Packing your bags with everything you need for a trip, without bringing too much, can be a challenge.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of saying, “I’ll bring this along, just in case.” Before you know it, you have a suitcase that is overflowing with “just in case” items and is impossible to carry. Bringing an over-packed bag with you can actually make your vacation more stressful. You’ll struggle to drag it around and you’ll have to pay more in excess baggage fees.
However, with a few tips you can reduce the amount of stuff you bring with you and make packing a lot less stressful. Here are our helpful tips for packing your bags:
Packing Your Bags, The Smart Way
– Buy a smaller bag. We have a tendency to fill whichever bag or backpack we bring with us, so choosing a smaller bag will force you to be more minimal.
– Packing cubes are your best friend. They will allow you to organize your clothes according to category (pants, shirts, underwear, etc.) Then, you can bring out only the cube you need rather than having to unpack your entire bag.
– Choose clothing from lightweight but high-performance fabrics like merino wool, which will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
– When traveling in an unpredictable climate, bring multiple layers rather than one large coat. Bring your bulkiest coat on the plane so you don’t have to squeeze it into your luggage.
– Make sure that everything mixes and matches. All your tops should be able to be worn with all your bottoms. If not, it’s not worth bringing.
– Bring along items that do double duty. For example, a sarong can be used as a shawl, a swimsuit cover-up, a towel, a scarf and a blanket. A pair of dressy flip flops can be worn to the beach as well as out to a restaurant in the evening.
– Stick with neutral colours so that everything will match, then add visual interest with scarves and accessories.
– You only need to pack enough clothes for 7 days, even if you are traveling for months at a time. You’ll simply need to wash them at your accommodation (if you’re in a furnished apartment with laundry) or find a laundromat once per week.
– Roll your clothing rather than folding it. Your clothes will take up less room and will look less wrinkled when you unpack them.
– Roll your socks and underwear into balls and place them inside your shoes. Why waste the space within the shoes?
– Don’t bother bringing toiletries you know your hotel or apartment will offer, or that you will be able to buy cheaply in your destination.
– Pack the heavier items at the bottom of your suitcase, as this will make it easier to roll your bag. Also, it will be less likely to tip over.
Last but not least, consider making a list of everything you packed and actually used on your trip. Next time you travel, you’ll be able to refer to your list and pack only the items you’ll need and nothing else.