Whether you’re packing for business or pleasure, the “packing” for traveling generally isn’t the most favorable part of the trip. But, as we’ve probably all experienced, leaving the preparation to last minute can result in poor planning and hasty 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 some other essential. It’s also important not to over-pack. With airlines restricting baggage weight and slapping over-packers with a high penalty for their extra baggage, you definitely want to leave your list to just the essentials.
Here are tips for doing just that:
- Make a List: Making a list of travel essentials, everything from deodorant to your camera charger, should be down on the list. It’s often the little things that end up forgotten, so don’t feel like you’re over-doing it when it comes to detail. Starting the list early will also help, as it’s less likely that you’ll forget something important.
- Pack outfits: Planning what to wear ahead of time will cut down on over-packing. As a female, I definitely understand the importance of this, but I know plenty of males who over-pack as well. You’re less likely to end up with extra garments that you don’t need by planning your activities by outfit. For example, if you’re going to the beach you know you’ll need a certain amount of swimsuits per day, probably an outfit for laying around (which you can re-wear) and maybe an outfit to dress up for dinner in. If you’re going to be gone for a week, pack for each day including essentials for any known activities. Don’t over-do the “just in case I feel like it” outfits, you’ll rarely end up wearing them.
- Re-wear and Wash: Depending on the length of your stay, it may be necessary to wash your clothes throughout the week. It can literally reduce your amount of clothing by half, and with travel laundry kits available, it’s an easy option for any place of travel. Also, most people do this anyway, but depending on your activities, you can re-wear wardrobe staples like jeans, jackets, or khakis. Just keep in mind that it may not be the best option if you’ll be spending time outdoors or where you may get sweaty.
- Organize your suitcase: Sometimes it’s not the load that’s the problem, it’s the way it’s packed. I was taught the “rolling” technique when I was young and it’s been my packing technique ever since. By rolling your clothes tightly (think burrito style), you can save lots of room in your suitcase. Also using packing organizers will help you keep your items separated and protected in your suitcase. Plus, it helps you remember where things are in your bag so you don’t end up digging through a pile of your belongings.
Planning and organization is the key to successful packing. Once you fall into the routine of packing in this fashion, you’ll be set!
In her day job, Sarah Ellis writes for Travel Products and always tries to educate fellow travelers on the importance of good travel accessories! She is currently planning her honeymoon (to Jamaica- Ya Mon!) and enjoys discussing all the places she’ll travel with her future hubby. She’ll also be instructing him on the importance of smart packing!