18 Jul 2014
First, you need to understand your NEEDS for the trip. If you are organized before you pack and understand the nature of your trip, you are already a step ahead of the game. Do yourself a favor: pack at least a day or two ahead of your trip. Packing the day of your trip is beyond stressful and you’ll end up missing items or bringing too much or, worse, missing your flight.
What to Wear?
You don’t need a completely different outfit for each day, night, and photograph of your trip. Instead, make every piece of clothing count and pick items that can do double duty. Bring a few pairs of pants that all work with a few tops and mix and match throughout your trip. Pick like and complementary colors so you don’t end up with a massive piece of luggage. Ladies, this means no extra luggage for your shoes!
The Carry-on Magic Formula
Heading to your destination via plane? The goal is to carry-on everything you’ll need to not only help lighten the load, but eliminate any baggage fees, extra time waiting for your luggage to de-plane, and lessen the chances of lost luggage.
Here’s a good formula to help you pack less:
- Pack one or two tops per day depending on your activity.
- Pack one bottom for every three tops.
- Pack one bra for every two or three days.
- Always have one pair of socks and underwear for each day and bring one or two extra pairs of socks and underwear depending on your trip duration and your body type.
- If you have the room, pack a few extra shirts as well.
- Then pack specific outfits you know you’ll need for your activities and weather. This could be a dress, a suit, bathing suits, workout gear etc.
If you pack like this, and have access to a washing machine, you never really have to check your luggage, no matter how long your trip.
If you like having your favorite snacks with you, don’t load up before you take off. Conduct a quick Internet search ahead of time to locate stores near your destination and pick up your supplies at the other end. If you’re traveling with a baby, once you reach your destination make a quick stop at your favorite baby store to pick up diapers and snacks to maximize the space in your luggage. Or, if your trip is longer than a few days, ship a carton of diapers ahead of time to your destination, saving you precious room in your suitcase.
Who Needs Another T-shirt?
Packing lightly is just as important for the trip home. Rather than buy tons of souvenirs, save mementos from the trip that help tell the story. Bring a small Ziplock bag with you to save any small paper documents from your trip and consider making a collage out of them when the trip is over. For photos, make sure you have fresh, empty memory cards.
If you plan on doing a lot of shopping, pack an extra duffel bag to carry your purchases home. Large purchases can either be shipped home or checked on your flight, so find out which is the cheaper, easier option, but always keep valuables on your person.
There’s No Place Like Home
When it comes time to pack up your suitcase to head home, use a trash bag that you brought from home to put all your dirty clothes in. This way, your worn clothes are kept separate from any clean ones or souvenirs you may be bringing home.
As soon as you get home from your trip, or within twenty-four hours, unpack, do laundry, and get your clothes, shoes, and accessories back in their homes. Refill your toiletry bag and put it away as well. Return your luggage to your designated luggage storage area.
Safe travels to you this summer!