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Best Packing Tips for Travel

Posted on Monday, February 26, 2024
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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2 Comments
Woman stuffing suitcase for travel

Traveling is a boatload of fun. But, knowing what to pack, and fitting everything into one’s luggage, can be challenging. Here are genius tips to ease your packing pain.

No more sitting on that suitcase to get it closed. Stop paying for overweight luggage! Rather, learn what to pack and how to pack efficiently.

Plan wisely   

  • Create a packing list to stay organized and to ensure that you are packing the essentials. When creating your list, think head to toe and consider all your activities. Note that once items go into the luggage, they should be checked off the list.
  • Go prepared. Ask your host(s) ahead of time if there are special activities planned. This may necessitate the need for items like a swimsuit, a warm coat, or decent walking shoes.
  • Check with your hotel to see what they supply. Avoid bringing duplicates that they offer such as a blow dryer, soaps, or towels.
  • Decide if carry-on is an option or if you require full-size luggage that needs to be checked at the airport. People on lengthy trips may opt for both.
  • Packing into a small carry-on rather than large luggage is beneficial as checked bags risk being lost by airlines.
  • People who travel light with a simple carry-on don’t have to wait for baggage claim, so it’s a time saver.
  • Packing light has tangible benefits. Small luggage is physically easier to handle on trips.
  • If you are buying new luggage, experts suggest investing in pieces you love. Look for bags that are sturdy, durable, lightweight, and with compartments and special features that make packing a breeze.
  • If you are purchasing a baggage lock, be sure to look for those which are TSA recognized. Be compliant with the rules.
  • Tape a card with your name and contact info on your electronics.
  • Understand luggage weight restrictions so that you are not met with surprise costs at the airport. Consider limiting what you’re bringing to save money.
  • Review prohibited items for both carry-on and checked baggage prior to your trip. Knowing what you can or can’t pack saves time and aggravation. For example, understand the TSA 3-1-1 rule for liquids, gels, and aerosols packed in carry-on.
  • Do your research for packing delicate clothing. For instance, wrap silk items in tissue paper to prevent creases.
  • Traveling with meds? Understand TSA rules for transporting medications. To avoid loss or damage, it is often better to travel with medications in your carry-on.
  • Begin the packing process days ahead rather than the night before your trip. This extra time allows for proper planning.
  • Before packing, try on all the clothes that you plan to bring to make sure they fit. Also consider the style and the occasions for which you will need to pack.
  • Plan to wear your heaviest clothes on the plane, such as your bulky jacket. That way it won’t take up all the room in your luggage.
  • Traveling internationally? Leave yourself plenty of time (months) to update your passport, buy necessary adapters, and learn requirements for your destination such as exchanging money.
  • Don’t stress about packing. Worst case scenario? You may need to buy or borrow something that you are missing. However, planning will reduce your chances of forgetting something.
  • Traveling with a partner? Divide your items equally into two bags. That way if one bag gets lost, you’ll each still have something to wear.

General packing advice    

  • Pack the appropriate number of garments. Count the number of days you will be at your destination and the number of outfits required during your travels.
  • Plan to wear some items more than once.
  • Some people use the 5-4-3-2-1 packing method for main items and swear by it. This means packing five tops, four bottoms, three dresses or rompers and three pairs of shoes, two swimsuits and two bags, one hat, one watch, and one pair of sunglasses. It is then used as a base formula to build upon.
  • Regardless of the packing method you choose, plans should be tweaked to fit the traveler’s needs and weather conditions.
  • Lay out what you are bringing so that you can pack logically and group outfits together. Keep what you plan to wear first accessible.
  • When possible, pack lightweight, flowy, and travel-friendly fabrics. That way you can leave the steamer at home.
  • Bring quick-drying clothes that you can handwash. Having a place to wash and hang clothes to dry overnight allows travelers to pack less garments.
  • Pack adequate amounts of socks and undergarments. Again, if you have access to washing facilities, you can pack less.
  • Pack neutrals you can mix and match. That way you can refresh your outfits frequently without looking like you’re wearing the same thing repeatedly.
  • Bring clothes that do double duty. For example, a skort may take the place of a skirt or shorts, thereby reducing what you need to bring. Similarly, sweatpants can serve as exercise clothes or loungewear.
  • Think multipurpose. For instance, black pumps can be worn with numerous outfits to include a dress, a skirt, or even a pair of jeans.
  • Consider layering clothes. Pack a neutral jacket to wear over a blouse and pants or with a dress. Wear that same jacket later with jeans.
  • Limit footwear. Boots, shoes, and sneakers can take up a lot of room in luggage. For weeklong trips, consider bringing a pair of flat shoes, a pair of dress shoes, and one pair of sneakers. This should cover casual wear, formal wear, and exercise needs.
  • Minimize accessories. Pack a simple scarf and limit jewelry to a few select pieces you can wear daily. Leave super expensive jewelry at home. If you must bring some valuable jewels, utilize the safe at your hotel.
  • Do not overlook small essential items such as reading glasses and sunglasses. Frequently needed items should go in a handbag or in accessible carry-on luggage.
  • Consider your technique. Most experts encourage people to roll or fold items. Softer garments can be easily rolled whereas stiffer items may fit into luggage better when folded.
  • Use packing cubes for anything that can be rolled. This includes t-shirts, pants, undergarments, and more.
  • Consider packing cubes with compression capabilities to fit more into your luggage.
  • Pack bulky items like shoes inside zipper or shoe bags and place them on one side of the luggage.
  • Use travel-friendly sizes for toiletries like shampoos and soaps whenever possible. Also opt for travel-size toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant and more.
  • Consider what toiletry items are essential and pack those in a designated padded bag with organizing compartments. Stick to the basics and resist bringing excess makeup, for example.
  • Personal care items and toiletries should also be wrapped in sealed zipper bags to prevent leakage and carefully placed in luggage away from clothing.
  • Delicate items should be bubble wrapped.
  • Think about saving space. When given the choice of two items, such as a bulky hairbrush or a comb, opt for the compact item.
  • Tend to pack too much? Review your packing list and decide which items you can do without. Avoid non-essentials and duplicates such as packing two belts when one suffices.

Best packing tips recap

We hope you found these packing tips to be helpful. Let’s recap. For success, know the airline rules, use a packing list, strive to pack light, and pack thoughtfully with destination needs and space-saving ideas in mind. And, if you still believe you are packing too much, edit what you’re bringing. With a little effort and ingenuity, your bag can be organized and user-friendly, making your life and travel adventures even more delightful!  

Traveling internationally? Be sure to click here!

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Nancy
Nancy
1 day ago

And if you’re planning to rent a car, check your driver’s license to make sure it isn’t about to expire.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 day ago

Packing for what? I can’t afford to go anywhere! FJB

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