When you’re traveling, it’s important that you’ve got exactly what you need for your trip, no more and no less. By using these easy strategies, you’ll be able improve your trip by being well-prepared in your packing and traveling experience.
Before you’re planning to travel, purchase a durable travel bag and travel-sized toiletries or travel-sized containers. Make a list of items that you’ll keep in this bag and pack this bag now, even if you’re not traveling soon. Keep this travel bag separate from your general use toiletries and store it near your luggage. Your travel pack will always be ready to go with everything that you need for traveling, eliminating the potential for last-minute forgotten items. After you return from your trip, refill and replace empty items so your travel pack is always ready when you need it.
Love Layers, Control Color Choices and Remember Reuse.
It’s much easier to dress for a vacation, conference or any trip if you’re prepared for what may happen. Pack clothes in 2-3 coordinating colors, use similar items to provide a standard “uniform” and give yourself multi-use layering options. This gives you many options for mixing outfits and reduces the number of extras that you’ll need. Think about how you can re-use items to reduce packing space as well. A special reminder: Always pack comfortable shoes. For my current trip, I’ve packed black, white and bright blue color-options. I packed office-appropriate blouses, skirts/pants and a versatile suit jacket that I can wear each day during my conference And for my personal time and evenings, I have flats, layers and workout gear.
Decide what you can leave behind.
You can save yourself packing space by looking at your hotel website in advance to see what amenities that they provide. Don’t pack these items, use what is provided to you. I never pack a hair dryer, shampoo or bar soap because most hotels provide these options standard.
Prepare paperwork & information.
You’ll have paperwork, documents and information needed for your trip. Compile this information in advance and store in relevant files and packets. You can color code items into categories like Travel (Flights, Cars), Hotel, Conference/Activities, Work, Personal Information. I’d suggest purchasing waterproof, sealable packets to keep all documents together. You may even need to purchase or use a travel bag and/or briefcase to store all documents together.
Pack Healthy Snacks.
It may be tempting to purchase chips, candy bars and other convenient snacks during your trip. You’ll feel much better if you pack healthy snack options to bring with you. Portable fresh fruits, dried fruits, crackers, granola bars are great snack options. If you also need breakfast choices, I’d suggest oatmeal or a breakfast bar, both are portable and don’t need refrigeration. I use the hotel coffeemaker to make my hot water for my pre-packed oatmeal (just don’t forget the spoon!) If you’re flying, keep an empty reusable water bottle with you to fill after you’ve passed through airport check-points.
Pack your suitcase by keeping similar items and/or outfits together. Pack smaller items in sections provided within your suitcase and keep jewelry/breakable items packed together in the middle or secured in a special holder. Pack shoes on the side or the bottom of the suitcase and lighter items toward the top. If you need items to keep their “pressed” look, then roll each item to reduce wrinkling. It’s also helpful to pack an empty plastic bag to use for dirty laundry as your trip progresses.
Think about the type of trip you’re taking. Are you flying? Pack light and pre-weigh your items. Will you be doing a lot of walking with your luggage? Pack in a rolling suitcase. For my current trip, we’re driving and I’ll be doing a bit of walking with my suitcase. I packed a large bag that fit my clothes, snacks, paperwork and a travel pillow. I looped my purse on the top of the bag and then only had to roll this convenient suitcase for my arrival. By coordinating your luggage and your travel-method, you’re more likely to enjoy your trip and stress less about your luggage.