Millions of Brits suffer ‘packing panic’ as they desperately try to cram everything into their suitcase before jetting off on holiday, a study found.
Research revealed a stressed out one in five has had to re-think their packing strategy at the last minute after failing to get everything but the kitchen sink in.
One in five have been slapped with excess baggage fines at the airport after misjudging the weight of their bags, and a third of respondents also said that they’ve had to leave liquid items behind at airport security because they were above the maximum size of 100ml.
Incredibly, almost half of the 2,000 adults who took part in the study said they had resorted to sitting on their creaking suitcase to zip it up.
A further one in three said they’d enlisted the help of a second party to squeeze their bulging case shut.
One in ten have broken an item while packing or unpacking, while a fifth has been so desperate to get a zip closed they’ve ended up breaking it.
Travel expert Katy Colins, speaking on behalf of National Express, which commission the study, said: “We all love holidays and taking trips away, but the packing element is something that many of us struggle with.
“Our research found Brits typically pack four days before they’re due to depart for their trip – so you’d think that would leave plenty of time to perfect their technique.
“Unfortunately, we’ve learned even with four days’ notice, our packing techniques often leave a lot to be desired, resulting in Brits losing millions of pounds every year in excess baggage fees and over-sized liquid items which have to be left at security.”
The study also found 65 per cent of respondents describe themselves as ‘Folders’ who put all their clothing neatly into the suitcase.
Nearly a quarter believed themselves to be ‘Rollers’, rolling up their items into rolls or balls to minimise creasing.
And one in ten admitted to being a ‘Squisher’ who just throws everything into the case and squashes it down to fit it all in.
More than a third of Brits have unwittingly gone away with a crucial piece of their packing missing, with one in five forgetting their toothbrush.
Travel adapters were the second most forgotten item by distraught sun-seekers, followed by sunglasses and a favourite item of clothing.
And almost one in 20 have reached the airport before realising their passport was still sitting at home unpacked.
Shoes topped the list of the most difficult things to pack when preparing for a holiday, followed by coats and electrical items.
And six in ten savvy travellers add personal touches to their luggage to make it more identifiable when it appears on the carousel.
Katy Colins added: “A great tip for savvy travellers is to use every bit of space in your luggage – and that includes your carry on.
“It’s key to also think about where you pack items, too. For example, your laptop needs to be somewhere that can be removed in one swift movement going through airport security.
“A favourite tip is if you’re arriving at your destination at night, have your toiletries and pyjamas near the top of your bag so you can be ready for bed quickly.”