Packing is one of the more prosaic elements of traveling. When you are dreaming of an amazing vacation experience, you are never thinking about packing. However, that doesn’t mean packing isn’t important — quite the opposite.
Packing well will make a huge difference in how much you enjoy your travel experience. Here are the six essential rules for packing well:
1. Pack less.
It is much more common for a traveler to wish they had taken less luggage than more. Dragging around cumbersome, heavy bags is a surefire way to increase frustration and irritation during your journey.
Remember, clothing can be easily washed and in general most essential supplies can be bought at your destination, so there is no need to pack everything you might conceivably use. Contemplate each item you consider packing and ask if bringing it is truly worthwhile.
And as a final lesson to the fans of overpacking — you really don’t want to be stuck checking a bag at the airport, only to find out the suitcase is overweight.
Many of times I’ve been in that position — needing to frantically move clothes and items from my heavier suitcase into a carry-on to help meet weight requirements for my checked baggage.
Anxiety is at an all time high. Time is ticking away before your flight departs. And it’s no fun way to kickoff your travels.
Don’t be like me. Think ahead. Pack what you need, only.
2. Bring casual, adaptable clothing.
It’s impossible to bring along a full wardrobe when traveling. This fact is why adaptable clothing appropriate for multiple situations is the ideal.
Think shirts, long pants, skirts, and jackets that look nice but are far from fancy. Bring lightweight clothing and plan to wear layers if the weather turns cold. Even better, find reversible clothing, like Faherty, for two outfits in one.
With clothing like this, you can wear the same shirt twice — just wear a side one night, then flip the shirt inside out to wear a completely new designed shirt for the second night.
Plus, with all of the extra space you’ve saved in your suitcase from packing light, you now have an excuse to pickup some extra souvenirs and gifts from your travels. So should you find yourself in need of an extra article of clothing, feel free to hit the town and find a unique piece of clothing to complete your look.
You earned it.
3. Bring comfortable shoes.
Your shoes might be the most important item you will bring on your travels. Most forms of traveling involve spending lots of time on your feet. If you bring shoes that don’t fit well, you will sorely regret it. And if you bring a new shoe without breaking it in, or understanding how it fits, you might also find yourself in a similarly uncomfortable situation.
So in the end, choose comfort over fashion and familiar shoes over new shoes — you don’t want to discover those new sneakers or flip flops actually give you blisters. This advice is double as important for anyone planning a hiking or camping trip.
4. Pack tightly.
While it makes sense to not bring too many bags, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use up all of the space that is available to you.
Don’t throw your clothing into your bag in a jumble. Instead, roll each item tightly, instead of folding it, as this tends to save more space in your suitcase. On top of this, try to find little items to fill up small areas (such as the insides of shoes) that would otherwise go unused. Smaller items a pair of sock or
You can squeeze
5. Make a packing list.
It is all too easy to overlook something crucial if you pack haphazardly. Using a packing list will help you to make sure you bring everything you need. Let your previous travel experience guide you in constructing a list of essentials you must bring. Some items to definitely include are ID, debit and/or credit cards, socks, underwear, pants, and shirts.
6. Look up baggage restrictions.
Unless you are traveling by boat, car, or train, you will have to deal with the often highly restrictive rules placed upon airline luggage. Rules can vary greatly from airline to airline (especially in foreign markets), so don’t make any assumptions.
Unfortunately, fees for exceeding restrictions are often high.
As wonderful as traveling can be, it does have some drawbacks. Chief among these is that you can’t bring everything you want with you. Trade-offs in packing are thus unavoidable. This fact is why it’s so important to get your packing right — you don’t want to drag along an item you don’t really need or, conversely, leave something crucial at home.
Go far and pack light!