Have you ever lost your luggage when travelling?  A number of years ago we headed to Vietnam for a backpacking holiday.  As more and more bags came out on the luggage carousel in Ho Chi Minh City, we got more and more worried.  What if both our backpacks got lost?  That surely couldn’t happen, could it?  Well our backpacks did arrive.  They were the very last two bags put onto the carousel.  It was then we decided that we would never travel without packing using the Half and Half Rule.

What is the half and half rule?

When you travel with your spouse or a good friend, pack half of your clothes in their suitcase and half of their clothes in your suitcase whenever you catch a flight.  That doesn’t mean just grab any half of your clothes and give them to your travelling companion.  There is more of a system to it.

When we pack we lay out our clothes in groups – shirts, pants/shorts/skirts, underwear, socks etc.  Then we give half of each group of clothes to the other person to pack in their luggage, and vice versa.  In my case my husband, Darren gets half of my clothes.  Yep he travels with my knickers and bras in his suitcase!  I am still waiting for the day his bag gets checked on arrival.  It will be hilarious watching him explain why he has knickers and bras in his bag!

When you arrive at your destination and both bags arrive safely, it is easy to swap clothes back into your own bag at your hotel.  We use packing cells to pack all of our clothes so it is a simple matter of switching back the packing cells when you arrive.

why pack half and half?

Why?  Well suitcases go missing. If half your clothes are in each of two suitcases and one goes missing at least you have half your clothes, either until your suitcase turns up or you can buy new clothes.

The Half and Half Rule can’t be followed with some things though.  We travelled to Italy for a wedding.  We packed my dress and Darren’s suit in his suitcase and both of our sets of dress shoes in my suitcase.  Darren’s suitcase didn’t arrive.  It was horrible – I had to go shopping for a nice dress in Italy hahaha.  The wedding was two days after we arrived.  The suitcase was located and arrived at our hotel late on the night of the wedding.  While we had to both go out and buy a new outfit for the wedding, we both had other clothes for those few days until the suitcase arrived.

Try using the Half and Half Rule.  The one time you will wish you did is the time one of your suitcases gets lost!

Do you travel with medication?  Here are my 7 Tips for Travelling with Medication.

pin it

22 Responses

  1. We are usually hand luggage people but when we know we are checking bags, we always follow this rule! Plus, anything super important (spare knickers, make up etc) go in my hand luggage just in case they both go awry hehe.

    1. Totally agree Rosie. We usually end up with checked in luggage because we carry a lot of camera / drone gear so it’s only on a few occasions we get to travel with hand luggage only.

    1. Thanks Charlotte, I’m always scared that the one day we didn’t pack that way one of our bags would go missing.

  2. Thanks for sharing this great idea! I try to travel with carry on only but just in case It could be very helpful. Happy travels!

    1. It’s definitely been useful for us so if you have check in luggage it’s definitely worth it. Thanks Anita!

  3. Such a great idea. I’ve started pranking a few essential clothing items in my hand luggage if I also check a bag, just in case. But this is another great tip I think I’ll use going forward when traveling with someone else

    1. Thanks Emma. We have one set of spare clothes in our carry on but because we carry a lot of camera gear we don’t have a lot of spare space for clothes so this rule has become a must do for us.

    1. It’s hard when travelling alone Lenai. But good option to make sure you have some clothes in your carry on.

  4. I have never heard about this rule, but it looks very usefull and like you would save a lot of space. I love those kinds of tricks

  5. Oh my gosh, why have I never thought about this before? Packing half & half will become my new packing-technique from now on. Thanks for enlightening me!

    1. You are more than welcome Tina! It’s great to know that others can benefit from the travel problems we have had!

  6. What a genius idea! I have never heard of this rule, but I will totally give this a try!! We nearly lost my husbands luggage on our last trip and it was sooo stressful.

    It turned up 3 hours later, on the wrong luggage carousel. (Phew!) There were sooo many people with lost bags, that we were still in line to report it missing when we found it.

    1. It is definitely a stressful experience Josy. If a bag goes missing this way you at least each have half your clothes.

    1. Thanks Jaime. It just makes it a bit less stressful if you know that you will have at least some clothes if a suitcase goes missing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *