For most people, packing is probably one of the most unpleasant parts of traveling. But since becoming a Perpetual Passenger, I’ve got this annoying “art” down to a science. Here are some simple tips I try to stick to when loading my luggage that are pretty universal:
- Pack light! Bring only what you need and you won’t find yourself lugging your weight in clothing or sitting on your suitcase to get it closed.
- Go with what you know! One way to make sure you pack light is to bring outfits you’ve warn before that you know fit well and that you feel comfortable in. Why bring “options” when you’re probably only going to end up wearing your tried-and-true favorites anyway?
- Think with your feet! Men are already doing this – and it’s time us ladies caught on. Find one (or two at the most) pair of shoes that jibe well with a lot of your wardrobe and that are comfortable. Nothing takes up more useless space than several pairs of shoes, and when half of those shoes hurt your feet and only match with one outfit, you’ll be wishing you brought those practical pumps you usually wear.
- Keep your toiletries together! Since security regulations now require all liquids that will be brought on board an airplane in your carry-on luggage be 3.1 oz or less and kept in a clear plastic bag (no larger than 1 quart), why not go out and get travel sized toothpaste, deodorant, perfume and hand lotion and keep everything in a clear bag as required? Better yet, get it all together now and leave it in your suitcase, never taking it out except to use when traveling and when going through security. That way, you never have to worry about packing those things or making sure you’ve got what you need. (I actually go one step further and keep an extra toothbrush in with my toiletries. I hate arriving somewhere and realizing I didn’t bring a toothbrush!)
- Plan your carry-on wisely!
- Think about what you’ll be bringing on the plane with you, and what you’ll want to have access to. Will you be using a laptop? A book? Are you bringing toiletries? Be sure to pack anything that you will want to access while on the plane or in security in an easy-to-reach location. I personally put my toiletries in the front most pocket of my carry-on suitcase with nothing else on top of it so I can easily reach in and grab it, and have my laptop unburied in my tote.
- Also – If you are checking luggage (which I don’t recommend and almost never do unless I have to), make sure to keep the essentials in your carry-on! Have those toiletries, a clean set of clothes and any important documents on hand in case your luggage goes AWOL. Those lost-luggage horror stories aren’t just the stuff of legend…
When I follow these steps, packing goes from being a pain to easy peasy. So try it out, and maybe you can get on to enjoying your destination instead of brooding over how to organize your bags. 🙂