Tips to Pack Better When Traveling

Packing can be a hassle, especially if you’re traveling somewhere for a long amount of time and need to bring a lot. Thankfully there are some useful tips and tricks that will make packing easier, faster and less costly when you check your bag at the airport. Here’s a guide.

Luggage Rules

Before you do anything related to packing read the rules for luggage allowance on the airline, bus, train or boat you are traveling on. Companies have widely varying policies and the last thing you want is to show up at the airport, station or port and get charged a wallop of extra money because you didn’t take five minutes to read the rules. Once you know the rules you can then proceed with the packing process itself.¹

Make A List

It might sound old school, but making a list can really help clarify your packing process. Write down two columns. In column one write the absolute essentials. In column two write the optional things, from extra books and items to jackets or shoes. For essentials imagine you have arrived at your destination and then picture what you will actually need in order to have something to wear and get through the day. Then, simply pack your essentials and add in whichever optional items can fit.²

Roll It Up

Rolling your clothes is one way to save space and make packing more convenient. Fold clothes then roll them tightly and lay them in rows in your suitcase or carry bag. Other items from brushes and toiletries to books and shoes can then be fit in once you’ve rolled up your clothing items. This technique will save you money on luggage costs and space – plus it’s actually kind of fun to do. Save a colorful ribbon or piece of cloth to tie on the outside of your suitcase – or maybe a small stuffed animal you can tie on? – so that it’s easier to find your luggage once you disembark from your flight or train, bus or boat ride.³

Keep Things Clean

One of the biggest hassles of travel is dirty clothes, especially if you’re staying in a hotel which charges a pile of money to do laundry. Wrinkled and musty clothes can make a business or personal meeting into an embarrassing flop. But there’s an easy solution: a mini travel iron which you can buy for a very low price under $30 online or in a store. Mini irons weigh less than two pounds and can make a world of difference. In addition, you can pack fabric conditioner sheets to keep clothes smelling fresh and also bring small plastic laundry bags and a resealable bag for your bathing suit as well as a stain remover product in case you get carried away at dinner with the Spaghetti bolognese but you still need that dress shirt or blouse looking sharp the next day.³

Keep Liquids Separate

Due to security precautions at airports, you’re going to have to abide by restrictions on how much liquids you take onboard. It is a good idea to separate out your liquids from mini shampoos to face lotion or shaving cream and put them into a resealable ziploc bag. The worst thing is to pack your liquids in your carry-on or packed luggage and then have them break on you – nobody wants socks soaked in skin moisturizer or underwear that’s been doused in cologne, after all.²

Consider Going Digital

When it comes to books, travel guides or other printed material consider going digital. A Kindle reader or laptop is ultimately going to take up less space than a pile of books or guides, especially if you already need to bring your computer or reader on your trip anyway. If you really prefer physical books that’s fine, too, but limit how many you take and consider going digital. Also consider buying a much lighter suitcases. The truth is some suitcases are very heavy and, while you can’t bring a digital suitcase you can buy one with a lighter shell and body. When it’s time to weigh your luggage you’ll be glad you went digital and glad you bought a lighter suitcase.¹