We’ve all experienced a time where we’ve had fifteen minutes to pack a suitcase, walk the dog, turn off the oven, lock the front door, and text our partner that we’re ten minutes from the airport when we’re really not. Travel doesn’t need to be so stressful. Today I am bringing you the best tips on how to make packing easier so you won’t have to ever experience a situation like that again. These tips only require a little more time than your usual routine of throwing clothes out of your wardrobe and stuffing them into your suitcase. However, the extra fifteen minutes you spend packing now, will save you the time you would’ve spent when you were a frantic mess trying to make your flight.
Know Your Agenda
Organize your packing list based off your agenda so you can pack appropriately. This way, you can be sure you’ll always have the right thing to wear. For instance, if you are going to visit your sister for her birthday, it’s likely you will be going out for dinner one night. Thus, I would pack an evening dress so you aren’t stuck in the awkward position of being unprepared. I would also consider how long you’ll be away for so you don’t bring too little, and you don’t bring too much.
Check the Weather in Advance
If you only take one tip from this post, it should be check the weather. Packing the wrong type of clothing for the climate can put a damper on your vacation. On one trip I took to Florida, I only brough tank tops and mini skirts, thinking I would be in the warm sub-tropical sun shine. After the first day however, the clouds rolled in and the temperatures dropped to the low sixties. It’s always smart to take a pair of jeans and a sweater just in case it is cooler than expected. And of course, airplanes can sometimes be frigid. Some countries can have very extended rainy seasons. It’s always a good idea to learn something about the general climate, and consider packing a mini umbrella or poncho. You can carry a mini umbrella comfortably in your purse, and avoid getting drenched during an unexpected downpour.
Know Exactly What to Bring
Many travellers tend to overpack due to the fear they might forget something essential. A good way to break this habit is by making a packing list whenever you travel. The list should include, everything you brought and used, as well as items you wish you had or forgot. Over time, you’ll develop a keen sense of exactly what to bring, and not an item more.
Plan Your Outfits Ahead
Plan what you will wear each day so once you’re at your destination all you have to do is find the outifts you had put together and throw them on. This will save you time and keep you from getting stressed. Also, consider taking a picture of your outfits. Then, all you have to do is scroll through your photo library and find the outfit you want to wear.
Bring Items That Have Several Purposes: Pack the Basics
Just because you may have a special love for your collection of exotic printed tops doesn’t necessarily mean you should bring them. You have to think if you’ll be able to pair those tops with the bottoms you’re bringing. It’s best to pack basics: solid, neutral coloured tees; jeans; a dress or two; etc. By packing basics, and sticking to different colours, you’ll be able to mix and match tops and bottoms to create a vareity of outfits.
Roll Your Clothes
This is probably the best tip you will ever hear and just to show you that it really works, I have included a side by side comparison of a suitcase with folded clothes, and one with rolled clothes. Not only does folding create creases, but it also wastes valuable space which you could use for other items. By rolling your clothes into compact tube like shapes, you can easily stack them, or lay them right beside each other.
Use Packing Cubes
Packing cubes is another way to minimize the amount of space your clothes take up. Packing cubes work because they help you organize your clothes into categories - socks, tops, bottoms, undergarments, etc. When you get to your destination, all you have to do is pull an item from one of the cubes. There are two main types of packing cubes, those with mesh sides and enevelopes. Both come in a variety of sizes. You may be able to save some money by simply using other packing containers you already have. I use containers my skincare products came in, and they work brilliantly! If you are interested in purchasing something specially designed for travel, I would recommend the product line from Eagle Creek.
Wear the Bulky Items
Jeans, hats, boots, ski coats, and puffy parkas should never be stuffed in a suitcase when they can be worn on the plane. They take up valuable space that you could use for other items. If you’re worried about fashion, consider this, by dressing like an eskimo on the plane, you leave more space in your suitcase for the chic pieces to be worn at your destination.
Stuff Your Shoes and Bags
Shoes take up a lot of space inside a suitcase. Double their purpose by stuffing them full of small items like belts and ties (rolled up), or socks and underwear. This maximizes the space and doesn’t make you feel as bad if your suitcase consists mostly of shoes. Also, you should pack them on their sides to maximize space.
Save Space For Shopping and Souvenirs
If you’re a die-hard shopper remember to leave some room in your bag for the souvenirs and new clothes you’ll inevitably be carting home. Most of us pack our suitcases to the brim. To avoid paying charges at the airport for extra carry-on bags, make sure to leave room in your suitcase for items you purchase while traveling.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Frantically stuffing piles of clothes and books into a bag is one of the most common causes of over-packing. Start laying out your clothes up to a week before you leave. This way, you can take your time to decide what you really need to bring.
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