Sitting on your suitcase, face bright red, tugging at your suitcase zipper. We’ve all tried to tackle the stress of too many items in too small of a suitcase. Whether you’re going away for a long weekend, a few day business trip, or months on a transcontinental journey, here are seven tips to help you pack efficiently, without all the stress.
Write down exactly what you’ll need and when you’ll need it. Start with general outfit guidelines for each day, like comfy clothes, workout outfit, fancy dinner wear, etc. This will give more shape to the things you’ll need and will get you thinking about the items you’ll likely bring. Next, address the overlap; reusing pieces can be an easy yet helpful way to reduce the amount of clothes you take with you.
Tip: If you’re traveling with a crew, coordinate needed items like shampoo, hair tools, toothpaste, sunscreen, etc. This will reduce the number of items each person has to bring, give you more suitcase space for lighter travels!
Once you’re packing list is finished -- and you have a better idea of what you’ll need -- pick areasonablysized suitcase for your trip. If you’re traveling for just a few days or a weekend, pick a smaller bag and stick to it. By requiring yourself to pack within the limitations of that luggage, you’ll be encouraging downsizing with every decision.
Going on a longer trip and think you need a larger suitcase? Read on!
When packing, ask questions about the pieces you’re placing in your suitcase. Do these pieces match? Are they interchangeable? Can I layer or peel back pieces to ensure comfort in various climates? Picking versatile clothing items when traveling will allow you to mix and match outfits so you have handfuls of unique options with only a few staple pieces. Maybe the same sweats you wore on the plane can double as the bottoms to your workout outfit, and perhaps the casual jeans you wore sightseeing can be paired with a fancier blouse or button down for a more elegant dinner. By picking pieces that easily work multiple ways, you’re reducing the number of items you’ll need to bring.
You get seven days of clothes, andthat’s it. If your trip is longer than a week, you can either wash or re-wear outfits (and if you followed tip 3, you won’t need re-wear outfits because all items can mix-and-match!). Sure, photo critics might notice you’re wearing the same shoes in most pictures or that you’re rocking the same coat whenever it’s cold, but obeying the One Week Rule ensures you won’t be bogged down with unnecessary clothing. We’re all about comfort and convenience over outfit diversity -- no matter what the fashion police have to say. Besides, who asked for anyone else’s opinion, anyway?
You’ve heard it time and time again: roll your clothes to fit more in your suitcase. If you’re following tips 1-4, you already aren’t overpacking, so no need to squeeze those few extra tees in your bag. But if you are ambitious with luggage size, and you’re trying to snuggly fit your belongings into a tight space, roll your clothing. Not only will Marie Kondo be proud of your ability to perfectly tuck tee shirt sleeves, but you’ll also be able to fit more items in a smaller space. Don’t believe us? Just roll with it, and tell us how it goes.
Shoes can take up an unreasonable amount of packing space, so choose your shoes wisely. Pick pairs that follow tip 3: versatile, multifunctional, and have the ability to mix-and-match. If you’re picking between your bright orange sneakers and your neutral gray pair, the neutrals will be best for pairing with multiple outfits -- able to be used for both your morning run and your afternoon sightseeing. If you’re traveling to a wetter, colder climate and you plan to bring boots, wear them on the plane. Bulky, heavier items are easiest worn during travel days, not carried.
Tip: Experts suggestalways bringing flip flops. They’re easy to pack, taking up virtually zero luggage real estate, and they’re great forso many travel needs. Ideal for the pool and beach in warmer clients, these slip-on shoes are also great for walking around the hotel and anytime you need to step outside.
When packing your luggage, place heavier items at the bottom -- where the wheels are. This bottom-loaded weight distribution will make it easier on your wrists when rolling your suitcase through the airport, to the train, and just about anywhere. This little-known trick is an easy way to cart around all the stuff you normally bring without all the fuss.
We’re convinced that travel can be fulfilling -- without a full suitcase. These seven packing tips are little ways to make sure you pack light and right, bringing Xactly what you need for the journey ahead.