Smarter Travel: Tips For Packing Like A Pro

suitcase

A neatly packed suitcase. Photo courtesy of adamci..

For those who love to travel but hate to pack, this post is for you. With a few simple packing tips, gathering your belongings for a trip won’t seem so daunting. In fact, you’ll be packing like a pro.

Learn The Art Of Traveling With A Carry-On

True packing pros don’t check a bag. Not only does it often cost waste money, it takes up time waiting in line to check it and then waiting in line to pick it up. Plus, anyone who’s ever had an airline misplace their bag knows what a hassle it can be.

To avoid these frustrations, learn how to travel with just a carry on. First of all, invest in a good carry-on suitcase as well as a laptop tote which you can use as your one personal item for extra space. When packing, layout all of the items you would like to bring on your trip then cut that in half. This is what you’ll pack into the suitcase.

For more on this, check out How To Travel With Just A Carry On.

Roll Instead Of Fold Your Clothes

Along with using vacuum bags to add space to your luggage, try rolling instead of folding your clothes. By doing this, you’ll be able to pack extra clothing or have vacant space to pack travel souvenirs.

Use Pockets And Sections To Stay Organized

Instead of just throwing your belongings into your suitcase without a plan, keep related items together to stay organized. Use one pocket for underwear, one for socks and undershirts, and shoes and toiletries in the netting. From there, divide your suitcase into four invisible sectors and keep related attire — ie bottoms, tops, warm weather, cold weather, dressy, casual, etc — in these sections. I’ll usually then put my electronics in my laptop tote.

LUSH Godiva Shampoo Bar

LUSH Godiva Shampoo Bar

Condense/Multi-Use When Possible

Wherever possible, try to condense your belongings. For example, instead of bringing shampoo and conditioner you may want to bring a 2-in-1 formula, or even invest in a LUSH Godiva 2-in-1 Shampoo Bar to save space. Additionally, a sundress can also serve as a beach coverup, a track suit can be pajamas or comfortable sightseeing attire, and a scarf can also be used as a belt or head wrap.

Leave Valuables At Home/Only Bring The Essentials

One of the best travel tips I’ve earn learn is that less is more when it comes to packing. Never travel with anything you can’t bear to lose, especially as moving around can lead to misplaced items. Additionally, the less you bring the less you have to worry about losing, and the less stress — literally — on your back and shoulders.

snow

Snow. Photo courtesy of sky_fish.

Don’t Rely Solely On Weather.com

Weather.com provides a great starting point for deciding what to pack; however, one should always be prepared for sudden changes in weather. Just because the internet tells you it will be hot and sunny everyday of your trip doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring a sweater and rain jacket. Be prepared for all situations.

Bring Extra Plastic Bags And Ziplocks

Wet clothes, dirty clothes, opened snacks and spilled toiletries are all instances when you’ll wish you had extra plastic and Ziplock bags. These take up virtually no space, and can help you avoid hassles on the road.

bikini

Winter hot tubbing (with wine, of course!)

Never Leave Home Without A Swimsuit

You never know when you’ll need a swimsuit. Even if you’re traveling somewhere with snow on the ground, there could be a thermal spring or hotel pool you’ll want to take advantage of. Like plastic bags, swimsuits take up virtually no space, so just bring it. Bonus: If you happen to run out of underwear a swimsuit can be a last resort.

Choose A Color Scheme

Instead of packing 14 different outfits for a week-long trip, choose a color scheme to be able to mix and match pieces. This way, you can use the same pieces to create new looks. This will also help with layering, a helpful tactic for being a pro packer. This means instead of bringing two completely different outfits for warm and cool weather, you can simply layer pieces and de-layer as the weather changes.

jewelry

Jewelry. Photo courtesy of puellakas.

NEVER EVER Pack Valuables In A Checked Bag

I can’t even tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard of laptops, cameras and jewelry being stolen out of peoples’ checked luggage. Keep in mind your luggage is scanned, and workers can decipher what’s in there. Don’t tempt them by flashing your valuables. Instead, leave these at home or keep them with you in your carry-on luggage.

SmartWool Is Your Friend

I never leave home without SmartWool, even if I’m going somewhere hot. SmartWool has wicking capabilities, keeping your body temperate. When it’s cold it keeps you cozy without being clammy, and for times when you can’t tell if it’s hot or cold out it can keep your body comfortable. Best of all, it’s very lightweight and won’t add much to your luggage.

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