Whether you’re going on a round-the-world trip or on a quick weekend getaway, packing somehow always becomes a great challenge. You want to take everything with you but you know you will regret a heavy suitcase when you’re sprinting through the airport to catch your flight or going on that gorgeous (but never-ending) hike.
How many clothes and shoes should you bring? Is it better to bring along toiletries or purchase them upon arrival? How can you maximize space in your suitcase?
We’re here to give you the best tips for packing lightly and efficiently:
Lay it all out.
When you start packing, first lay everything you want to bring along on your bedroom floor. Then, pick up each item and analyze it. Don’t just ask yourself “Will I use it?” but do ask: “Will I use it enough to justify its weight and space in my suitcase?”.
Pack for the Best Case Scenario.
Many people justify packing extra items in their suitcase based on “what if” situations. But unless you’re traveling with small children or special needs friends or family, this is completely unnecessary. Stop packing for Worst Case Scenarios. You will find that you will be able to get yourself almost out of any situation while on the road.
Everyone loves a trilogy, and that holds up when packing as well. Pack just three of everything: three pairs of socks, three pairs of underwear, three shirts, etc. And bring along some detergent too (or purchase one upon arrival). This way, you will be able to wear one item, wash the other, and dry the other all at the same time.
Use clothes compressors.
The way you fold your clothes in your suitcase matters. So, especially if you are tight for space, consider purchasing some clothes compressors, packing cubes or airless baggies. This will not only help you keep your clothes organized in the mess that is a large suitcase, but it will also maximize your space.
Pack multi-purpose items.
A sarong can be a dress, a changing room, a towel, a hair wrap, a pillow case or a skirt. An iPad can be a book, your flight ticket, hotel reservation confirmation, and more. These items will help you save space without leaving anything behind.
Wear your heaviest items on the plane.
So you want to bring along some hiking boots or a bulky winter coat. Those kinds of items can take up a lot of space in a suitcase – and rather unnecessarily. Wear your heaviest items on the plane to save some room in your suitcase for other items you will need to bring along.
Maximize your personal item.
Most airlines nowadays allow for a personal item to be brought as a carry-on. Maximize this item: instead of bringing along just a small purse, pack a backpack or small suitcase. You can fit all kinds of items here: small toiletries, a laptop or iPad, and all kinds of random items that won’t fit in your larger suitcase.