Traveling for that long-awaited vacation but packing anxiety taking the fun out of it? Packing efficiently can be a demanding task. What to pack, what to leave out and how do we fit everything in that suitcase? This article aims to work out the confusion for you; with the help of travel experts, here are the best tips on packing smart.
“My advice is to plan how many days you are travelling for and your route before you pack. This is because you may pass through a town that has a laundry service, which means you don't need to take as many sets of clothes with you. Depending on the weather conditions of where you are going, I would also suggest wearing light clothes with larger waterproof clothing over the top, as you can wipe these down if necessary but you would still have clean under layers for each day. If you take the absolute minimum and pack smart, you will have much more room for everything else.”
On the road for nine years and traveling to far-flung lands on a budget; Will Hatton, Founder/CEO of The Broke Backpacker
“By far the easiest way to pack your clothes for travel is by rolling them. Sure, packing cubes can help, but there's no need for them if you simply roll your clothes. This will significantly decrease the amount of space your clothes take up in your suitcase. This method works really well for us. We travel with only carry-on suitcases, which is a big surprise to most people since we are full-timers. Luckily, rolling our clothes has allowed us to pack for the beach and for the Arctic during the same trip (we were in Montenegro at the beach for one month and the next month we were in Svalbard where there are more polar bears than people!). So, it's safe to say that this method works.”
Laura Peters, the owner and author of Mike & Laura Travel, a travel blog dedicated to helping others work smarter and travel more.
“Rolling Your Clothes- If you are planning on bringing a lot of clothes with you during your travels, then one of the best things to do is to roll your clothes instead of folding them. By rolling your clothes, it'll make them much more compact and smaller which means you'll have more space in your luggage for more clothes. Use Packing Cubes- If you are constantly finding yourself to be unorganized, then one of the best ways to fix that is to use packing cubes. Packing Cubes are small little pouches that'll allow you to pack whatever it is you want inside of them. This way you can help organize things by placing certain clothes in different cubes depending on what your needs are. Fold Clothes Together- Whenever you are folding clothes to pack in your luggage, try to fold two or more garments at a time. For instance, take a couple of shirts and lay them half of one pair on top of the other. Fold one on the bottom over the pair on the top. Then take the other and fold it on the top. This way, it'll give each pair some extra cushion where you folded it so it'll be less likely to have creases or wrinkles. Make A Packing List- One of the worst things about packing is simply not having enough time to pack all of your things. However, one easy way to fix this problem is by having a packing list. By making a packing list ahead of time, it'll ensure that you'll bring along all the items you really want. Simply go down the list and highlight the items you brought until you are done. Any items not on the list won't be necessary to bring and you can just by them at your destination if you want.”
Thanh (Wayne) Dang is a professional Travel Blogger and Food Blogger at The Daily Tourist
“1. Do more with less: If you are unsure if you will wear it, you WON'T wear it. Save the space by not packing it at all. 2. Wear your largest clothes or thickest jacket and largest piece of footwear for your flights. Save luggage space and wear your bulkiest items. 3. Find out if there is laundry availability while you are gone. It's worth the extra cost to do a load of laundry then to over-pack and get hit with overweight luggage fees. 4. For those very particular packers, roll your clothes. We recommend it, but are unsure how many people actually follow this tip, lol. 5. Pick a reasonably sized suitcase. Simply put, you use the space given. If you take a suitcase one size smaller than you are used to, you will pack accordingly (or hopefully at least) 6. Bring a light rain jacket that also doubles as a warmth layer. Rather than pack a separate rain jacket and another jacket for warmth, find one that does both. 7. Plan your packing. Last-minute packing often ends with two results, 1. overpacking 2. forgetting something useful 8. Don't pack expensive clothes. Unless you're going to a wedding or other formal event, pack low-key. You will attract less attention to yourself and not care as much if your clothes get damaged, lost, or stolen.”
Joel Speyers, Co-Founder of Prep4travel.com
“My best packing advice is to stick with one color or theme for the clothing that you're packing. Personally, I try to always pack in a carry-on, and having mix and match pieces with one dominant color helps to reduce the total number of items I need. For example, if I focus on black as my dominant color, I need fewer shoe options than if I have a combo of navy and black that I'm packing. It's also nice to have a pair of black pants, black shorts, and a black skirt and then have tops that can mix and match with all of those options. I also highly suggest utilizing packing cubes. They make packing and organizing so much easier!”
Jamie Weitl- Travel Agent and Owner - Pineapple Escapes
“Select a color scheme: Before you start packing, select a color palette. For instance, are you going to pack cool colors (grays, blacks, and blues) or warmer tones (browns and beiges)? A color palette will help you focus on the clothes that you can mix and match and help you eliminate clothes outside of your color scheme. This method also reduces the number of pairs of shoes you need. Put clothes back: When packing, lay your clothes out so you can see what you plan to bring on your vacation. Next, and this might be shocking, consider putting back half to a third of the clothes you selected. Most people pack at least one new outfit for every day of travel. However, you can create a fresh look every time you wear a shirt with a different pair of pants, giving you more room in your suitcase to buy souvenirs. Wear your bulkiest clothes on your travel day: This way, items like a jacket, boots, or a thick sweater are on your body instead of taking up precious room in your suitcase. Pack a travel steamer: Clothes do get wrinkled while you are in transit. A good travel steamer is a quick solution to a wrinkled dress. I find a travel steamer much easier to use than a hotel iron or trying desperately to get the wrinkles out using the steam from your shower. Shoe bags are a must because they keep your clothes protected from the dirt on the bottom of your shoes.”
Michelle Steinhardt is a digital content creator and the founder of The Trav Nav, a luxury travel blog