Whether you’re just heading out of town for the weekend, or embarking on a month-long voyage through the Andes, you can’t avoid the packing process, and getting it right can be a challenge, even for the seasoned traveller. Although there are of course many factors unique to your trip that must be considered, i.e., the type and length of your trip, your plans, the weather forecast, and any luggage size or weight limits imposed by your airline, the following tips are meant to help just about anyone pack lighter, smarter, and faster!
Make a checklist
Keep an ongoing list of items you will absolutely need for your trip. This might include your phone charger, your favourite face wash, a bathing suit, portable speaker, your passport, of course, and anything else you would be devastated to leave behind. Lists can really take the stress out of packing.
Roll it up
Clothes can take up a surprising amount of room in one’s luggage. One handy way to leave more room for other things is rolling your clothes instead of folding them. Simple yet very effective. Just ask any avid camper, and they’ll vouch for this approach.
Keep your heaviest clothes on you
If you’re traveling with boots and a jacket, avoid wasting valuable luggage space by wearing them for the duration of your flight. Your jacket can double as a blanket since planes are known to get frosty. A lightweight suitcase can also go a long way toward lessening your load.
Pack multi-use items
Consider bringing versatile items with you. For example, a lightweight sarong can be used as a blanket, scarf, shawl, and towel, and is also easily washed and fast to dry. Make your life easier by thinking in multi-use terms when packing.
Pack in-flight items separately
Get a small pouch and put all the things you want to keep on you while on the plane—such as headphones, earplugs, anti-nausea medication, phone, wallet—and simply drop it into your carry-on bag before leaving so it is both easily accessible and separable throughout your flight.
Pre-pack a toiletry kit
Perhaps the most annoying thing about packing for a flight is making sure all your toiletry items are appropriately sized and bottled to comply with airline regulations. Keeping a perfectly travel-sized toiletry kit stocked with small-size duplicates of all your products means you can just grab your kit and go.
Anticipate wet clothes and dirty laundry
Simple: pack a few plastic grocery bags for wet swimsuits and a small fabric or mesh bag for your dirty clothes to avoid getting the rest of your clothing wet or smelly.
Pack in advance…and then unpack some of it
If you’re like most people and tend to overpack, fully pack your bag in advance and then go through it the night before your trip and take out anything you don’t absolutely need. Less is more.
When all is said and done, don’t forget to enjoy your trip!