Packing for travel typically isn’t the most favorable part of the trip. Yet, as we’ve probably all experienced, leaving packing and preparation right up to the last minute can result in forgotten items, or the dreaded over or under packing. No one wants to arrive at their destination to find they’ve forgotten their medication, a dressy pair of shoes to wear with your evening wear, or another essential. And, with airlines restricting baggage weight and penalizing over-packers with a fee for extra baggage, you certainly want to leave pack just the essentials.
Here are tips for doing just that:
- Make a List: Making a list of travel essentials, everything from a razor to an extra battery for your camera, should be written on the list. It’s often the little things that end up forgotten, so don’t feel like you’re going overboard when it comes to detail. Start making the list early, as it’s less likely that you’ll forget something important early on. Also, if traveling abroad, do you know of any purchases you need to make? Do you have travel adapters for your electronics? Is your passport up to date? Those will all be included in your packing list.
- Organize your suitcase: Sometimes it’s not the amount of items that create the problem, it’s the way it’s packed. I learned the “rolling” technique when I was young and it’s been my packing staple ever since. By tightly rolling your clothes, you’ll save lots of room in your suitcase. Also, using packing squares will help you keep your items separated and protected in your suitcase. Another plus? It helps you remember where things are in your bag so you don’t end up digging through a pile of your belongings and ruining your organization.
- Pack outfits: By mapping out what to wear ahead of time, you’ll cut down on over-packing. As a female, I definitely understand the importance of this, but I know plenty of guys out there who over-pack as well. By packing according to your activities, you’re less likely to end up with extra outfits that you won’t end up using. For example, if you’re going to the beach, you know you’ll need a certain amount of swimsuits per day, maybe an outfit for lounging around (which you can re-wear) and maybe an outfit for dressing up at dinner. If you’re going to be gone for a week, pack for each day including essentials for any planned activities. Don’t over-do the “just in case” outfits, because you’ll rarely end up wearing them and they typically just eat up extra space.
- Re-wear and Wash: Depending on the length of your stay, it may be necessary to wash your clothes throughout the week. It can reduce your amount of clothing by half. There are tons of travel laundry kits available, and it’s an easy option for any destination. Also,depending on your activities, you can re-wear wardrobe staples like jeans, jackets, or dresses. Just remember that it may not be the best option if you’ll be spending time outdoors or where you may get sweaty.
Organize ahead of time and you’ll be set for a successful trip. Once you fall into the routine of packing in this fashion, you’ll be golden!