Are you one of those chosen ones who find packing a bit stressful? Yeah, me too. There are so many questions: what to bring, how to pack? And then you need to decide if you need a suitcase or just a carry-on – and, of course, how much to bring.
It’s especially hard the first time, but even if you’ve been on the road for a while, there’s always packing tips and tricks that you didn’t know about. Well, we’re familiar with a whole bunch of them – and here they are, our best packing hacks, all in one place. Is that not just the most convenient thing you’ve ever come across?
Pro Tip: Write a list. Use that list. Check things off that list. It’ll help you keep everything organized – there are apps for that, too! PackPoint is a good one. Check it out!
If you’re bringing something new, whether it’s a backpack, a power bank, or a swaggy pair of pants; try it first. Make sure it works for you, that it doesn’t chafe, or fall off, or doesn’t work with your phone – this is especially important for new shoes.
There’s no point in dragging items halfway across the globe only to have it break down or fall apart on you – it will probably give up at the most inconvenient time, as well! Make sure your things will last if you can.
Not necessarily so that they look good, but so that most of what you bring can be worn together. You might also want to do layers; if you bring warm socks, you might not need boots, and two sweaters can replace a coat! Also, bring a scarf. You can use it for pretty much anything.
Yes, roll. Don’t fold. Always roll. You’ll fit so much more in your bag. It really is the game changer you’ve been waiting for. You can also use compression bags – you know those bags with minimal air. Speaking of that, make sure to take advantage of any dead space – bringing shoes? Put some socks in them already!
Whether it’s a bar that can be used as shampoo, soap, and toothpaste (yes, they do exist) or shorts that can double as a swimsuit or a moisturizing foundation with an SPF, try to bring multi-purpose stuff. It’ll save you time, space, and energy. Some of our favorite things!
Put them all in their own compartment, or in a plastic bag. Even the most faithful containers might all of a sudden decide to pop open, leaving all your clean clothes soaked in moisturizer. They’ll smell nice, yeah, but that’s about it.
In the same spirit, you might want to bring some tissue or some bags for wet clothes, or other bits and bobs that can be useful in case something happens. Plasters, a keyring for a broken zipper, that kind of stuff.
For air travel (or any kind of trip, really), you might want to bring one of those comfy neck pillows, or a sleeping mask, or some earplugs – you never know when you might really need some quality sleep!
This could be a long section, but we’re gonna stick to some of the essentials: have an unlocked phone, invest in a WiFi hotspot, bring a power bank, and get the right plugs and adapters. It might save you loads of hassle.
One of those number padlocks (no lost keys!), and a wire lock, so that you can leave your bag locked to a pole or something similar, is very useful, especially if you’re traveling on your own. Hostels usually have padlocks for sale, but why spend those unnecessary pennies?
Instead of buying everything in travel-size, have a look at small containers (either new or ones you already have!) and fill them up with the products you already have. You’ll save money, and perhaps even a tiny bit of the earth as well.
What that is, is up to you, but try to make sure that you have what you need on the plane (sleeping aids, a sweater, some headphones) and things that you’ll need for the night, should your checked in baggage be delayed (toothpaste, toothbrush, a change of clothes). And have a look at TSA approved toiletry bags, they’re super-convenient!
If you leave your stuff everywhere, then you’ll have to go everywhere to find it, and who has that kind of time and attention span? We sure don’t. What we do have, though, is a system for staying organized: everything has its own place, in the bag. That way you’ll notice straight away if something’s missing. Smart, right?!
Or anything else that you’re comfortable reading on. Bringing books is such a nice thought, but gets super-heavy and very bulky pretty fast. If you decide to use a screen, you can bring your whole library without breaking your back. Unless you have one of those bottomless Hermione bags, then pack away!
A place where you can keep your valuables, travel documents, and money. It can be an empty bottle (who’d want to nick someone’s half-full 2-in-1 shampoo?), or a back panel on your bag – anything that will keep your precious things hard to find or get to!
Did you need that thing last time? Is it likely that you’ll find any use for that other thing? If not, why bring it? It’ll just add to the weight, and steal space from other items that are much more fun – like an authentic Japanese kimono, or an exquisite wooden carving from Bali!
If you bring some laundry detergent, you can wash your clothes anywhere; always check with the airport so you’ll have the right size and weight; bring comfy clothes; and, finally, don’t pack too much! Do you have your own foolproof packing hacks? Don’t hesitate to share!