So, you’re going on a trip, great! If you’re like me you’re jumping out of your skin with excitement and can barely think of anything else. Maybe you’ve chosen some of the restaurants you want to try, booked a few tours, and researched cultural some norms. But have you thought about packing? Yes, packing. Quite possibly one of the most difficult aspects when traveling. Personally, I tend to overpack and regret it later. However, after many recent trips I am finally learning how to become one of those stewardess type that can easily lift my one bag into the overhead compartment and still enjoy my trip to the fullest.So, before you try to fit everything but the kitchen sink in your luggage read through this quick list of tips!
As an anxious packer, I understand the thoughts that can go through your head while packing for a trip. Will I have enough socks/underwear/shoes/etc? What if one staple item gets dirty? What if it’s hot? What if it rains? What I’ve found to ease this anxiety is planning ahead. Don’t put off thinking about packing until the last minute, keep it in your head while deciding when and where to travel, making reservations, and buying plane tickets. If you’re concerned about your clothes getting dirty, consider renting and AirBnB with a washing machine. If you’re worried about the weather do a little research on the weather for your desired time of year. And don’t forget when you are purchasing your plane tickets, to check the baggage requirements for your airline.
Use a list
There are millions of packing lists online. When I’m looking for a list I like to be as specific as possible. Search for a list that matches the time season, place, duration, and type of trip you’re taking. Afterall, you wouldn’t pack the same things for a luxury vacation to Santorini as you would for two weeks of backpacking in Columbia.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all gone on a trip and packed that really great outfit that we never actually wear but for some reason think we’ll finally don for this vacation. A great way to pack is to start with everything you want to bring and take away at least a third. If you lay it all out, you can see which items can be worn in multiple outfits and trade those for less useful articles. Also don’t forget to put aside your bulkiest items for the plane ride. It may not be the best weather for that big jacket when you leave, but if you need it where you’re going it’s best that it doesn’t count in your baggage.
Yes, roll don’t fold your clothes. You will read this on every list of packing tips and this is because it is simply the best way to save space in your bag. If you’re worried about wrinkles when you roll your clothes, try rolling them onto tissue paper. For and added space saving bonus try using bags or packing cubes.
Go small or go home
I mean this in so many ways. If you are going on a trip for ten days or less there is rarely any reason to check a bag. This saves you time and money at the airport and avoids the risk of lost luggage. Also, when packing toiletries, just bring the travel size. If you desperately need more you can generally purchase some for a reasonable price at your destination or get them from your hotel. In fact most hotels will give you toiletries like soap, razors, shaving cream, toothbrush, and toothpaste for free if you ask. Don’t forget if you are bringing liquids in your carry on to keep them in a clear bag and easily accessible for security.
Extra space, extra bags, and extra security. First, leave a little extra space in your bag for souvenirs and the fact that, for some reason, your clothes never fit quite the same on the journey home. Second, bring some extra ziplock or grocery bags for unexpected spills or dirty laundry. Finally, extra security, if you are checking a bag make sure to pack some essentials in your carry on bag in case your luggage is lost.