The one question asked the most about traveling is packing: what to leave, what to take, where to put it, how to pack it, and the list goes on. We will save you some trouble by giving you the packing lessons for travelers. Here are the 10 basic packing tips.
Tip 1. The golden rule of packing
While there are several tips and tricks that you could follow, let’s get the general golden rule out of the way first.
The secret to smart packing is to plan what you are going to take and then only take half of the clothes and twice the money. Seriously, we can’t stress it enough.
Tip 2. Attach “fragile” to your luggage
If you have to check in luggage, then you need to ask them to attach a “fragile” sticker on it. This will ensure your luggage is put on top of the pile, so it will be the first off the plane. In addition, your suitcase likely isn’t unique, so slap a sticker or put a big red ribbon on it — anything to help you identify it in the crowd. If airport security scares you, think about how ugly going through customs with the wrong bag could be.
Tip 3. Take your baggage with you
Take just what fits in your carry on. Lost luggage is a real pain but it’s even worse when it’s 30 degrees in Australia, and you are wearing those heavy sweats that you wore when you left home at -3. Hearing “as soon as we find your bag we will have it sent to you,” can really dampen your first day spirits. And having to buy an entire wardrobe isn’t the best way to spend your travel pennies.
Tip 4. Swap your physical library for a digital one
This could seem like a pretty common-sense advice, but you would be surprised to learn how many people still do this.
Books for a trip might be a must have, but there’s nothing sexy about the extra weight they’ll quickly add to your luggage. So instead, follow this packing tip and opt to fill your Kindle with every book and/or country guide you think you need.
Tip 5. Mix and match
Remember how we said to bring only half of your clothes? If you are thinking that this is too little clothes, here’s another tip for you. You actually don’t need so many pieces of attire to have different outfits for each day.
Simply bring, let’s say, 3 bottoms and 3 shirts that work together. That alone will give you 9 outfits.
Tip 6. Leave jeans at home
No matter how much this saddens you, avoid packing jeans. Trust us, this is for your own good and trip’s comfort.
You might not know this, but jeans absorb odors and dirt, and they are heavy and bulky. They take days to dry. That’s why cotton fabrics are much smarter.
Tip 7. Divas are not allowed
Another important packing tip − stop being a diva. If you love traveling with your own hair dryer, then maybe a weekend in the Smokies over the Alps is a better vacation for you.
Otherwise, make use of the amenities provided by your hotel. If you are feeling unsure, just try to book a hotel with favorable ratings and online reviews. Those usually have amenities that are of better quality.
Tip 8. Outwear should stay at home
Another packing trip to lighten up your suitcase is leaving your outwear. You probably already know, but jackets and sweaters take up a lot of bag space, and they are heavy.
Unless you are traveling in winter, opt for layers, which work just as well. A couple of shirts worn together would make you warm and keep the additional weight off your shoulders.
Tip 9. You can get basic things everywhere
If you are still having trouble packing it all in, remember that every country always has soap, underwear, socks, and t-shirts. This also works if you forget something: you can simply go and buy it in the nearest convenience store.
Of course, this does not mean that you should skip checking your luggage, so make sure you’ve taken everything you need before leaving.
Tip 10. Take the important things with you
If it is important, and you can’t fit it into your daypack, then you need to leave it at home. Stuff gets stolen regardless of where you travel. While it might be a pain, carry your cameras, computer, etc. in your backpack and keep it close in crowded areas.
Traveling doesn’t have to be painful, and packing isn’t such a challenge as you might imagine it, especially with these packing tips. Smart planning will take care of many problems during a trip, so make sure you are prepared, but don’t overdo it.
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