So you’ve done it, the dream holiday is booked. Now you have to figure out what to pack. Whether you’re off to sip champagne in France, pick lavender in Italy or swim in the crystal clear lagoons of Croatia, the baggage allowance for airplanes stays pretty much the same – minimal.

After years of travelling, I’ve turned packing into an art form. Ease the stress of packing with my simple tips:

Keep style simple

Aussies travelling with Expedia tend to spend three weeks in Europe, two weeks in America and one week in Fiji. The further you go, the longer you stay and the more clothes you need! The truth is you don’t need to wear something different each day. Try sticking to a neutral colour palette so you can mix and match every item and pick clothing that’s lightweight, compact and comfortable. Keep the style simple.

Personalise your luggage

On an overcrowded luggage carousel your black suitcase is going to be hard to spot. Tie a distinctive ribbon or bag tag to your case. You don’t want to find someone else’s underwear when you get to the hotel, all because you took the wrong bag.

Prepare for the worst

Carry a change of clothes in your carry-on bag just in case your luggage gets delayed or lost. Don’t worry, airlines have great tracking systems and can usually get your bags to you within 24 hours.

If in doubt, leave it out

De-clutter your bag. It’s worth lightening your load to leave space for new things. Instead of overfilling your bag with stuff you think “I might need”, leave it out. There’s nothing worse than carrying around an overstuffed bag. Apart from prescriptions, you’ll probably be able to buy whatever you need once you arrive at your destination.

Keep valuables at home

Don’t bring anything you would be upset to lose – this goes for clothes too. You don’t want to ruin your holiday because you’re heartbroken over breaking an expensive watch.

Know the baggage rules

Remember to follow the airline rules and regulations. Don’t bring any sharp objects, lighters or liquids/gels over 100ml in your hand luggage. Leaving expensive face moisturiser with the security guard at the airport is never fun. Find out more about baggage here.

Pack a travel journal

Whatever you do, leave space for a travel journal. A book of empty pages to be filled with your experiences will become a treasured souvenir. Use a hardbound type rather than a spiral bound unless you want to lose pages along the way. I love looking back through my journals; they fill me with a sense of luxury and adventure.

Remember your medicine

Don’t forget to pack all your prescription medication; it’s also a good idea to carry a photocopy of the prescription in your documents folder. I like to travel with a high grade multi-vitamin and a little Vitamin C. There’s nothing worse than catching the flu and ruining your holiday.

Leave the hair dryer

These are generally provided in most hotel rooms. If you can’t risk a bad hair day, buy a cheap, compact hair dryer once you arrive at your holiday destination.

Carry a copy of your documents

Keep a plastic envelope with copies of credit cards, passport, driver’s license, itinerary, flight details, insurance information and banking details in a safe and secure compartment of your hand luggage. Photocopies and a couple of passport-type photos can help you get replacements more quickly if the originals happen to get lost or stolen.