After consistently traveling for almost a decade, I’ve been able to master packing for trips. Although I tend to bring my entire life in my suitcase, I’ve finessed the art of getting it under the airline weight limit. It took many years of trial and error, but I’ve discovered the basic foundation for getting what you need into that bag. Here are a few tips to help my fellow travelers or travellers!
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute To Pack
This is the foremost fundamental rule anyone, especially a travel newbie, should follow. Whenever I would wait too late to pack (i.e., the same day or late at night the day before), I would be so over my suitcase that I would throw anything in that bad boy and hope it met the weight requirement. I would end up bringing a ton more than I needed and sometimes have to take items out of my bag at the check-in counter because it was too heavy. Now, I try to be vigilant in scheduling time to pack, at least two days before, so I make sure I have everything I need and have time to run out to the store in case I’m out of any toiletries. That’s not to say that I don’t sometimes wait until the day before to pack, but I at least have an idea of what I need and don’t need. That way, I’m not scatter-brained when it’s time to stuff that suitcase.
Use A Packing List
Making a list of all the items I need to bring, then gathering it together has been so helpful for me. Especially for long trips. Not only does it help me identify the things I may need to purchase for my trip, but it serves as a guide to making sure I only bring what I need and nothing more or less.
Lay Out Your Outfits For Every Day
For every single trip, I lay out an outfit for each day. If I’m not sure what day I want to wear a particular outfit, that’s okay. The goal is to make sure I’m not just throwing in a bunch of clothes in a bag and overpacking, so I don’t end up with a bunch of stuff I will end up not wearing at all.
Use Packing Cubes
I recently discovered the use of packing cubes, and it is a game-changer for me. I’m able to easily organize my suitcase, which leads to seamless unpacking when I arrive at my destination. As a bonus, I can even fit more clothing into my bag. My favorite packing cubes from Amazon come with a laundry bag, so that’s all sorted out too.
Roll Your Clothes
Rolling your clothes instead of regular folding is a method that has worked for many years for me. And it will work for you too! I’ve recently taken it a step further by investing in space saver bags. They were the thing I didn’t know I needed until I got it and, man, they are sooo useful! No more sitting on my suitcase and praying I can get the zipper to close my bag.
Separate Your Liquids Using a Small Toiletry Bag
You don’t want the tragedy of finding all of your liquids covering all of your clothes because security handled your bag like a ragdoll. Investing in a toiletry bag helps you stayed organized and avoid mishaps like leakage. This, especially, comes in handy if you haven’t invested in TSA pre-check or don’t live in the US. Having a toiletry bag makes it easier to separate your liquids if you carry them on for your flight and have to go through security, beforehand. You can just pop it right out of your suitcase, then put it right in and not be that one person holding up the entire line.
Pack In Some Dryer Sheets For That Fresh Suitcase Smell
I mean, who doesn’t love a fresh-smelling suitcase? I’ve found adding a dryer sheet keeps my clothes smelling great after all that travel. Just pop a couple in your bag before your trip, then you’re good to go!
Invest In a Scale For Your Bag
After all of these tips and you’re still not sure about your bag weight **slowly raises hands**, invest in a bag weight calculator. Early into my travels, I got one as a gift, and it helped keep me in check. It’s a good starting point if you’re new to traveling and need a baseline for when your suitcase may be too heavy. The great thing is it’s really inexpensive, and you can bring it with you on your travels, in case you purchase something and need to recheck the weight.
Any travelers (travellers) out there have tips that have worked for them?! Feel free to share in the comments!