Packing is an essential part of an adventure. Whether you are traveling to meet family for the holidays or backpacking through the Himalayas you need to be prepared. However, it’s easy to get carried away when confronting the closet. Before you know it the closet is empty, suitcase is bulging and you haven’t even planned half your week.
Here are a few things to consider when planning to ensure preparedness without ripping the seams of the suitcase:
Look at the luggage policy if you are using alternative forms of transit Luggage size and weight matters for air, train and bus travel. Know the limits to make sure the suitcase is as close to the maximum dimensions without exceeding them. You can find the limits on the carrier’s website. If you are checking your suitcase be conscious of the weight limit, if exceeded you may have to pay a fine or an extra charge, depending on the carrier’s policy. Check the carry on policy. Measure your suitcase just in case, most suitcases being sold will fit into the overhead bins but there are some that don’t follow dimensional regulations. It’s better to know beforehand rather than scrambling at the gate.
Plan strategically Figure out your itinerary. Look up the weather forecast, although it may change at least you will be in the ballpark. Plan your outfits. Start with the essentials, the basics, the things you can’t live without. It’s better to have the right number of undergarments instead of packing that fancy dress that you will wear for one night. With the right amount of undergarments, you can stretch the longevity of your other pieces. Wearing a pair of pants twice isn’t a sin – you have traveler’s dispensation. Pack versatile pieces of clothing. Layering is a traveler’s best friend. The beauty of these basic, yet versatile, pieces is that you can create multiple outfits with the same pieces… and a bit of creativity.
Pack with purpose Laying out clothes in the suitcase is the crux of packing well. Start with the essentials to make sure they fit. Be honest with yourself, will you actually wear that? If not, put it back. Know what you will be wearing first and try to pack that on top so you don’t destroy the organization immediately upon arrival. In general, pack pants, skirts and dresses as flat as possible on the bottom of the suitcase. Roll shirts and tuck them in. Pair and roll socks and tuck them in the extra pair of shoes, this keeps them together while helping the shoes keep their shape. If you have any liquids put them in a Ziplock bag. There is nothing worse than a shampoo explosion. Leave a bit of space packing for the trip. Clothes never fit back into the suitcase as well on the return. Also this give you room to bring something, like a souvenir, back with you.