If you’re anything like us, thoughts of Spring vacation (or any vacation, really) pop into your head the second March comes around. However, once the tickets are booked, the days are planned, and the excitement is high, there is that one little thing that becomes quite a feat. What thing is this? Packing.
No matter how big your suitcase is or how short your trip is, the need to bring everything you own becomes very real and limited capacity makes this less than ideal. The solution? There isn’t just one. In fact, there are so many different hacks in packing that allow you to maximize your space, your time, and your travel experience.
Whether you’re just heading out of town for the weekend or you have a family vacation overseas, these 8 packing tips will save you the frustration that can come in hand with travel. Take a look and let us know what you think.
1. Lay out all the clothes you want to take. Then, put 1/2 back.
While being prepared is always good, chances are you aren’t going to change your outfit 4 times per day. Plan your outfits and vow to stick to them once abroad and the need to have several options subsides. To make this tip even more helpful, here are some “what to take” guidelines:
– Wear the same outfit on the plane both ways
– Pack more tops than bottoms (because you can wear your bottoms more than once and no one will notice)
– Do double duty with some items—bring yoga pants that you can both lounge around in, and sleep in
– And remember, only pack HALF of what you laid out to bring
2. Roll your soft garments and fold the stiff ones.
Travel connoisseurs find that space is saved when certain items are tightly rolled like little sleeping bags. Roll your t-shirts, jeans, shorts, PJ’s, or anything else that’s soft. If you’re carting blazers, starched shirts, or dress pants with you, simply fold them neatly and layer them over the rolled items.
3. Use the zippered mesh part of the suitcase’s lid for socks and underwear.
Keeping smaller items in an easy-access space allows you to grab them without digging through your entire wardrobe. If your bag doesn’t have one, put socks and underwear in a reusable shopping bag instead. TIP: this is one area where packing an extra pair or two is okay.
4. Bring a plastic bag for dirty clothes.
Some hotels provide laundry bags. Some do not. Don’t take the chance—odors in dirty clothing can quickly spread to the clean ones in such tight quarters and the plastic will prevent it from happening.
5. Skip the toiletries. And the hairdryer.
This may seem like a “heck no” move, but any airport, gas station, or grocery store has travel shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toothpaste/toothbrush combos for under $10 total. Your hotel will also have these and a hairdryer too. Fun Fact: most hotels have a supply of this stuff for guests; you just need to ask the front desk! Traveling without this extra stuff will allow for more space and now there’s no worry of anything exploding during travel. BONUS: you don’t have to remove anything liquid if you just have a carry-on bag.
6. Bringing a hairbrush?
Wrap it in a washcloth, so the bristles don’t accidentally damage your clothes.
7. The sole truth about packing shoes.
If you can, take only two pairs of shoes. Wear your heaviest and bulkiest pair en route and pack the smaller pair.
Here’s how you pack shoes:
– Place your shoes heal to toe, laying them on top of each other to create a rectangular shape
– Put them inside of a plastic grocery bag
– Roll the shoes up in the bag
– Place at the bottom of your suitcase
8. Tie a bright color ribbon onto your suitcase handle.
Or put a bumper sticker on your bag. Creating something easily identifiable for your suitcase will allow baggage claim to go by much more quickly so you can get in, grab your bag, and enjoy your vacation!