Whether you’re planning a road trip or international adventure, the packing process is something that everyone dreads. It feels like you have so many clothes that you can never narrow them down to your favorite pieces, and you might put off packing until it’s too late.
But, experienced travelers know what’s what. They know that packing doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you know what you’re doing. While it’s tempting to bring everything in your wardrobe, that isn’t possible. Instead, you need to think carefully about what you’ll bring with you so you can master packing and have the trip of a lifetime.
Don’t Pack for One Climate
You shouldn’t just pack swimsuits and strappy tops because you’re going somewhere tropical. Unsuitable packing is a mistake that many travelers make, especially if they want to keep their luggage weight as low as possible or even use a carry-on as their main luggage.
Packing for a single climate means you’re totally unprepared for sudden changes in weather and even changes in plans. The weather can always change, and you don’t want to be standing there in shorts and tank tops while the rain pours down. This isn’t a pleasant experience for anyone, so make sure you have enough clothes to protect you from all types of weather.
Opt for Versatile Items
One way to avoid wearing the wrong clothes is to pick versatile items. These are items suitable for all climates or can be layered to ensure you stay comfortable while still looking good. Sandals, such as those you can find in this impressive Birkenstock collaboration are ideal for the beach, but also great for nights out.
Similarly, running shoes are a great choice to wear while you’re in transit, going for walks, or casually strolling around town. The padding protects your feet and there should be enough grip to keep you safe if traversing tricky trails or rocks.
Think About What You’ll Be Doing
It’s always beneficial to have an itinerary of what you’re doing while you’re away. A beach vacation might center around relaxing on the sand mostly, but you might want to do something else to break up the lounging so make sure you are prepared for other activities.
If you’re doing something different every day, it can be difficult to avoid overpacking. As mentioned above, versatile items can help you avoid packing multiple items which have the same purpose. If you’re spending a lot of time outside, breathable fabrics are ideal, but you should combine these with clothes that can protect you from the sun or when the temperature drops.
Don’t Bring Your Best Clothes
It’s always tempting to bring your best clothes with you on your travels. You want to show off to other people, and you need to look your best when you post your vacation photos on Instagram. However, your best clothes aren’t always ideal.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t look good, but it’s perhaps best not to include your most expensive dress. After all, unless you’re visiting Dubai, you won’t be visiting glitzy and glamorous bars and restaurants. Plus, there’s always the risk that you might lose your luggage, and do you really want to say goodbye to that dress?
Watch Out for the Weight Limits
Luggage weight limits can affect what you pack. You might have several items that you feel you need to bring with you, but no matter what you do, you can’t get the weight under the supposed limit. You don’t want to throw anything else out, so what can you do?
One solution is to wear heavy items for the journey. You might not be as comfortable as you want to be on the plane, but at least you won’t leave any essentials behind. Besides this, consider what you’re bringing and ask yourself how often you’ll wear it. If you only want to bring it just in case, you don’t need it at all.
Pick Travel-Friendly Fabric
Another way to prevent maximizing your suitcase weight is to choose travel-friendly fabrics. These are lightweight fabrics that provide protection, especially if you’re going on a long journey where you will encounter all sorts of weather.
Travel-friendly fabrics should also be more durable, which means they won’t fall apart as your luggage gets thrown around on planes and conveyor belts.
Invest In Packing Cubes
If you’ve ever been traveling before, you know how difficult it is to organize your clothes. Your suitcase or backpack can quickly become a total mess, with wrinkled and dirty clothes mixing with clean clothes. Packing cubes provide an excellent space-saving solution that allows you to keep items separate.
This approach is ideal for longer trips as you may not find a laundry service in every hotel or hostel you visit. You can also separate your better and save them for special occasions, such as a night out with your new friends or a fancy dinner.
Roll Your Clothes
You can maximize the space in travel cubes even more by rolling your clothes while packing. Rolling clothes reduces the amount of space that shirts, shorts, and dresses take up inside your suitcase, meaning you can bring more without exceeding the limit.
This will also prevent creases, or at least reduce the number of creases in your favorite clothes. Because of this, you can still look good even if you don’t get the chance to iron your clothes before going out. If you’re staying in hostels, you may not have an ironing service, so this is a great way to keep clothes looking fresh.
Don’t Forget Accessories
Anyone who knows anything about dressing well knows it isn’t all about your clothes. Often, the accessories can make an outfit by adding subtle but effective touches and improvements.
You don’t need to bring all your accessories along with you, but some signature pieces, such as head scarves and bandanas and your favorite necklaces, rings, or bracelets, can class up even the most worn-out travel outfit. However, you should be careful about bringing anything too expensive. While most places are safe to go, you don’t want to show off your fancy jewelry too much, as this could end with you and your group being targeted for theft.
You Do Not Need Three of Every Item
Well, mostly, anyway. Of course, you need to bring more underwear and socks, but you don’t need to bring several pairs of jeans or shorts, especially if they are bulky. Too many people pack too much and don’t end up wearing them, often at the expense of other items that could have been useful.
Rather than bring every kind of color or multiple pairs of jean shorts, pack items that you can mix and match without anything looking out of place. A selection of core items that go with everything is much more efficient than multiple outfit combinations that you can’t wear with anything else. This approach allows you to always have something different to wear even if you stick to the same base clothes, so you can show off different styles without repeating your outfits.
Packing doesn’t need to be a stressful experience, but that doesn’t mean you can be too haphazard and laid back. The last thing you want to do is arrive at your destination and realize your luggage is not suitable for the climate or activities. While everyone wants to look good traveling, you also need to make sure you are ready for anything, so finding the perfect balance between style and comfort will ensure your trip is the best you’ve ever had.