The thing about how to pack for a trip is, most people don’t even try to plan it out. To be honest, most of us have gone through the ol’ chuck-everything-into-the-bag routine, and then just shrugging when we turn up with excess baggage at the airport. However, this doesn’t have to be so! Figuring out how to pack for a trip can be fun and helpful in your future travels.
How to Pack For a Trip: Avoiding Excess Baggage
1. Make an Inventory
When thinking about how to pack for a trip, it’s best to know exactly what you’re going to bring. Depending on where you’re going, you might need to bring a lot, like winter jackets and footwear. Another factor to consider is the length of your trip, meaning you’ll need to bring several days’ worth of clothes. If left unchecked, you’ll end up with a bag that’s way too heavy to put inside the cabin.
Before you start chucking your stuff into your suitcase, make a vacation checklist. It’s a comprehensive inventory of the things you’ll be bringing. Take into account the weather you’ll be facing, the activities you’ll be doing, and how many clothes you’ll take with you. Doing so will result in a cleaner and more efficient packing experience.
2. Fewer Shoes, More Room
Shoes are an important thing to consider when thinking about how to pack for a trip. Most people would probably pack three pairs of sturdy shoes and probably a fancier pair for the more luxurious destinations. However, always ask yourself: do you really need all these? If the answer is no, make adjustments.
Most people only really need two pairs of shoes on a trip. A comfortable, everyday walking pair, and a pair of nice shoes for days when they want to look fancier than usual. Before the trip, check out which of your shoes will provide the best comfort for all the walking you’ll do. Additionally, here’s a pro tip: hiking boots are great for walking long distances and won’t fall apart on you during your trip.
3. Roll Your Clothes
Sure, you can fold your clothes to keep them from creasing, but this method takes up a lot of valuable suitcase real estate. The best way to save space in your suitcase is to roll your clothes. This often-ignored packing hack has saved us lots of room (and extra baggage fees).
There are different ways to roll different clothes. Pants and shorts will definitely take up the most space, even when rolled. Dresses and tops take up the least space, and you can usually stack two or three in one space. With your clothes nice and rolled, you’ll have enough space for everything else you plan to bring with you.
4. Wear Bulky Clothes
Heading off to a cold destination? You’ll need that parka, those thick winter pants, and your warmest pair of boots. Sadly, there’s only so much room in your bag for them, therefore, the best course of action is to wear your bulky clothes on the plane with you. Sure, you may end up looking like an arctic explorer in your getup, and you’ll surely get some weird stares.
But think about it: who has more room in their suitcase? Definitely not the lady giving you a weird, judgy look!
5. Make Room for Souvenirs
Shopaholic travelers beware: you will bring home a lot of souvenirs. This is a time-tested fact and an important point to consider when figuring out how to pack for a trip. It’s important to pack as many things as you need, of course; but if you like to shop, make sure to save room for the souvenirs you’ll be bringing home.
When out traveling, don’t just buy willy-nilly. Figure out which items you’ll buy and if they’ll fit comfortably in the suitcase. If possible, buy only small items and put them in a small box that will fit in your luggage, such as a shoebox. Space is a premium whenever you travel, so make sure to cram as much as you can!
6. Do Laundry On the Road
If backpacking for more than a few weeks, you won’t have the luxury of hauling your whole closet with you. Most things should fit in your backpack. However, even if you have the privilege of bringing a suitcase with you, consider doing laundry instead of bringing a lot of clothes along. Not only will this save space, it will also teach you a travel skill that you’ll bring to your next trips!
Small bottles of laundry detergent are available at any supermarket. Alternatively, you can buy a small bottle and fill it with the detergent you have at home. If your hands are too fragile to do laundry, you can ask your place of residence if they have laundry services available.
7. Pack Ahead
Tomorrow’s the big trip, and you haven’t packed yet. While a lot of people can pull off last-minute packing, they usually end up with a lot of unnecessary items. These people end up paying for excess baggage, or worse, having to get their bags checked in instead. To avoid this, packing a week ahead is the best recourse.
When you have a lot of time to pack, you will be more discerning about what you’ll be bringing along. There will be time for you to weigh the pros and cons of each item you’ll bring. Furthermore, packing ahead allows you to spend some time researching the optimal way to pack your stuff. It may seem a bit obsessive-compulsive, but it helps a lot in saving space!
Lavendaire shares some of her hacks and tips on how to pack for a trip in this video:
Now that you have an idea of how to pack for a trip, we hope you’ll have a better time packing light. It’s easier to move around if you’ve got lighter luggage. Also, more space means more souvenirs to bring home, so it’s very much advisable to follow these steps and save a premium on space (and excess baggage fees, of course.) Have fun on your trip, and don’t forget to take a lot of pictures to remember it by.
Do you have any more tips on how to pack for a trip? Let us know in the comments.