Sometimes the excitement of going away can be tinged with the daunting prospect of packing – yet again!
So what you probably need are some routines you can get into that are quick, easy to implement, and don’t involve lots of extra planning.
Well, here it is, our top 11 travel tips for packing, a simple packing for travel tips, and a guide. Without all the more obvious tips too.
So let’s get you up and running with a quick rundown list, then we’ll get into more details…
- Don’t overpack – lay out what you need first
- The last outfit in – is the first outfit out
- Washing on the journey – it can double your clothes
- Deal with wet swimwear – use a separate bag
- Consider a soft-sided bag – it can hold just that bit more content
- Keep important medications to hand – in your carry on luggage
- Keep essentials packed and ready – duplicate items
- Follow the 3-1-1 rule – and check on other regulations
- Create a Capsule Wardrobe – mix and match your clothes better
- Don’t forget travel shopping – leave some space available
- Wait before wrapping gifts – or get them when you’re there
1. Don’t overpack – lay out what you need first
This is something most of us fall foul of. Layout all the items you want to pack first so you can size up the “beast”, follow some of the other rules below, and this will reduce your packing quantity and help you to travel light.
Try to be strict with yourself. It’s natural to want to cater to every type of event, but often that’s not possible. So just cater for whatever events you know you do have and just know you’ll figure out any other that arise.
2. The last outfit in – is the first outfit out
Work out the outfits you know you will need each day – as far as possible. Then work in a linear and chronological order from the first day to last.
If you’re attending that family gathering as your first event, then ensure the clothes you need for that occasion are the first ones you’ll come to from your packing. This reducing disruption to all your other outfits. It also takes the thinking out of it, and you then know what needs to be in the “to wash” pile.
3. Washing on the journey – it can double your clothes
You can reduce your packaging by a third, or even a half if you’re using the capsule method with your wardrobe.
Unless your destination is the Sahara desert, then it’s likely the place you’re staying at will have laundry facilities. If not on-site, then usually there are laundry outlets in the vicinity.
When you’re done working your way through your wardrobe, simply incorporate a couple of hours for your laundry time. Get everything washed, dried, and even ironed if possible.
You often don’t have to manage this all yourself. After all, who wants a full-on laundry day if you’re on vacation! Often there are services that will do all this for you, and it’s probably worth paying that bit extra so you can get on with your business or vacation time.
Bonus tip: don’t think about taking travel pack washing powder or other liquids. You’ll struggle to get them through customs, And more often than not it’s a few cents to buy at the facility.
4. Deal with wet swimwear – use a separate bag
We don’t always cater to what happens to our clothes. If it’s a swimming pool or beach-related vacation and you won’t have a place or time to dry your swimwear, then just take a small foldup zip bag to add those damp clothes into.
Small ziplock bags take up almost no space, and you can add and keep them with your toiletries kit (see below). It might just save all your other clothes getting wet – right on the day you need them!
5. Consider a soft-sided bag – it can hold just that bit more content
Need more space? Suitcases are often rigid and unforgiving. And even using our capsule wardrobe we can still often use a little extra space.
Opt for a soft-sided bag, it just gives you that bit more flexibility to add more items. As long as you’re sure it’s safe to put through as baggage then it might just help.
6. Keep important medications to hand – in your carry on luggage
Prescription medications, in any quantity, are allowed on planes. Check the TSA rules on what you can and can’t carry in terms of your meds.
Keep them where you need them, separate from your other items, so in their own bag perhaps. Take them on in your hand luggage if possible. And better still near to your purse or personal belongings.
7. Keep essentials packed and ready – duplicate items
When it comes to travel tips on packing, our favorites are mostly those that take a lot of the stress out of packing simply by always being prepared.
Spend a bit of time working out the toiletries you need for just about any trip, and keep a separate travel toiletries bag ready to go with all of those items in.
This way you won’t have to think about toothbrush or cologne management each time you go away. The same goes for a ready-to-go medicine kit. You don’t want to bother with those plasters and bug spray each time.
8. Follow the 3-1-1 rule – and check on other regulations
The 3-1-1 rule is based on TSA airlines rules for packing all types of liquids and gels. All liquids and gels required to be taken onto planes must be in 3.4-ounce bottles or less (3). Inside a single, clear, quart-size zip-top bag (1). With only one bag allowed (1).
In fact, you should really check all the baggage and boarding rules and regulations around flying …just so you don’t get caught out with any surprises on a visit.
9. Create a Capsule Wardrobe – mix and match your clothes better
A capsule wardrobe not only helps enormously with your travel packing but can be something you adopt (perhaps to a lesser degree) throughout all your work wardrobe, and personal clothing.
In a nutshell, this is a collection of 9 tops, 5 bottoms, and 5 pairs of shoes. All in a mix and match colors palette that complements each other. This means you can quadruple your number of potential outfits – if not more!
10. Don’t forget travel shopping – leave some space available
We usually pack to the ultimate degree, often resulting in us sitting on our suitcase in order to zip it fully. What we often don’t take account of is items we may pick up on the way. That special gift your host gave you, or that award you won from work.
Whatever it is, try to think ahead and leave at least some room in your case for those special surprises. Just try not to be too disappointed if you come back with the same space still available.
There is also the fact that we rarely pack as well on our return as we do on our initial packing session. Usually, we’re under too much time pressure to say goodbye and head for the airport. This is another good reason to leave a bit of space if possible.
11. Wait before wrapping gifts – or get them when you’re there
This one could save you a lot of headaches. Take the pragmatic and somewhat optimistic approach. Leave any presents unwrapped and in the bag.
Airlines often unwrap presents anyway for closer inspection. So wait until you arrive to wrap them. Take only as many wrapping materials as you need, or better still source them when you arrive.
If it’s a specialized and custom-made gift, or from a special store that means you have to take it with you then fine.
But consider leaving some time available while you’re awayto go shopping and get them something while on location. Plus it’s another excuse for a local sightseeing shopping trip… right?
We hope this has given you some quick and less obvious travel tips on packing. Be sure to check out our other articles for a whole host of travel help!