Last updated on September 26th, 2016
Have you ever encountered the dreaded toothpaste leakage in the clothes? Maybe you’ve arrived at your travel destination and realized that not only did you forget your toothbrush, but there’s also no razor, no deodorant, and no underwear? Packing can seem like a pretty basic part of the traveling experience, but a poor packing job can turn a dream trip into a nightmare quickly!
These rules of packing will help to eliminate the hassle of a forgotten item, maximize your space, and make sure you are looking… and smelling your very best every day! You can use these Packing tips to make your travel convenient.
9 Essential Packing Tips Every Traveler Should Know:
#1. Take Half the Clothes You Think You’ll Need
You really don’t need as many clothes as you think as you travel. Pack the essentials, like underwear and socks, in abundance of course, but you don’t need 10 pairs of pants for a 10 day holiday! Pack what you think you’re going to need and then eliminate half of that. As a compliment to this rule, you might also hear advice that says take twice the money you plan on taking with you. That’s relevant advice too because withdrawal fees outside of your community can be astronomical!
#2. Don’t Take Luggage You Must Check
By packing just your carry-on bag, you’ll save upwards of $100 in luggage fees if you’re flying in some instances. You’ll also save time because you won’t have to worry about the hassle of waiting on the carousel to get fired up. You’ll end up taking a little less with you, but if you hit your worst case scenario, you can always box up some dirty clothes and mail them back to your home so they’ll be waiting for you when you return. Pack a travel size laundry soap for emergencies and you won’t even need to worry about that!
#3. Use Hotel Equipment
Just about every hotel these days has an ironing board, an iron, a microwave, a small fridge, and a hair dryer in the room. If you’re skimping on costs and staying at a value motel, you’ll still get a coffeepot, the hair dryer, and the iron in most cases. Instead of packing all your small appliances, save room by using the equipment that you’ll find when you get there. If you get surprised and there isn’t any equipment, then the “I just got off the plane and there was a lot of turbulence,” excuse works pretty well too.
#4. Don’t Be Afraid To Mix and Match
Traveling gives you the chance to experiment a little bit with your wardrobe because mixing and matching outfits is essential to maximizing your packing space. If you back just four shirts and four pants, you’ve got 16 unique outfits that you can wear during your trip! You might not want to match the green plaid shirt with the seersucker shorts, of course, so plan accordingly as you pack so that outfits can coordinate for you.
#5. Pack the Tablet
It’s shabby chic to have every travel book with you for the destinations that you’re visiting, but it’s more efficient to load your tablet up with the ebooks instead. As an added benefit, the modern tablet can give you GPS functionality, restaurant reviews, translation apps, and so much more that you almost can’t leave home without it. You can always check your email and update your social media status during your trip as well if you want. The tablet really comes in handy when you forgot your underwear and need to find a store close by that can help you pick up a couple pairs!
#6. Avoid Jeans
Jeans look good and they’re sturdy and if you’re doing a lot of hiking somewhere, they’ll likely be needed. If you can avoid taking them, however, then do so because you’ll lose a lot of packing space with each pair. The worst part about jeans is that they are like a sponge for the odors that you encounter on your journey and it takes at least 3 wash cycles to get that travel odor out of your clothes and your carry-on when you get back home!
#7. If You Don’t Need It, Don’t Take It
Pick-pockets are in every community and they like to target tourists because there’s less chance of retribution there than say, stealing your neighbor’s wallet. Any trip in public means a higher risk of theft, so carry only what you need to get by. Memorize the toll-free numbers of your credit/debit cards so you can quickly cancel them if they go into someone else’s hands. Avoid carrying important items in the traditional back pocket or around the shoulder in a purse too – those are common places and easy to pick. The upper shirt pocket on the left is a good spot for guys and for women, a backpack or even a front pack is a better option because it makes thievery about as difficult as finding an adequate tribute shrubbery.
#8. Leave the Shampoo At Home
Those liquid soaps are a difficult thing to take along on any trip because they leak no matter what you do. Even if you put them into a sealed plastic sandwich bag, something invariably rips the bag and you’re stuck with a goopy mess. Hotel shampoo might not be glamorous, but it is very usable and will help to free up a little extra space in the carry-on. Hotel soap fits into this category as well, but you might want to invest in a little lotion when you get there unless you’re staying somewhere posh.
#9. Mark Your Bags
Forget using those Fragile stickers on your bags. A bored ramp crew will quickly pounce on that bag if you do check it and it will become the featured item in a version of luggage football that sounds about as bad [or awesome]as you think. Consider marking your bags in a unique way so that you can quickly pick out your luggage from the other luggage of travelers that shop in the same store as you do. There’s nothing worse than making your way through customs and realizing that the bag in your hands… isn’t. your. bag.
With these packing tips, you’ll make your journey a little easier in many different ways. Enjoy your next trip!