Do you plan to do any vacationing for the upcoming holidays? I have some helpful packing tips for travel!
I love traveling; I enjoy weekend getaways, road trips, two-week vacations, and anything in between. It is so fun to revisit familiar places and also explore new destinations. Both domestic and foreign travel are fun, and no matter where I go, I bring luggage.
I wrote this post because it is something I wished I had seen when I began traveling. One of the most important lessons I learned after packing/unpacking many times is that planning ahead makes a world of difference. I have gathered up what I think are the most helpful tips for travel and hope it makes your packing for your next trip a little easier.
What to Pack:
First, make a packing list. Think of all the things you must bring and think about what you can purchase once you arrive.
- Do you know about the 5,4,3,2,1 packing rule? It is five accessories (i.e., earrings, scarf, watch, sunglasses, necklace), four tops, three bottoms, two shoes, one purse (this rule works for long weekends). If planning a one-week vacation or longer, try this combination: two t-shirts, three cardigans, two cami’s, two dresses, three tops, two skirts/shorts, one pair of jeans, three pairs of shoes. Check out Pinterest, and web articles such as this and this for outfit/packing ideas.
- Pack only 2-3 pairs of shoes: a pair of comfy flats, a dressy pair, and sandals/tennis shoes/boots, depending on the weather.
- Choose wrinkle-free clothing, so you don’t have to iron. You can bring a travel steamer if you prefer.
- Plan out your outfits in advance, so you don’t overpack. You will probably need fewer clothes than you think and it will help visualize which tops you will pair with which bottoms.
- If possible, use carry-on luggage. Once you arrive at your destination, you will be tired and ready to get to your hotel/flat/Airbnb. Not having to wait for your luggage is nice. You can head right out to hail a taxi or board a train.
How to Pack:
It ‘s nice to have a method instead of throwing all your stuff into a suitcase. Create a system that works for you.
Here are some suggestions.
- Roll most of your clothes- it takes up much less space.
- Use Ziplock bags, packing cubes, or mesh bags to organize your clothes and simplify packing. After you have planned out your outfits, you can pack them together in the bags or cubes.
- Use your shoes as packing cubes. Stuff socks, phone chargers, jewelry, or any small things in there.
- Pack a few extra Ziploc bags- you never know when you’ll need one!
- Don’t pack essential items in your checked luggage. Plan to put them (jewelry, medicine, ID, credit cards, passport, electronics) in your carry-on. Use small pouches for jewelry, electronic cords, medicine to keep them organized.
- I always pack a reusable bag for shopping, and a larger tote bag or duffel bag to use for souvenirs. I will usually check my luggage on the way back and carry on the shopping bag/duffel.
- Pack heaviest items near the wheelbase; this prevents the suitcase from tipping over. Then layer in this order: packing cubes, rolled garments, folded clothes, bulky sweaters or jackets. Leave dresses and hats for last.
Important Things to Consider:
- Learn in advance the customs of the country you are visiting (i.e. no bare shoulders in cathedrals, etc.)
- Check before leaving to see if your bank has any affiliates in the country where you will be so you will know whether or not your bank charges ATM fees.
- I typically get a little bit of cash at the airport after landing from a foreign currency exchange booth, then pull out larger amounts at an ATM outside the airport. The ATM has been the best way to get foreign currency and avoid extra costs. Check to make sure your credit card won’t incur foreign transaction fees.
- Check the weather for your destination before you leave so you aren’t surprised about that heat wave or thunderstorm.
- If you are heading to a cold destination, wear your boots on the plane to save space in your luggage and carry on your coat.
A few of my favorites:
~This passport wallet is a cute way to cover your passport and help a wonderful cause.
~This travel tray was a game changer! I organize little things in it on the airplane, use it on a hotel nightstand for my phone & jewelry, and use it in my day bag to corral all my loose items.
~I bought my husband this toiletries bag because he travels so often. He didn’t have to keep grabbing quartz-sized bags from home.
~It is so helpful to have a hanging toiletry bag, especially if your hotel room bathroom has limited counter space.
If you have any packing tips, please share! I love hearing other ways people make traveling a little easier.
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