The world actually might be divided into two sorts of people: those who can pack, and those who just can’t. To get the real low-down of how it’s done, we thought it best to ask someone in the hospitality industry. Marriot International’s Area Director Marketing Africa, Nicholas Barenblatt, is both a seasoned leisure and business traveler, and here are some of his pro-tips.

Lists, lists, lists

Before you even think of opening your closet door, make a list of everything you need to pack. From passports to perfume – make sure your list is airtight before you start the process. As you pack, cross things off. This will mean you’ll know exactly what’s in your luggage, and what you have to still frantically shop for at the very last minute.

Save space.

Saving space sounds logical, right? But the fact is, the way your mum taught you how to pack may be incorrect. The easiest hack to maximize space in your suitcase is to roll your clothes. It’s also quicker than carefully folding each item. That said, try to pack essential items only. You don’t need an outfit for every possible outcome.

Check the weather forecast

You might not need an outfit for every possible outcome, but you do need an outfit that’s temperature appropriate. The easiest way to do that is to Google the forecast before packing. You might think you’re on your way to sunshine and sundowners but never bank on the weather.


This isn’t just a handy trick to keep your emotions in check, it’s a must for effective packing. Pack underwear, toiletries, documents etc in separate bags in your suitcase.

You’ll be extremely grateful you did this if your case is randomly picked to be searched at the airport. This way, it’s quick and painless. You’ll also be happy that your shampoo was in a separate bag if it explodes in your suitcase…

Always be prepared.

The Boy Scouts’ motto is useful in pretty much any scenario. If you are headed to a destination where you are unlikely to be near a pharmacy, be sure to pack a first aid kit. If you’ll be on a boat, you might need anti-nausea tablets. You might have an allergic reaction to something unknown during your travels and need antihistamines. Or you could get caught with an awful headache in the middle of nowhere. You’ll be happy you thought ahead.

Keep it clean.

Pack an extra-light bag to separate out your dirty clothes from the clean. Otherwise, towards the end of your trip you’ll be staring at the contents of your suitcase trying to remember what you’ve already worn. Having an extra bag for your dirty clothes also makes it really easy to just chuck that stuff in the washing machine when you get home.

And always remember: the lighter you pack, the lighter your luggage. You’ll also want to keep some of that extra space for souvenirs for your friends, family, and yourself.