Let’s face it; packing for a trip is never easy, especially when traveling abroad or someplace with unpredictable weather. As a female who lives 1,200 miles from my hometown, while also planning a wedding there, it seems I am traveling at least once a month if not more for business.
Here are my top tips for packing when traveling:
1. Roll with the punches
My best space saver for traveling is to always roll your clothing items! Not only does it save tremendous space in your luggage but it always helps to avoid creases in your clothing when you arrive at your destination!
2. Double Duty Items
Now, say you do fold your clothes and they get a little creased, good thing you packed your hair straightener that can also be used as an iron if you are in a pinch. I always like to pack items that have multiple uses just in case. Don’t have enough room to pack makeup remover, hand lotion, shaving cream and deep hair conditioner? Pack a little tub of coconut oil that can be used for all those things plus many more!
3. Sharing is Caring
Remember that cute shirt in the back of your closet you haven’t worn in forever, why not pack it to wear one more time and then leave it for the hotel staff to donate. This is an old tip my father taught me while traveling abroad, he used to make me pack five items that I will wear one more time, and then we would fold them neatly on the bed with a note for hotel staff to donate. Not only did that free up room for souvenirs in my luggage but it also allowed to help others. Many hotels keep leftover items or lost and found items and will donate once a month if not claimed.
4. Take the new, leave the old
While on the topic of leaving items behind, I also pack my items that I am ready to part with once my trip is over. Those half used travel size toiletries, mascara that is past the expiration date (*yes, mascara has an expiration date, as does most makeup!*). What about the toothbrush you have been using for six months even after having strep throat. All those items that are long overdue to be tossed are great items to pack, and then discard in the hotel before you depart!
5. Weather or not to bring it?
I can already hear my mother’s voice saying “Did you check the weather?” but she is right, always check the weather before packing. Yes, I know the weatherman is not always right, but it will at least guide you in the direction if you need sweaters and heavy clothes, or can you get away with short sleeves and a light jacket. This goes for footwear too! If it says there will be nonstop rain for your entire trip, then maybe you can get away with leaving those heels you were only going to wear with one outfit home. Swap them out for cute sandals you can get one last wear out of and then leave them to be donated. (see tip #3)
6. Wear them twice, nobody will notice
How many of us wash our jeans after every wear when we are at home? Not me! Bring items you can get away with wearing once or twice, maybe three times (we won’t tell). Items such as jeans, hoodies, cardigans, and shoes all can be worn with different outfits to allow for less duplicate items. Leave the hot pink heels home, and instead wear the black pumps already packed with some hot pink jewelry; you’ll save room while still making a statement.
7. Everyone has baggage
If you are flying really take the time to understand your airline’s baggage guidelines! Some airlines will allow for one carry-on bag and one personal item for under your seat. This is plenty of room to pack for a two through four-day trip, maybe five days if you are lucky. When choosing luggage, make sure to pick the largest allowable size if you are a heavy packer even after these tips. Don’t bring your small cross-body bag as your personal item. Instead swap it out for the almost too large to carry as a handbag, but can definitely get away with fitting under the seat back in front of you, and just throw your cross body bag in it.