Frequent travelers will tell you that packing for a trip isn’t as simple as it seems. Packing is a science with rules that, if broken, can put a dent in your fun. Whether you’re off on a short jaunt or an extended journey, packing strategically will make the trip less harried and more streamlined. Turn chaos to convenience by packing like a pro. Here’s how.
Choose the Best Carry Solutions
Successful packing starts with the right suitcase. Luggage comes in different types like backpacks, duffles, and traditional suitcases. If you’re shopping for luggage, consider how often you travel and what kind of trips you usually take. You can get a variety of sizes by buying luggage in a set. Visit this site for some of the best luggage sets available and consider the following:
• Quality and durability (fabric, zippers)
• Expandable capacity
• Size and weight
• External and internal compartments
• Carry options (wheels, handles)
• TSA-compliant features
• Personal preference and budget
What to Pack
The first rule for packing is to pack light. Edit your packing list like editing unnecessary words out of a paragraph. Your goal is to fit as much as possible into a carry-on to cut down on baggage fees. If needed, add the next smallest size suitcase from your set of luggage. If traveling in cold weather, wear your bulkiest items (coat, boots) on the plane.
No matter how long your trip, only pack enough clothing for one week. (You’ll find laundry services at most destinations.) Pack outer clothing that can be mixed and matched with color coordination. Check the weather forecast for your destination and pack accordingly. Here’s a basic list to pack for one week:
• 5-7 shirts or tops
• 2 pairs of dress pants or skirts
• 8-10 pairs of underwear (2 bras for women)
• 1 pair of jeans
• 5-6 pairs of socks
• pajamas or sweats to sleep in
• 1 pair of walking shoes
• 1 pair of dress shoes
For cold destinations, include flannel or fleece tops for layering and a winter hat, scarf, and gloves if you don’t wear them en route. For warm destinations, pack a couple of pairs of shorts, a swimsuit, a sun hat or visor, and a pair of flip-flops. Even in warm weather, pack a lightweight jacket with a hoodie for rain.
Avoid unnecessary stress and a bad night’s sleep by packing, at least, one week ahead. You’ll have more time to get organized and buy any items you’ve forgotten. Packing ahead will also help build excitement for the trip.
Pack the Heaviest Items First
Lay everything you’re packing out and begin with the heaviest items first. If your luggage has wheels, put the heavy items toward the bottom near the wheels. This will keep your suitcase from being top-heavy, and your things won’t tumble around as much.
Use the Roll Technique
Rolling your clothing rather than folding it will save a surprising amount of space in your suitcase and cut down on wrinkling. Place two or three items together, smooth and flatten, and then roll them together sleeping bag-style. Wrap t-shirts and underwear inside larger items, and stuff socks inside shoes or in pants pockets.
Use Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are excellent for keeping all your gear organized both while traveling and when you reach your destination. They’re very affordable, and you can even find ones with built-in compression to help save space. Use a cube for underwear, one for shirts, one for make-up, accessories, and so on. However, choose to organize. Then fit the cubes into your luggage puzzle style.
When planning for toiletries, keep in mind that most hotels and rentals provide the basics like soap, shampoo, and lotion. But, if you must, purchase only travel-size toiletries for your trip. Look for combo items such as sunscreen/moisturizer or shampoo/conditioner. Did you know that shampoo and conditioner are available in bars like soap?
You must also consider the airline’s rules on liquids. Each passenger is allowed to carry aerosols, gels, and liquids in containers that hold 3.4 oz or 100 ml. The limit is a quart-size container of liquids such as shampoo, conditioner, lotions, toothpaste, and mouthwash.
Pack Electronics Together
Packing your electronics together and putting them in the same location is important for two reasons. First, it’ll be easier to grab a tablet and headphones for the flight. Second, it’ll be easier to unpack your electronics for the TSA agents to screen.
Pack Shoes With Soles To The Sides
Shoes are challenging to pack, especially when you need to pack more than one pair. One way to pack your shoes is to position the soles to the sides of your suitcase. This packing technique is useful for two pairs of shoes. It’ll also provide easy access to your shoes. Also, you’ll have enough space for other travel essentials.
Lay your luggage fully open on the ground. Clean your shoes before packing to remove dirt. Next, place small items such as belts and socks inside the shoes. Wrap each shoe inside of a bag or wrapping paper to protect other items. Pack your shoes with soles touching the side of your suitcase’s main compartment. The vacant center section is where you can pack other items.
Packing Towels And Linens
These items are bulky when packed. So, pack only one towel per person or one set of linens per bed when taking towels and linens on vacation. You can wash them in coin-operated laundry rooms found in hotels if they get dirty.
You might want to consider buying sheets in your destination than packing what you have at home to make your suitcase lighter. Doing so will also allow you to bring other items you need.
Label Your Luggage
Label your luggage with your name, phone number, email address, and the address of your destination. Is your luggage a basic color like black? Tie a colorful ribbon to the handles to help you identify your bags at the baggage carousel more quickly or avoid others mistaking these for their own