Packing for a vacation can be a daunting task whether you are a pro-traveler or a newbie. No matter if you are going on a week-long trip away or planning to backpack your way across the continent, sometimes, even the most organized travelers can find themselves struggling for some extra space. In fact, most of us at some point caught ourselves staring into the depths of our suitcase, completely puzzled by what to put in it.
So, before you excitedly start digging for the best booking deals online, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the art of clever packing. Most of the time, we fall under two categories: over-packers and under-packers. Sure, you can over-pack your suitcase “just in case”, however, that will only force you to pay extra to the airline. On the other hand, you can under-pack only to face the consequences of leaving behind something extremely important you might not be able to replace during your stay abroad. So, is there a middle ground? The short answer is yes!
Let’s start by going over some of the best tips for packing for vocations in order to save time and money.
Pack According to Your Travel Plans
Firstly, you need to consider the way you want to enjoy and experience your trip and then proceed to pick the clothing pieces that support that goal. Instead of quickly going through your whole entire closet in order to pack your suitcase at the last minute, turn it into a fun experience to create a curated list of fashion items.
What would be the foundation of your vacation attire? Maybe you are planning on spending a lot of time walking around the city, enjoying the culture, then packing an array of comfortable tank tops like It’s A Great Day To Be Black® Women’s Red Crop Tank or our versatile Black by Popular Demand® Classic Unisex Black Shirt is probably the best idea. Opting for items that are multi-purpose or can be used for many different occasions is the key to clever packing.
Space-saving Packing Tips
You probably already know the golden rule of packing for vacation: roll instead of fold. Well, now it’s time for yet another space-saving tip: packing cubes. You can squeeze pretty much everything in these cubes from t-shirts to pants and beyond. This technique won’t only allow you to find the items you are looking for a lot easier, but also help you keep everything organized.
Most pro-travelers would agree that placing heavy items on the bottom of your suitcase, will keep your light pieces (stored on the top) from wrinkling. The corners of the luggage is where the most structure is. So, make sure you take advantage of every inch of your suitcase by folding everything and storing them vertically. That can create extra space for you to bring your own pillowcases with you just in case.
How to Pack Small, Delicate Items and Shoes
When it comes down to packing jewelry and any other small-sized items, compartmentalized bags or pouches are extremely useful. You can also use a pouch for all your health products, including bath essentials and makeup. As for shoes, you can place them in canvas bags to make sure that they won’t get in contact with the rest of your items while traveling.
Toiletries and Makeup Packing Tips
Now that we are on the topic of shoes, a clever tip to protect all glass bottles like foundations and concealers is to store them in a small plastic bag and put them in your sneakers. Don’t bother bringing full-sized toiletries as they take way too much room and bring on unnecessary weight. Opt for travel-sized everything. In case you aren’t willing to spend extra money on travel-sized products, there are many silicone travel bottles available online.
Invest in Wet-Dry Bags
Most people don’t consider their swimsuits as an item worthy of special treatment, however, a wet-dry bag for your swimsuit is not only extremely practical but can also be used during your stay abroad as a way to store your wet swimsuits after leaving the beach, pool, etc.
Grab An International Charger
If you are planning on visiting different countries, maybe you should invest in an international travel adapter. Don’t forget to pack your power banks so you can charge your phone, laptop, and camera batteries.
Upgrade Your Luggage
Ok, maybe now it’s the best time to retire the used-to-death suitcase with the trashed zipper and damaged edges. Modern luggage carries a slew of benefits including divided sections, straps for compression, rotating wheels, and sometimes, even digital tracking.
What to Carry On the Plane Flight?
Just in case you’ve followed all the aforementioned tips and still, somehow you are having trouble zipping your suitcase, take out your bulkiest clothing (raincoat, chunky sweaters, etc) and wear them on your flight. Bonus point: since these types of clothing have extra pockets, you can fill them in with additional items and reduce the weight of your luggage.
When it comes down to long international flights, fuzzy socks and a scarf that can double as a blanket is a lifesaver. Always pack something ultra-comfortable and relaxed in your carry-on bag so you can have a peaceful flight.
The Best Carry-On Solution
While many prefer a tote bag, backpacks are an excellent way to keep yourself comfortable while waiting at the airport as well as during your arrival. This way you will eliminate the stress in your arms, plus you will have more freedom to move around. Backpacks are also known for being able to carry a lot of items, thus, they offer plenty of room to pack large items that may not fit in your suitcase. Many carry their laptops, iPad, or even their running shoes (which are notorious for taking too much space) in their backpacks.
Don’t forget to add earplugs, a face mask, charger, and a blow-up travel pillow.
If there is one thing that you will definitely need with you, no matter your destination, it’s a bottle of water. Now, there are some fantastic solutions that fit pretty much everywhere. Collapsible travel water bottles will help you stay hydrated. Plus, you can always empty them just before the flight and refill them afterwards.
By marking your bag as “fragile” the airport staff will most luckily place it at the top of all the other luggage. Yes, this is how I manage to get through the baggage claim quicker.