A wise man once said: "Anyone can pack a bag but not everyone can pack it right". Okay, now it's just the writer of this article who said that but let's admit it's still a wise quote though. There are too many factors to consider before you start packing for travel; such as the length and type of your trip, the weather of the place you're heading to, the itinerary, the size of your luggage, and any weight limits imposed by your airline. Under all that stress, it’s too easy to overpack or underpack. So whether you're going on a weekend break or a month holiday, you will find in this article all the tips you need for stress-free packing so that you will start packing like a pro thereafter.
Know your airline’s baggage fee policyFirst of all, and before you begin the packing for travel game, Google your airline's website and take a look at its baggage policy. International airlines tend to have different sizes, pound and piece restrictions based on fare class and travel zones. You might even want to do this before buying your flight ticket. Knowing all about the airlines' baggage-fee policies is key to any budget-minded packing strategy. It allows you to figure out what you’re working with from the very start.
Choose the right suitcaseWhen choosing a travel suitcase, it's most important to go for a lightweight option. Don't forget that airlines include the wheels, not just the actual packing space. Choosing a hard-shell suitcase can add up to four kilos of weight without even packing a sock! So as every pound counts; you might want to seek out ultra-light luggage that will not eat into your weight allowance. Also, consider testing each suitcase before buying, make sure it rolls smoothly around corners and that the handle length suits your height.
Make a packing listYES, it's always and forever a ‘mom’ tip, but man, let's be honest, it is the most fail-safe way to ensure that you are never, ever going to forget to bring something important. Start your packing process days ahead of your travel date; as in the very stressful few days before a trip, it’s all too easy to forget items you need. So, don't let the stress make you forget to review your packing for travel list. Take a quick look at it the day before the trip in case there's still any additional item you need to purchase.
Pack by outfitThis tip is a real lifesaver from the hassle of choosing what to take and what not to take; especially if you are that " over packing for travel " weirdo who might think of packing his grandmother's couch just in case… So think about the activities on your itinerary and what you see yourself wearing while doing them, TAKE THEM ONLY and strictly. To clarify, don’t take that shirt unless you know that you are bringing shorts and shoes that you would wear with it. Believe me; you don't want to figure out at the end of your trip that you didn't wear half the clothes you packed.
Lay things out firstTake your time to lay everything out before any item goes into your suitcase. Grouping things together on your bed before your eyes help you see quickly the "why do I even have to bring this" items. Find those and take them back to the drawer. Additionally, laying your stuff like that may help your eyes fall onto these pants and then your mind goes like "OMG I was just about to forget to pack my belts!" So please do not underestimate this step.
Use packing cubesPacking cubes not only help you stay organized but also save loads of space in your suitcase and enable you to pack more. It is really mind-relaxing to know exactly where everything you brought is as soon as you unzip your luggage. If you’re sharing a suitcase with a partner, you can each use these amazing color-coded packing cubes to help you immediately spot whose stuff is whose. Furthermore, you can easily move them into the drawers of your hotel dresser as soon as you arrive and be ready to go.
Win the "Roll or Fold" gameTravelers have different preferences when it comes to the way they pack clothes. Some travelers, especially backpackers and overpacking lovers, prefer rolling over folding as tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Additionally, they're less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases. Other people see the mixing between both rolling and folding is the best solution. Wrinkle-prone items tend to come out in better shape if you fold them, but tightly rolled clothes are easier to work into the little nooks and crannies around your bag. Fill dead space and make use of every inch by rolling tops, underwear, socks, and other small items and stuff them into corners and shoes.
Pack in layersThe items in your suitcase should be packed in neat layers for easy screening at the airport. Packing items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.) allows security agents to get a clear picture of what's inside while screening. The faster the security agent can screen your stuff, the faster you'll get through the security line. Additionally, start with the heaviest items first and put them toward the bottom of the suitcase when it’s standing so it won’t be too top-heavy. Also, distribute heavier items between both sides of the suitcase so it won’t be pulled off-balance when it’s standing.
Use dryer sheetsThere's no disappointing than opening your bag as soon as arriving at your destination to find out that the clothes smell weird. To avoid any bad smell that can invade your clothes and ruin your entire mode throughout the trip, frequent travelers always advise taking one or two dryer sheets and keep them inside your suitcase. Dryer sheets keep your clothes and suitcase smells sweet and fresh no matter how long your trip takes. You'll definitely fall in love with them.
Label your bag with contact infoAs long as you don't want to live that movie adventure when your suitcase gets mistakenly replaced with a similar one which belongs to the mafia, consider labeling your suitcase with luggage tags with your name, email address, and phone number on it. This will also allow the airline to contact you. You may also need to decorate it with ribbons, stickers or even colorful shoelaces so you can spot it in the crowd.