As much as we’d like it to be always “vacation mode”, traveling is hardly ever smooth sailing. Whether you’re a jetsetter off to another continent, an adrenaline junkie who’s always looking for another mountain to climb, or even the occasional roadtripper — there’s a lot to organize when you wander away from home. But once you’ve finalized your itinerary, filed the paperwork and booked your flights, the excitement sets in and you can finally allow yourself to relax… right?
Packing your bags for a trip can be just as worrisome as preparing for the trip itself. It has happened one too many times that you forget something that you need, like a laptop charger or a pair of shoes. And it has also happened that we overpack, exceed the weight limit, and end up not using everything we have in our bags. So how do you ensure that you bring everything that you need without also just up and packing your whole life into a bag “just to make sure”? Here are some handy tips to make your packing as stress-free and organized as possible:
The number one thing that you can do to ease your packing anxiety is to make a list of all the events that you will be attending or activities that you will be doing while you are on your trip. If you know exactly what your days will be like, then you will know exactly what you need to pack. For example, if you have a meeting then you’ll know that you have to pack at least one set of formal clothes. Know what kind of amenities your accommodations have as well. If you are staying at a hotel, then you can skip out on packing a towel and hair dryer.
Take a look at your closet and pull out pieces that you know can work for more than one outfit. Maybe you have a dress that can double as a top if you tuck it into a skirt, or a pair of joggers that you can use as both loungewear and sleepwear. A good rule of thumb is never pack anything you can’t use at least twice!
Don’t know where to start? A good tip is to pick a color palette and stick to it, such as neutrals or pastels. This means you can easily mix and match tops and bottoms and create dozens of outfits from just a handful of pieces.
It may be easier to throw in your full sized toothpaste or shampoo bottle for a week-long trip, but it will take up a lot of space and not to mention add tons of weight to your luggage. Plus, they’re more likely to leak all over your baggage! Take the time to transfer your liquids into some travel-sized bottles (or go ahead and buy travel-sized versions of your toiletries!) and properly store these in a leak-proof bag.
A surprisingly simple yet effective way to get a good idea of what you’ll be bringing along is to lay out all your items before placing them in your luggage. This way, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of everything you have and see if you have duplicates of anything, if anything is missing, or if all your pieces match. It’s also a good way to get an idea of just what you’ll be bringing along!
Packing cubes have taken the travel world by storm the past few years and for good reason too. These cubes not only organize your clothes so you know exactly where everything is, but a lot of them compresses your items too so you get rid of any bulk. Having all your items in these cubes makes arranging your items in the luggage so much easier as they’re now all in neat squares as opposed to odd, unwieldy shapes.
Folding and stacking your clothing will take up more space than if you roll up your clothes and pack them close together. This trick doesn’t work just for your clothes, but for your towels too (if you need to bring one)! Just fold your cloth items so that they spread out long and roll them up.
You’ll be surprised where you can find space in your luggage if you know where to look! Packing shoes? Go ahead and place your socks and other small items inside them. Bringing a hat along? Roll up your scarf and tuck it inside the hat. This way, you know you’re being efficient with all the precious inches your luggage offers.
By following these packing tips, we hope you can focus less on being stressed about packing and more on being excited for the trip! After all, travel is one of those things in life that expands your horizons, connects you with others, and truly adds more beautiful memories to your life. And doesn’t everyone deserve a beautiful life? So go ahead and pack your bag like a pro, and create that life now.