There is nothing more exciting than the prospect of an upcoming trip but packing for it is anything but! Trust me; you are not the only one who dreads the task; the confusion can be overwhelming, to say the least. After all, who has the time to decide what to pack and what to ditch when there is a long to-do list to tackle? Ironically, planning a relaxing vacation involves a whole lot of stress-inducing tasks.
Have you ever wondered why we fret so much over something as basic as packing? Well, the reason is twofold: the need to look our best and be prepared for every possible scenario. In addition to exploring new places, we consider vacations the perfect opportunity to dress up in our finest and get fantastic pictures. We need to have a new outfit for each day that not only looks trendy but is also suitable for the planned activity. As for the second reason, before the airplane even takes off, we think of all the ways things can go wrong and give in to the urge to take everything that might be of use in case of an emergency.
Thankfully, I am here to save you all from packing-induced meltdowns mere days before the departure. Extensive traveling and associated packing debacles have made me a great source of fool-proof packing hacks and tricks that never let me down; read along to discover them for yourself!
Why is it crucial to pack smart?
Spend less time rummaging and more time exploring
When you find yourself in a new city, you find yourself eager to walk its streets and taste new delicacies. Now, imagine you are unable to do that because of a misplaced shirt. It is as frustrating as it sounds because you are inside a hotel room, hopping from suitcase to suitcase, trying to recall where you put it instead of stepping out. Organized packing can save you from similar predicaments and get you ready and out the door in a short time.
Less luggage to weigh you down
A greater number of bags equals more effort in carrying them from point A to point B throughout the trip, especially if you plan on staying at various locations. They are particularly burdensome when you have to sprint through the airport to make it onto your flight in time. You will also have to wait at the luggage carousel for a longer duration to collect everything. Fewer bags will speed up a lot of processes and make traveling less strenuous.
No trouble at the airport
When you have put thought into packing your bags, you don’t have to worry about them being overweight at the airport. Moreover, you will be able to avoid the inconvenience of hurriedly taking stuff out of your suitcase or the added expense of paying for extra kilograms.
No lost or broken possessions
Packing smartly will not only reduce the number of bags you travel with but also save your fragile belongings from damage. I know how disappointing it is to find your favorite bottle of liquid highlighter broken and your beautiful clothes drenched in shimmer. Furthermore, fewer suitcases will reduce the probability of losing one at the airport and then running in circles to locate it. I have heard plenty of stories about lost luggage; trust me, you do not want to be familiar with the experience.
More space for souvenirs
Let’s be honest, the temptation of shopping in a foreign country is irresistible, and we have all been guilty of going overboard with our purchases. That is okay as long as you have enough space to pack everything for the return trip. Therefore, if you sit down to pack only the essentials with the mindset of leaving some room to bring back new stuff, you will be able to shop freely and avoid the cost of a new suitcase.
More time to work on the rest of your to-do list
When you have a plan of action in place, the task will be checked-off in no time. Packing in an organized manner will save you precious hours that might have been spent selecting, folding, packing, and removing clothes from your bags. Not only does that sound infuriating, but it will also leave you with less time for other, more important responsibilities. A mindful approach will help you manage your time adequately.
How to pack better?
Make a checklist
This may sound like a useless step, but it’s quite the opposite. Lists are your best friends when there is too much to do and less time to do it. They get things done! Before raiding your closet, make a list of everything you would need and all the possible options that you can bring along. It would be immensely satisfying when you get to cross off one item after another.
Give packing cubes a try
Travel guides on the internet can not stop raving about the incredibility of packing cubes. Allow me to let you in on the concept: a set of packing cubes consists of several small bags that let you compartmentalize all your belongings and make the most of the available space. Basically, you pack your stuff into multiple small bags that go into a bigger suitcase. For instance, you can assign a cube for t-shirts, another for bottoms, a smaller one for makeup, one for underwear and socks, and one for all your gadgets. Ordering a set of packing cubes is a one-time investment, and can you imagine how easy it will be to locate things?
A suitcase full of rolls
Don’t worry; I am not talking about ditching clothes for food; rolling is another efficient packing technique that allows you to make optimum use of the real estate. Instead of folding everything into neat rectangles, you roll them into compact cylinders. Some articles are trickier than the rest, such as jeans, but YouTube has various tutorials to teach you how to roll different clothes properly. Here’s a little tip I swear by, stuff your rolled underwear and socks inside the shoes you are carrying; it saves precious space.
If you only have enough space to pack two out of five fabulous outfits and are having a hard time deciding, think to yourself, ‘which one would I rather have pictures in?’ and the choice will become exponentially easier. This trick will also keep you from packing extra clothes that will not even see the light of day during the round trip.
Opt for versatile pieces
I can not put enough emphasis on always packing shirts that can be paired with all the bottoms you are carrying or vice versa. So, if you are bringing along five shirts and four bottoms, you can mix and match articles to curate twenty distinct looks. This clever method makes your aim of not repeating an outfit more achievable and leaves plenty of space for other essentials. Closet staples and accessories make this process all the more easier. You can trust must-haves like blue denim to go with most articles in your wardrobe, and accessories such as statement jewelry, scarves, and belts give you the liberty of wearing one outfit in different ways.
Travel-size variants for the win
Instead of bringing massive bottles and tubes of toiletries, pack travel-sized bottles; the compact packages contain enough product to last you the entire trip. And don’t worry if your preferred brands don’t sell mini versions of your favorite products; go online and order a set of travel-sized containers and fill them up with whatever you want to carry. This little hack especially comes in handy for anyone who regularly practices skincare; you can fill the tiny containers with every serum in your regimen. This way, you won’t have to worry about the original glass bottle shattering or the tubes leaking.
Have a weighing scale ready
Before you sit down to pack, make sure of two things: the weighing scale is ready for use, and you are familiar with the airline’s luggage guidelines. This way, you will be able to measure the weight of the bags repeatedly and keep them from being heavier than the limit, subsequently avoiding the cover charge for excess baggage. Mindful packing will save you a lot of trouble.
Some other tricks would be to wear the bulkier items instead of packing them, carry a laundry bag to store dirty clothes, invest in storage bags for your shoes to avoid packing large boxes, skip garments that are prone to wrinkles and will need ironing, and do not travel with things you might need just in case.
So, to reiterate, packing does not have to be all-consuming and complicated; all you need is the correct strategy to make it manageable and breezy. Rather than spending an entire wardrobe and then staring at the mess for hours, make sure to have a plan that will simplify the task. If the future holds a trip, remember to revisit this article before you pull out the suitcases and give these techniques a go; the positive results will definitely surprise you!