Whether you’re relaxing on the beach or exploring ancient ruins, travel is a favorite hobby for many. One of the most important aspects of preparing for your trip is packing. It’s the age-old dilemma of bringing everything you need without overpacking.
While overpacking doesn’t seem like such a big deal before you leave, it can be a hassle to lug around cumbersome bags, pay extra baggage fees, or stay organized during your trip if you bring too much. So you need to be strategic about what you pack.
When it comes to packing for a trip, it’s essential to pack lightly, efficiently, and make the most of their luggage space. Learn the top travel packing tips from travel professionals to help take the stress out of travel and make the most of your next trip.
1. Know the Airline’s Baggage Limit
Knowing the airline’s baggage limit is a smart travel tip that professional packers use. This is because they know that if they go over the baggage limit, they will be charged a fee. Also, if their luggage is overweight, it will be difficult to carry and might not make it on the plane.
Some common ways to avoid going over the baggage limit are by packing light and bringing a carry-on bag, checking the weight of each bag before packing, and bringing essentials in your carry-on bag.
2. Make a List
By taking the time to write down the items you need, you won’t forget anything important. Some things to consider when making your packing list are clothes that will be appropriate for the weather (so check the weather forecast beforehand), the activities you plan on doing, and any essentials every traveler should bring like a first aid kit, toiletries, and medication.
If you’re traveling overseas, make sure to bring a converter and adapter if your electronics use a different type of plug or voltage than the country you’re visiting.
3. Pack Travel Documents Separately
One tip from seasoned travel pros is to pack your passport, tickets, and other important personal items separately from the rest of your carry-on luggage, and separate from your wallet. This way, if your bag, or wallet, gets lost or stolen, you will still have your essential documents with you.
Place your documents in a small bag or pouch that you can carry with you, putting them in a zipped jacket pocket or in a special travel pouch you wear around your waist. It’s also a good idea to make copies of your essential documents such as your passport.
The U.S. Department of State recommends leaving one copy at home with someone you trust and one copy in a different bag from the one you carry the original.
4. Roll, Don’t Fold
When you fold clothes, they tend to get wrinkled. By rolling them instead, you prevent them from getting wrinkled and you can just unroll them when you need them. Rolled clothes also take up less space than if you were to fold them as it’s easier to compress the fabric when rolled. This is helpful when packing for a trip where you have limited space in your luggage.
5. Use Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are a great way to keep your belongings organized when you’re on the go. They come in different sizes, so you can choose the ones that fit your needs. They can also compress your clothes to take up less space in your luggage.
Having your essentials in packing cubes ensures quick and easy accessibility. It’s a snap to find your pajamas without rifling through the entire case and pulling out shoes, underwear, dresses, and more.
With packing cubes, you organize each cube by piece of clothing so you can grab your pajama packing cube without disturbing all other pieces of clothing. For even more organization, color code your packing cubes so you can grab the correct cube instantly.
6. Put Small Items Inside Larger Items
Putting small items inside of larger items can be a great way to condense bulky items or protect valuable or delicate items. Packing underwear and socks inside bras can help save space by using all available room. It can also help to keep the shape of the bra to avoid wrinkles or ruining the fabric.
You can also pack jewelry or your glasses inside your shoes. This is a great way to protect your jewelry or glasses from being scratched or damaged from being tossed around while you’re traveling as well as using additional space inside the shoe that would normally go to waste.
7. Refill Large Toiletries In Travel-Sized Bottles
Instead of packing large bottles that add bulk and weight to your suitcase, opt for travel-sized bottles of your toiletry essentials. This is especially necessary if you’re traveling carry-on only and need to keep your liquids to less than three ounces.
You can buy travel-sized bottles of your favorite toiletries or decant the products you already own into refillable bottles. Decanting your own products is not only eco-friendly, because you’re reusing the small bottles instead of throwing them out, but also cost-effective because travel-sized products are priced higher per ounce than larger products.
8. Pack a Wet Bag for Laundry
Wet bags are essentially waterproof bags that can be used to store dirty clothes, wet bathing suits, or in an emergency, soiled diapers. They come in a variety of sizes, and some even have a strap for easy carrying.
Pack the wet bag in an easily accessible location, such as in the front pocket of your luggage for quick access and to avoid the need to empty your entire suitcase to find it. You can also use it to pack a detergent pod to ensure you always have clean clothes while you are on vacation.
9. Take a Small Soft-Sided Bag
When traveling, it is a good idea to pack a small soft-sided bag to carry gifts or souvenirs you may purchase while on your trip. This way, you will have a designated place to put these items and will not have to worry about them becoming lost or damaged. Just make sure this extra bag won’t put you over your allotted baggage limit if you’re flying.
While on your trip, you can store this small, foldable bag inside a purse or even in your pocket to carry anything you might buy while sightseeing. A bottle of wine and local delicacies can easily fit in your small bag so you avoid buying plastic bags or juggling your souvenirs in your hands.
Streamline Your Travel Arrangements
The amount of packing you should do depends on the type of trip. By taking care of all of your packing arrangements ahead of time, you will feel better prepared and have a stress-free travel experience
If you’re looking to pack efficiently, check out our blog for more advice on how to pack like a pro traveler. From packing tips to booking advice, you’ll find everything you need to make your trip a breeze.