Spring vacation is the highlight of many a person’s year. Nothing quite shakes off those winter blues like heading for the coast, or enjoying the newfound warmth surrounded by the incredible nature that springs puts on display.

But the excitement that comes with the spring vacation is tempered by the inconvenience of having to pack for it. Ensuring that your bag is filled with everything you need, but still sits under those ever-present luggage restrictions, will have many a holidayer pulling his or her hair out.

So how do you make the process of packing as efficient, effective and painless as possible? Here are some secrets to packing the perfect spring vacation bag.

1) Use a pen and paper

It may seem a little OCD, but forming a list before you start to rummage around your closet will ensure that you don’t forget anything, and that the physical process of packing is made as efficient as possible.

2) Check the forecast

‘I feel like the Hamptons should be warm in May’, you might say to yourself. But you needn’t ‘feel’ - it’s the 21st century, and checking the actual weather will literally take you all of 5 seconds. While trusting long-range forecasts will always be a bit of a risk, getting a sense of the weather could save you an untold amount of luggage space.

3) Minimize shoes

There’s no more inconvenient an item to try to squeeze into your bag than a pair of heels. Be sure to limit your footwear to the 3-4 pairs that you’ll definitely wear – don’t take options for options’ sake.

4) Flexible fashion over statement pieces

Adaptable items that can be worn with anything are your friend on spring vacation. The plain black top, the pencil skirt, the trusty pair of jeans – these items can be mixed and matched with just about anything, saving a huge amount of space.

5) In case of emergency

There are a few items that should always be first in the packing pile, particularly for those who are walking into the wilderness for their spring vacay. A first aid kit, a Swiss army knife and a torch should be non-negotiables.

6) Prioritize your packing order

You’ve folded your clothes beautifully, but you’ve put that top that you really love right down the bottom. Save yourself the hassle of unpacking your whole bag by prioritizing your packing order.

7) Tag your bag

Tagging your bag could prove a godsend on your spring vacation. By putting your name, your phone number and your address on your luggage, you’re giving that Good Samaritan all that they need to reunite you with your belongings.

8) Research restrictions

Transport companies, particularly airlines, love their restrictions. If you’re 1lb over, you know they’ll be charging you. Save yourself the cash (and them the satisfaction) by researching their rules and adhering to them religiously.

9) Leave some souvenir space

By taking heed of the tips above, you’ll be perfectly placed to set aside some space in your bag to accommodate all manner of snow globes, fridge magnets and collectible spoons. The more space you have spare, the more memories you’ll be able to collect!