10 Helpful Packing Tips Every Traveler Should Know
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Travelling is always exciting, except for packing, which for most people feels like a chore. Regardless of whether it is a two-day trip in the country, business trip, solo or a family trip abroad, you must make time for packing. Not just that, you also have to plan what to pack, how much space you are going to need and, on top of that, hope everything will fit in your suitcase. The bottom line is that everybody likes traveling, but no one likes packing.
So, in order to make things a bit easier for you, here we are revisiting the 10 most basic—and in my experience the most useful—packing tips that every traveler should know.
Make a Packing Checklist
An Exploratory Study of Vacation Stress found that the most stressful part of the trip was actually the trip planning stage, followed by traveling to the destination, and finally the actual stay at the destination(s). This is understandable since before leaving there are millions of things to think of – from what to pack to what household/work chores to be finished. In these situations, it’s all too easy to forget the items you need for your travel. This is precisely why a packing checklist is so useful. Not only will a checking list keep you organized, but it will also reduce the stress of traveling. If you are too busy to create your own, there are a bunch of them online that you can use.
Plan your outfits ahead
Planning your outfits ahead and packing by color palette, so everything goes with everything is crucial for light travel. When you pack outfits with different colors, or when you pack a piece of clothing just because it is cute, without having a clear idea of what you are going to wear it with (my guess is that you probably won’t), you`ll end up sitting on your suitcase for hours trying to zip it. If possible, always travel with lightweight, fast-drying, wrinkle-resistant clothes. Pack two different tops for every bottom. In addition, pick shoes that can be worn with multiple outfits so you only have to bring one or two pairs for your trip.
Roll or bundle your clothes
Instead of folding your clothes in your carry-on luggage, try rolling or bundling them. This will not only save space but also minimize major wrinkles. If you need to pack more outfits, no stress, you can always use compression sacs. Use them to shrivel your clothes into a vacuum-packed, tiny, tight bundle that takes up minimal suitcase space. Some people prefer packing cubes, so that is another useful option to keep in mind.
Invest in a lightweight luggage
This is by far one of the most important things you can do for yourself in order to secure stress-free travel. You really want your travel bag to be your best friend. Whatever you choose (from a duffel bag to the rolling suitcase), make sure you invest in lightweight and functional luggage. It all depends on your preferences, but be sure to always check for the quality of the materials and the warranty. At the end of the day, a quality piece of luggage will remain by your side for years to come.
Check the baggage allowance with your airline company
Baggage allowance varies from airline to airline, but also on your fare type, class, elite status, type of ticket, flight origin and destination. Make sure you are aware of the limits for the checked-in and carry-on luggage before you start packing, and most importantly before you reach the airport. Excess baggage allowance fees also vary from airline to airline, but generally, they are high enough to kill your holiday mood.
Weigh your luggage
Make sure you weigh your luggage before you leave your house to see how close you are to reaching the weight limit. If you’re close to the limit, consider wearing some of the heavier items with you. However, it is best if you are able to cut down on what you pack in the first place. For example, coats and boots are heavy, so if you plan on bringing them on your trip, make sure you’re wearing them so they don’t weight in your luggage (plus you`ll save some space).
Select wisely which items will be packed in your checked-in and which in your carry-on bags
There are a few important items that should never be packed in your checked-in bag:
Electronics – First of all, they are expensive, so even if you have a locker on your bag, stuff gets stolen. Not to mention that the route your bags take from check-in to being loaded onto the plane can be rough. Hence, there is a huge possibility that your electronics will be damaged.
Expensive jewelry – If you really want or you must take expensive jewelry on your trip, make sure it is with you on the plane. Again, stuff gets stolen.
Important travel documents – Passport, travel insurance, hotel and flight reservations, and information are every traveler’s essentials, so they must be with you all the time.
For better organization use transparent Ziploc bags.
Transparent Ziploc bags are cheap and you can find them in every household. In Ziploc bags, you can store many things such as toiletries, make-up, electronics, dirty shoes, wet clothes, pills, etc. This way, your bag stays organized, items easily accessible and not just you, but also the border and customs control can see what each item is.
After years of traveling, one of my ultimate travel tips is to travel with little containers of shampoo, shower gel, and toothpaste. Traveling with full-size bottles adds weight, takes up room, and increases the risk of spillage. Thus, even the small bottles should be kept in a Ziploc bag. For extra protection, cover the top of toiletry bottles with plastic wrap. This way, you’re completely protected.
Everyone’s travel essentials
Travel essentials are a matter of personal preference. However, your passport and visa documents, prescription medication, travel insurance, phone, and charger, are everyone`s travel essential, hence you should always be with you. Furthermore, keep all your travel paperwork such as hotel confirmations and flight information handy. If you can save them on your phone and are easily accessible even without Wi-Fi, even better. Lastly, it is always good to have some cash with you (but don`t bring much, you don`t want to find yourself stressed, constantly checking your wallet). Use your credit cards, especially ones that have transaction limits and no-foreign-transaction fee.
Now, once you have your luggage packed, you can breathe in and relax. Most importantly it is time for you to enjoy your trip! Bon Voyage!
About the Author
Vicky is a Food & Lifestyle Blogger at AvocadoPesto, where she specializes in healthy living and healthy cooking. She is also a world traveler and has visited over 60 countries.