Let’s face it, for many of us packing can be daunting. Am I packing enough? Am I packing too much? Should I bring something formal? Do I need toiletries?
I’m notorious for waiting till the last minute to pack because I hate it so much and inevitably end up not packing enough. (Once I forgot to pack ANY under ware at all and ended up going commando the whole week because we were an hour away from civilization!) I envy my husband who starts packing a week before our departure but he ALWAYS over packs, never wearing half of what he brings.
I’ve put together a few tips for packing efficiently.
I’m a list maker so I start off with that. One of my favorite mottos is, “Know your subject”. Know as much as you can about your destination. Are you going on an adventure vacation where you’ll be hiking a lot? Will you be spending most of your time on the beach? Will you be in the city or are you staying in a bed and breakfast in the country? What’s the temperature like during the days you’ll be at your destination? Google searches are brilliant for helping with these questions. Once you’ve made a list of what you’ll need it’s time for the actual packing.
If you can get away with packing light and using only a carry on then by all means do that. But, if you need to pack a suitcase there are some great ways to do it stress free.
For women, if you need a purse put in your suitcase and carry a backpack while you travel to your destination instead. In it keep a scarf, earplugs, medicines, sleep mask, lip balm, ear-plugs to listen to music or watch movies, panty liners for long flights, this helps prevent infections and doubles the life of underwear, pen, notepad, and photo copies of your passport, driver’s license, flight and accommodation itineraries. For something to do include your iPad, book reader, or laptop. Don’t forget your USB cable as most airports, airplanes, buses, and trains have ports for charging.
When I pack my suitcase I roll my clothes with tissue paper to conserve space and keep them wrinkle free. Fold each piece in half first and then roll tightly. Clothes made from wrinkle-free synthetic fibers are best as cotton is heavier and takes longer to dry. Cotton also wrinkles horribly.
I go no were without a few sarongs. Sarongs can replace beach towels, regular towels, sheets, skirts, shower wraps, and make great makeshift bags. They’re not just for women; men can use them as towels, as a beach wrap, or to hang around the room in. To me there’s nothing sexier!!!
Use shoes as packing cubes. Place belts, jewelry, socks, underwear, universal and phone chargers inside. Once your shoes are full place them in shower caps to avoid transferring dirt from the bottom of your shoes to your clean clothes. Most hotels give them to you as part of the toiletries they offer.
Plastic bags in various sizes are a great way to store large and small items. Make sure to bring one big enough for dirty clothes. (Yes, roll those too but put them in a plastic bag to keep your clean items separate from the smelly ones!) Ziploc bags are an excellent choice for carrying toothpaste, sunblock, and lotions to protect your clothes from getting wet should a bottle leak. They’re perfect for jewelry and make-up too. To reduce the bulk from bottles put supplements in snack size Ziploc Baggies.
Use velcro, rubber bands, or wire twists to keep all your electronic cords neat and tightly bundled. Place them all in one large plastic bag to keep them accessible.
Pack in layers. I can get three layers of rolled clothes into a large suitcase. I place my shoes and electronic items on the bottom of my suitcase then start placing my rolled clothes next to and on top of them.
Placing heavier items like electrical cords and shoes by the wheels of the suitcase will make it easier to roll. Nothing is more frustrating than having a top-heavy suitcase that keeps falling over, especially when you’re moving through the airport quickly! We’ve all experienced that!
So there you have it. These tips have made my packing stress free and efficient.
Do you have any tips to share? What makes packing easier for you? What do you hate about packing?