• Ways to save space in your bag, even if you're at the airport
  • Make sure you have all your vital items with cross-packing
  • Great tips from the packing stage to when you check in

As well as knowing the latest luggage laws, how else can you make sure your flight is as smooth as possible?

Packing advice from the pros

Somebody trying to close an overpacked suitcase

1. Check the airline's cabin luggage allowance

'Cabin luggage allowances differ from airline to airline and can change at any time, so always check before you fly,' recommends Kate Simon, former travel editor of the Independent on Sunday and co-author of Lonely Planet's How To Pack For Any Trip (£7.99) (@lonelyplanet).

2. Don't forget a see-through bag

'The 100ml liquids rule in hand luggage continues to apply at UK airports,' says Kate Simon. 'Pack them in a transparent plastic bag and put it in a side pocket for a less stressful experience at security.'

Many UK airports have plastic bags available, but you don't want to be hunting through your luggage for liquids if you're in a rush to get on a plane.

3. Consider cross-packing

'Travelling with a friend or family? Consider cross-packing,' suggests Richard Krulik, CEO of Briggs & Riley. 'Pack each person's essential items both bags. That way, if a suitcase is lost, everyone will still be able to enjoy their trip until the bag is found.'

4. Can't shut your suitcase? Work out what you won't need

'Make a list of all the activities you plan to do and then make a list of the items you need for them,' says Richard. 'Go over the list and eliminate anything you don't need to pack.'

5. Make your suitcase recognisable

'Attach a tie or unusual ribbon onto your suitcase so you can easily recognise it when you land,' advises Nina Hobson, who has lived in seven countries and runs The Expater blog (@theexpater‏).

Ace your time at the airport

An iPhone connected to a portable charger

6. Check your route if travelling by train 

'Check your itinerary before your trip, taking note of your train times and seats,' recommends Kate Andrews, co-founder of Loco2.com, the search engine for train tickets to the UK and Europe (@loco2‏).

'Find out at which station you need to get off and learn the station's name in the native language – particularly in cities where there might be more than one station that contains the name of the city.'

7. Be ready to board when the gate opens

'Try not to be at the back of the queue to board the plane,' advises Andy Mossack, travel writer and broadcaster and managing editor of TripReporter (@trippyreporter). 'Sometimes airlines won't take all the hand luggage in the cabin – they might not have room for it and will put some in the hold.'

8. Copy your important documents

'Always have copies of your important documents, both a digital and hard copy,' says Sheila Manzano, founder and MD of Three Little Birds PR, who has more than 25 years' experience living and working abroad and in the travel industry (@3lilbirdspr‏).

'If the worst happens, it's easier to replace these documents if you have copies that have all the correct details on.'

If you can get digital copies of your travel insurance documents or plane tickets, download these as well – then you have both a hard and digital copy if one doesn't work or gets lost.

A credit card on top of some boarding passes

9. Use your card at the airport

Let your card company know that you're travelling abroad – many banks have a phone or internet service allowing you to do this – but, if you forget, buying something at the airport will help let them know.

'That way the bank will see that you are travelling and won't cancel your card,' explains Lysbeth Fox, frequent traveller and founder of Fox PR, a luxury communications agency specialising in travel, wellness and gourmet (@Fox__PR).

10. Turn your voicemail off, but don't forget to turn it on again

'Some mobile phone providers will charge you for voicemails received in a foreign country, even if you listen to them back in the UK,' reveals Lysbeth. 'Put a calendar note in your diary for when you land to put it back on.'

11. Have your phone charged and ready

'Buy a mobile battery charger and charge it before you travel,' says Lysbeth. 'But take your phone cable with you as they don't all come with the right one – there's no point in buying a battery charger and not being able to use it!'

A woman walking with a duty free bag in her hand

12. A quick fix for overweight luggage

'If you're over the weight limit for your hand luggage, buy something from duty free shopping to get a plastic bag which you can take on the plane,' suggests Nina.

13. Secure your loose items

'While queuing for security put loose items in a side pocket of your hand luggage,' says Nina. 'Many people leave them in the tray, fumble around for them, or even lose them.'

Advice for a fantastic flight

14. Keep moving on the flight

'Keep your circulation going by circling your ankles and drawing the lower-case alphabet with your toes,' recommends Barbara Currie (@YogaBC3), yoga expert and former air hostess with BOAC, the forerunner to British Airways.

An air stewardess walking down a plane isle

15. Get comfy for the flight

'Travel comfortably – on long flights to wear loosely fitted trousers,' says Chris Orlikowski, Group PR and communications director for COMO Hotels and Resorts (@COMOHotels).

16. Arriving before check in? No problem

'If you're arriving before check-in, why not email the hotel directly and agree to use the pool and store your bags,' suggests John Spencer, frequent traveller and founder of luxury travel blog The Luxe Travelist (@luxetravelist‏). 'Get your holiday started early.'

There is plenty you can do to be as prepared as possible for travelling. However, if there's something you miss, these tips can help you react so that your holiday starts positively.