Packing a travel bag is like packing a tortilla. The more good stuff you can squeeze inside, the better it will be. But, man, things can get messy fast. If you are like most people, then you are probably an over-packer: a person who always wears too much on holidays or other trips. No need to stress and pack 10 pairs of pants for an 8-day trip!
Before you go on that big vacation to Orlando, visit your grandma in Poughkeepsie, start hunting Columbus houses for sale, or fly out to Hollywood to schmooze with celebrities, make sure you don’t leave behind any good stuff with these 5 essential packing tips that we compiled in collaboration with redfin.com:
Make a list, check it twice
For a guy who only works one day a year, jolly old Saint Nick sure knows what he’s doing. A good thorough list is a godsend when getting ready for any trip. Take a breather and think about everything you want to bring with you, so when it comes time to pack you can go down that list checking items off one by one.
Better than racing back and forth all over your house grabbing whatever pops into your head at the moment. Before leaving, refer back to your list one more time and double-check that you have everything you need.
This sounds like your mom’s advice, but trust us, there is a reason why moms are always right. Especially in the stressful days ahead, it’s easy to forget something you need. That is why it is crucial to make a list of the things you need by category a few days before the trip: clothes, shoes, cosmetics, makeup, accessories, gadgets, medicines, etc. On the InStash.com, you can find various ready-made packing lists that are very useful!
Know your roll
“Fold” rhymes with “old,” and that’s because there are newer, better ways to pack your clothes these days. Out with the fold and in with the new. Rolling clothes in tight bundles can save a surprising amount of space, and it also helps prevent wrinkling and creasing.
For best results, simply place your shirts face down, fold in the sleeves, and start rolling from the bottom up. With pants, fold the legs together and roll from the waist down. It may seem illogical, but folding the garment in such a way that the roll of yoga mat does not crush the garment but gives the most space in the travel bag.
This method will allow you to pack twice as much clothing. Wrap clothes by putting smaller ones in larger ones and wrapping them together. Pack thinner things, as you will have more clothing variants.
Bags within bags within bags
Want to save even more room? Keep your clothes in compression bags designed to squeeze as much air out of their contents as possible, making it so that not even the smallest particle of space goes wasted. Bags of all kinds are great not just for maximizing luggage real estate, but also for keeping your belongings protected and organized.
Put footwear in a bag to keep them from getting the rest of your clothes dirty. Put toiletries in a sealed bag so they don’t leak shampoo onto your best outfit. Keep your jewelry from getting lost by keeping individual items in Ziploc snack bags. Etc.
Bigger isn’t always better. Be strategic about what you bring with you. Clothes made of thinner materials are easier to pack and save more room, so you have more space for other items. Or, heck, even more clothes! When it comes to toiletries, why lug around a big full-sized container of shampoo or mouthwash when for a pocket change you can buy travel-sized versions of the same name brand products that take up a fifth of the same space?
Depending on the number of days and number of people they will use e.g. cosmetics or some of your hygiene products, make sure you pack the appropriate packaging. You can buy mini packs of cosmetics in stores or small empty bottles intended for this purpose, but it is most economical to use something you already have in your house, e.g. empty small bottles, boxes or bags and pack the required amount of product into them.
A great trick is to pack your face cream into a lens box for a weekend trip. To bring just what is essential (and save space in your shopping bag), try this trick to halve everything you have now!
Keep your eyes on the prize
Your most prized items, that is! It’s a sad fact of life that accidents happen and, sometimes, luggage gets lost or damaged. If you’re transporting anything important, whether it be a sentimental keepsake, an expensive piece of jewelry, or a laptop holding the entirety of that novel you’ve been working on, your best bet is to stick to it like white on rice. Whenever possible, keep such items on your person or in a carry-on bag.
When checking luggage, there’s always a risk that you’ll never see those items again. If that’s not something you can live with, then don’t let it out of your sight. If you are traveling by plane, then you know for sure how often luggage is lost on the flight!
So pack essential items in your luggage, without which you cannot cover one case just in case. You may only need to live on your luggage for the first two to three days until they find your suitcase. If you are wearing jewelry and like to have different options on the go, pack it safely e.g. in medication boxes.
A very nice solution is to keep the earrings in pairs with the help of buttons, and secure the chains against the weight by pulling them into a straw. And it’s best to pack it all into a jewelry bag with many pockets and compartments that will provide you with jewelry and give you an overview of what you have as decoration options.