How to Pack Smart for Your Vacation
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a frequent flyer or a first-time traveler, packing your luggage can be a chore. First, you think about the things you want to bring such as books, your laptop, snacks. And then, there’s the stuff you need like clothing, footwear, toiletries. Before you know it your carry-on starts looking like an overstuffed burrito.
Choosing what to pack for a trip isn’t so much about being realistic, it’s about being practical. You’ll only need a certain amount of stuff for the days it takes you to get to your destination, spend your days there, and make the return trip home. Listed below are just a few ideas on how you can pack smart for your trip.
Lay It All Out
Before loading up your luggage, gather all of your clothes together. Fold them nicely and line them up next to your bag. Laying all of your belongings out this way will help you visualize which items are too bulky and which would fit nicely with the others. Lightweight clothing like shirts, shorts, bathing suits can go in. Try to limit heavier clothes like jeans or sweaters.
What clothes you decide to wear on your journey can lighten your load. This is where some of your heavier clothing could be worked in without much added bulk. It’s possible for you to wear a sweatshirt and jeans on the flight, but pack some heavier formalwear for later. Other articles like jackets, shoes, and hats are other wearables that you can save packing space on.
As you start packing, you shouldn’t just fold your clothes. Roll them up into tight, little cylinders that can be lined up one after the other. This not only makes them easier to sort out but also compartmentalizes your luggage space. Squaring things up like this will build compartments for extra clothes and smaller items. If your bag has pockets, then use them to store smaller items like jewelry, accessories, and spare cash.
Let’s say you’re headed to Ohio to visit some Cincinnati real estate in the family. You get there late and there’s one bathroom with no soap or toothpaste. Before your trip, stocking up on travel sized self-care products. When you travel by airplane, you are allowed to bring along any gels, aerosols, and liquids as long as they’re in 3.4-ounce (100ml) containers. They can be kept in a snack sized Ziploc bag to avoid spills.
The right documentation is essential, especially if you’re traveling abroad. Make photocopies of your driver’s license and passport. Photocopy any documentation related to any credit cards you will be using for expenses. Also, remember to take digital photos of your luggage and its contents as you pack. The same goes for your car if you end up leaving at the airport’s parking garage. Keep all of these in a safe place. Should your property get lost or stolen, you’ll have to provide these to the authorities.