Traveling light is a useful adult skill that comes in handy for almost everyone. Whether you’re an avid traveler or just short on budget, having a light load saves you a lot on time, effort, energy, and money. If you can’t seem to stop overpacking, we have six tips that you can follow before and during your travel to make sure you’re not overloaded the next time around.
Plan out your outfits in advance
In regular everyday life, it’s advisable to plan out your outfits the night before to save you time getting ready in the morning. This couldn’t be truer when you travel. Planning your outfits in advance lets you know what exact pieces to bring, thus preventing you from overpacking.
First, start by making a list of everything you’ll need. Try to get specific, so that you lessen the risk of forgetting something.
Once you start laying out your clothes, try to think about what can be used multiple times. This is a little packing hack that can save you a lot of space.
For example, you’ll probably need a new shirt, socks, and underwear every day. But other items, such as shoes, ties, and necklaces, can often time be worn more than once, with different outfits.
Even still, try to plan outfits that don’t take up much space. For women, mix and match bralettes and tops instead of cumbersome dresses. For a gentleman, thin sweaters can be preferred over bulky jackets.
The deeper you can go in your planning, the more space you’ll probably end up with in your suitcase.
Roll, fold or bundle up clothes accordingly
Packing up clothes is one of the trickiest things about traveling. They take up so much space but unfortunately, you can’t just skip on them. There are three ways you can go around this tedious task:
- Rolling your clothes is a not-so-secret method of saving more space. Just make sure you do it with light and soft clothes that aren’t easily wrinkled.
- Folding may be easier for clothes that wouldn’t change much in size when you roll them. If you don’t mind packing like you’re playing Tetris, this method will have you filling up the gaps where your folded clothes don’t fit together.
- For the rest of your clothes, lay them out on top of each other and fold the excess towards the middle to create a bundle. Put your most crease-prone clothes near the outside of the bundle to prevent wrinkles from settling.
Keep toiletries to a minimum
Many of us would be guilty of taking more than we need when it comes to toiletries. This is actually where you can do away with packing less. It’s a bummer when something you need isn’t available when you intentionally didn’t bring yours. To avoid this mishap, call your hotel before leaving and ask what toiletries they provide, so you can leave yours at home. The things that you can’t get where you’ll go, put them in travel-sized bottles or containers.
Use packing cubes and compression packs
Packing cubes are separate bags where you can organize your clothes. You can cram in a lot depending on the size. In the same way, compression packs are bags that push out air from inside when you roll them. It’s good for thinning down bulky items. Using these will make organizing your suitcase a breeze.
Wear heavy and bulky items
To make more room for other essentials, wear thick sweaters and jackets to the airport rather than packing them. They might even prove useful for the unreasonably cold temperature in airplanes.
This goes for hats and accessories that might get deformed if you cram them into your suitcase as well. If you have no use for them on the plane, you can just opt to put them inside the overhead cabin or underneath the seat in front of you.
Stuff small things in empty spaces
You might have not noticed this before but be aware of empty spaces where you can insert more stuff in. This can be inside your shoes or between the pads of folded bras. You can put in bottled products and undergarments or socks, respectively. You’re not only utilizing space when you do this, but you’re also maintaining the form of your shoes and bras. It’s a win-win.
Going away from home is worry-inducing, especially when the usual things you own aren’t easily accessible. Don’t let the paranoia of not having what you need cause you to overpack. Just accept that not being fully ready is part of the thrill of traveling. These tips are here to help with the most common ways we commit that mistake. It will save you enough space for the souvenirs and shopping hauls that you’ll take home.