Packing for a Trip: My How-To Packing Tips Travel Guide That Can Make Anyone an Expert Packer

My Idea of a Perfect Suitcase via: XOJane

Until recently, anyone who has traveled with me could have told you that I am a compulsive over-packer. And that’s putting it nicely. When attempting to pack, I would basically go through all my clothes, pull out my favorites and then throw them in my bag. I probably would have stuck to this method had it actually been useful but somehow I still ended up on trips with “nothing to wear!” The age-old problem. I use a much different method now that my friend taught me, it’s called packing one outfit for every outfit change. Yep, that’s right. It takes a hell of a long time to pack because I pick out my outfits for several days at a time, but this way I end up with what I need. No less. No more (okay a little more I always throw in extra options at the end. Sue me.) After becoming an expert traveler though, I have had no choice but to become an expert packer and I want to share everything I’ve learned with you, my valued travel friends how to strike the perfect balance between having what you need and over-packing. Road-tested by this girl right here (I am pointing both thumbs at myself)

Check the Weather

This advice sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many times I just assume warm or cold weather and end up in a destination only to experience a cold-front or surprise tropical storms.

Pack by Outfit

Plan your wardrobe out by day and events you’ll be attending. Pick your exact outfit for each occasion, do not leave yourself options. Check your list to see if certain items can cover multiple events. Then pick clothing that will match well together (try to pick solid colors rather than funky patterns).

Stop Drop and ROLL

Rolling your clothes not only lets you squeeze more into your suitcase but it also leaves your clothes without creases when you arrive at your destination. Lay your item down and tightly roll from bottom to top.

Delicates

To avoid wrinkling of your nicest items, place a piece of tissue paper on them before you roll ’em up. I”m not sure why it works, but it does!

Split Suitcases

If you’re traveling with a companion, you should share your suitcases. While this isn’t ideal since things can get a bit messy, this will guarantee that if one of your suitcases is misplaced that at least you will have some of your belongings. Trust me on this, you’ll thank me if one of your bags goes missing.

Stuff It

Be sure to use every inch of available space. If you’re packing alot of shoes, stuff them with your socks. They’ll not only keep their shape better but you won’t have all that wasted space anymore.

Ziploc It

I love ziploc-ing underwear, accessories and bathing suits. This makes them so much easier to find.

Chronology

This may seem like a myth, to be able to chronologically organize your outfits, but it is possible. When packing, put the stuff you plan to wear at the beginning of the trip at the top and the items for the end at the bottom. This will prevent you sifting through your bag’s contents and disrupting everything else.

Carry-On

Don’t forget that you can’t take liquid or gels over 3.4 ounces. Be sure to stick these into a quart-size, ziploc. This will ensure that they won’t spill in your bag but also that TSA won’t have to go searching through your bag to find an offending liquid. Who wants their luggage manhandled? Also, ALWAYS carry your most important items like valuables and passports in your carry on. NEVER put them in your suitcase where they may be easily misplaced.

Manhandling

If you’re chosen for a super-fun screening, you dont want your bag to be difficult to close. TSA will not care about wrinkling your items and will do whatever it takes to get the bag shut again.

Check Hotel Amenities

If your hotel offers shampoo, conditioner, hair-dryer, and an ironing board. Leave this stuff behind!

Incidentals

I never skimp on these, things like first-aid kids, sunscreen and medicine, which are important. I also like to have a travel flashlight with me just in case.

Do you have packing tips to share with us so we can continue to improve our packing ways? Let me know in the comments!

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