Packing for a trip can be exciting, as it signifies the anticipation of new experiences and adventures. However, as the departure date draws near, this excitement can sometimes morph into anxiety.
The worry of forgetting something important or not having the right items can cast a shadow over the pre-travel excitement.
During these moments of apprehension, suitcases often transform from neatly organized and within airline weight limits to chaotic, overstuffed, and oversized containers. We firmly believe that packing is more about mastering a skill than pursuing an artistic endeavor.
This perspective implies that specific techniques and strategies can help you become a packing pro. Following our top five packing tips ensures that your travel preparations are organized and stress-free, enhancing your overall travel experience.
These strategies will help you streamline the packing process and ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable journey. So, let’s dive into our top five packing tips for organized and stress-free travel.
Top Five Packing Tips for a Stress-Free Travel Experience
- Make a List: This seems like the simplest and most obvious step, but lists are invaluable for effective packing. Creating a list forces your brain to get organized and think through all the scenarios that may happen on your trip, grouping your “must-haves” into self-identified categories. Lists can also be helpful when trying to identify things that you want to take with you but don’t need. For example, if you’re going away for five days to sit on a beach and read some bad novels, chances are you don’t need 12 shirts and 15 pairs of pants. Lists are a great way to put what you need (and what you don’t) on paper so that you can sort through it all. An added benefit of the travel list is that it allows you to cross things off as you go, keeping you on-task and organized throughout your packing experience.
- Travel Cubes: Travel cubes are the unsung heroes of the travel industry. These cubes save space and allow you to easily organize your suitcase into essential categories like underwear, t-shirts, pants, etc. With a clear view of your travel items, you can readily pinpoint what’s needed and what you can leave behind. Travel cubes are available almost everywhere and are a cheap and easy way to significantly enhance your packing experience.
- Roll Your Shirts: Rolling your shirts, pants, and other clothing is a great space-saving packing tip. Rolling your clothes gives you much more room, allowing you to bring more without playing the “how many people have to sit on this suitcase for it to close” game. Rolling also helps you organize things since you can group clothing sections by row. A row of pants, a row of dress shirts, a row of t-shirts … you get the idea.
- Take Photos of Outfits and Accessories: Apart from creating lists, capturing outfit ideas through photos is a valuable tool for organizing and efficiently packing. By photographing specific looks you intend to bring along, you can guarantee you’re ready for every event or occasion during your trip. Additionally, you can establish clothing foundations and acquire items to mix and match those pieces throughout your journey, ensuring a well-planned and versatile wardrobe.
- Choose a color scheme and stick to it: Sometimes, it helps to have a theme. If you’re toiling in an “I want to bring everything in my closet and can’t decide what to leave at home, ” choose one color and pack around that. Packing around a color scheme is a fun way to circumvent a packing brain block and can help turn packing from a chore into a fun(ish) and creative activity.
- Bonus Tip: Use your shoes: Shoes are notorious for occupying a significant amount of space in your suitcase. Fortunately, a clever packing hack can help you make the most of your suitcase’s square footage. Consider utilizing your shoes as convenient storage compartments for smaller items like socks and underwear. This method helps save space and keeps your shoes from getting squished or deformed during transit.
Some Extra Travel Advice
One of our greatest non-packing travel tips is throwing a luggage tracker inside your suitcase.
Luggage trackers have become more prevalent in recent years because they allow you to know exactly where your bags are in the unfortunate situation where you arrive at your final destination, and your bags do not.
If you can show an airline exactly where your suitcase is, it makes it easier for them to locate the bag and ensure it arrives where it needs to as soon as possible.
Another tip is to pack essential items (like medications) in your carry-on bag. Carry-on bags are 100% going to make it to your destination with you (unless you leave them in the overhead compartment, which is something you should not do).
With essential medications and other daily needs, bringing them on your plane, train, or bus is always a safer bet to avoid any complications resulting from lost or delayed luggage.
Lastly, make sure to check the weather of your travel destination before you leave. Some parts of the country and the world are prone to dramatically fluctuating temperatures.
Checking the weather first ensures that you’re ready for your trip and will avoid getting stuck in a situation where you must buy climate-appropriate clothes once you arrive. Also, we strongly recommend bringing at least one or two light jackets with you, even if you’re going to a warm destination.
Nights tend to be cooler in most places, and even if they aren’t, air-conditioned spaces call for at least a thin outer layer, especially after a long day in the sun.
No matter where you’re going or what you’re packing for, things tend to be easier when you develop a system.
The five tips we provided are a great way to start your trip on a non-stressful footing, but packing is an individual skill, so find the methods that work for you. Happy traveling!