet off on holiday once again.

“But it’s important to not get carried away with those pre-flight purchases – particularly as our research shows that 45% of holidaymakers purchase items for their summer holiday, but never wear them again.

“As with packing smart, it’s crucial to shop smart. 81% of the nation typically treat themselves to something new for a trip away, and given that this is our first restriction-free summer in two years, it’s not surprising that many of us will be looking for something new.

“The key here is to invest in a few quality pieces that you absolutely love, so that you can rewear and restyle them over the course of your trip.”

The study also found when packing for a summer holiday, travellers' top suitcase staples are t-shirts, shorts and sandals.

But 53% regularly pack items that go unworn – notably jumpers, jeans, and heels.

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More than half (56%) find pre-planning outfits alleviates the pressure, while the same number make lists to avoid falling into the trap of overpacking.

It also emerged four in ten find holiday shopping a challenge, and 31% would prefer a stylist to take the reins.

Rich Simmons added: “Don’t ignore what’s in your wardrobe already.

“Take the time to look through your clothes and you’re sure to find some summer staples that you’ve forgotten about.

“At Stitch Fix, our expert stylists focus on selecting items that are tailored to your unique style, while ensuring that they work with your existing wardrobe – so we can help pair up those uncovered gems with new, quality items, leaving you with a versatile holiday wardrobe that you’ll love to wear time and time again.”

To help people truly master their pre-holiday preparations, stress-free, Stitch Fix has enlisted the expertise of organisational expert, Sophie Liard (@thefoldinglady), to share her top tips:

  1. PLAN YOUR OUTFITS. Begin by writing down the events you’ll need an outfit for – from day trips to pool days. This way, you’ll pack smarter and avoid over-packing. Build your outfits one by one and arrange in piles – you can even add specific underwear so it’s complete. Once finished, add a post-it to each pile so you can see it’s ready for packing. You’ll find this process gives you ideas of how to mix and match your clothes, building multiple outfits out of fewer core items.
  2. GO EASY ON THE SHOES. They take up space, so really think about what you need. My general rule is one pair of trainers, and one pair of sandals. Remember to use shoe bags – these will keep any buckles or laces tidy, and keep the soles away from your clothes. Make the most of the space inside your shoes, too – use it to pack socks and even jewellery.
  3. USE PACKING CUBES. Research reveals 56% fold their clothes when packing, whereas only 29% prefer the rolling technique. The good news is, zip-up bags are perfect for packing in tidy and organised categories, whatever your preference. You can access your clothes easily, and use these in the drawers of your accommodation, too – so anything you don’t end up using, is packed and ready to go.
  4. THINK ABOUT GARMENT CARE. The main factor that determines creases is the material of the garment. To test if it’s “creasy”, do the scrunch test – grab a bunch of the garment and scrunch, hold for a few seconds, then release. Has it creased? My advice is to stay away from materials that do not pass the scrunch test – unless it’s linen of course, as everyone expects this to come complete with a crease or two. Also, consider packing travel hangers so you can hang things up on arrival – they are lightweight and fold small, so will take up minimal room in your suitcase.

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