Whether you’re preparing for one of our projects or traveling to another destination, knowing what to pack and how to pack it is important. You’ve cut the clutter but still can’t fit it in your luggage, what are you doing wrong? Here are a few tips on what to bring for your upcoming trip but also how to make it fit.
1. Make a Checklist
Take a moment to go over everything you’ll need on your trip; shoes, project supplies, passport, the number of shirts you’re taking, bug spray, etc. and physically write it down. This will help you visualize what you need to pack and also be honest with yourself about what can be left at home. Take into consideration the weather of where you’re going to help decide what you’ll need. Cross off items as you gather them.
2. Plan Your Outfits
Go through your clothes and decide ahead of time what you want to wear. Bring versatile items that can be mixed and matched. This will minimize the amount of clothing you take and maximize space for other items. Bring neutrals, learn to layer, and consider bringing accents such as scarves or jewelry to spice up an outfit, they don’t take up much space at all! Lay everything out next to the suitcase beforehand.
3. Buy Travel Size Toiletries
This will not only save you a lot of space but it will also reduce the weight of your luggage. Most toiletries are sold in travel sizes, and if not you can always transfer your favorite shampoo to a smaller container; there is usually no need for the entire bottle. Think mini hair dryer, tiny toothpaste, pint sized sunscreen, etc. Also, make sure to pack toiletries in plastic bags as a precaution for any unwanted leaks.
4. Roll vs. Fold
Roll your clothing and you’ll be amazed at how much space your save. Roll similar items in bundles such as tank tops or shorts. Bulkier items such as jacket are best rolled individually. However, consider folding formal wear to help keep it wrinkle-free.
5. Make Use of All Space
Don’t let any space go to waste. Pack bulky items such as pants and shoes in the corners of your bag, then compile your rolled clothing in the center. Use the smaller spaces in between your shoes to place items such as belts, bathing suits, or socks. Consider even stuffing undergarments in your shoes to maximize space and keep your shoes from compressing down.
6. Wear Heavy, Bulky Items During Travel
Are you taking a big coat? Wear it on the plane. Save space in your luggage by wearing your bulky or thick items during travel. If you don’t want to wear it on the plane, is it necessary to take at all? Probably not.
7. Think Through Your Carry-On
What is absolutely necessary if you were to lose your luggage? Make sure to pack your valuables (cameras, laptops, passport, etc.) in your carry-on just in case your luggage was to get lost or rummaged through. Remember to keep liquids in three ounce containers or smaller to avoid hold ups during security checks. Having a change of clothes in your carry-on is also a good idea for any unexpected emergencies. Keep important documents close to you and easily accessible while traveling.
8. Save Space for Souvenirs
You’ll want to remember your trip with souvenirs for yourself, family members and friends. Make sure to leave space for the items you’ll pick up throughout your trip, that package of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, beach paintings or various trinkets.