I travel as often as possible. After all this time I feel I have perfected the art of packing. Usually, as the college student I am, I only travel one weekend excursions. Over the course of my travels I have learned many lessons the hard way about packing effectively. So take it from me, here are some of my tips for packing like a pro.
1.) Never pack for “just in case”
This is probably opposite from anything people have told you about packing, but it helps reduce the amount of luggage. If there is a chance you may not need it don’t bring it. I can think of nothing worse than having to lug around things that I do not need. Don’t worry about bringing an umbrella. If it rains let it rain. Make an adventure out of it.
2.) Check the weather
If it is predicted to be 89 degrees and sunny you probably do not need to bring your parka. If you are only going for a weekend there check the weather again on Thursday night and make sure the weather predictions haven’t shifted. It is also important to check the weather right before you leave because the weather often changes. Since you are only packing for the short term you should always be able to see what the weather is supposed to be like on that day.
3.) Keep in mind how much traveling you will be doing
If I am traveling to Iowa to visit my Aunt and Uncle I know I can pack a more because once we get to Iowa we are staying at her house for the remainder of the trip. Yet, on a camping trip we might pack up and move every other night. In this case I would pack a lot less. Also if I am camping I usually just re-wear clothing so there is no point to bring a lot. It is important to keep in mind how much you will be traveling and moving. I don’t want to have to lug around a heavy bag if we will be traveling all over the place.
4.) Only bring things you like to wear
Sometimes I will bring clothes in the back of my closet in hopes that I might finally wear it. Instead I end up feeling like I have nothing to wear or I under-packed, even though my suitcase is full. Only pack things you know you will wear or that are your favorites. At the end of a couple trips if you haven’t worn it throw it out.
5.) Don’t bring anything that is irreplaceable
Great-grandma’s necklace from Peru may work perfect with the summer swing dress you are planning on wearing, but DO NOT bring it. Luggage gets lost all the times. Whether you are flying or driving jewelry could be stolen, lost, or broken. Only bring things that could be replaced you two were to be separated.
6.) Pack for what you will be doing
If you are planning to be doing a lot of walking and exploring it would probably be best to bring some shoes you feel like you could walk in all day. For me, I love wearing my Chacos everywhere I go. Weather I am traveling and exploring a city or taking on some nature trails my Chacos are always my first pick.
7.) Always bring less than what you think you need
Walking around the airport, I immediately regret bringing the extra pair of shoes. While packing they seemed completely necessary, but as soon as I shoved all of my clothes in I knew mistakes were made. It is so much more of a hassle bringing a lot of things with me while traveling, and usually I only use half of what I think I need. I say pack your suitcase, then take half of it out and you with probably have everything you need.
Hope you have a beautiful whirlwind of a quick trip! Ride the wave!