How to Pack – For any trip

How to Pack – For any trip

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How to Pack:

Tips, Tricks and Hacks for an international or domestic trip, a quick weekender or a long two-plus weeker.

Packing…something I think we all dread, to some degree or another.
You don’t know where to start. How much should I bring? Do I really need to bring x,y,z?
Or are you one of those blessed people who don’t really care, throw some clothes in a bag with your toothbrush and you’re off. God love you if you are one of those.
If you’re not, and you’re like me and want a little more structure to your packing well you’ve come to the right spot.
‘Cause, that’s what we’re going to talk about throughout this post! And hopefully by the end you will feel more prepared to start packing. Not only that, I’m providing you with my Never Forget Anything Again packing list. The last packing list you’ll need (at least as a non-parent 🙂 )

Get my free Never Forget Anything Again Packing List.

(I will be putting together a packing list for traveling with a baby and a list for toddlers soon – keep your eyes out!)
But before we begin, let me let you know that I have been flying and traveling internationally since I was 8. That’s over 30 years of packing and traveling. No, you’re right 🙂 I did not do the packing when I was that young but throughout the years I have learned some great tips, tricks and hacks to follow to make for better packing.
So are you ready? Let’s pack!
We’ll start with Clothing:
What to wear, what to wear?
This is almost always the first thing I think about when I’m planning on packing. And it’s not necessarily because I’m a girl, although I’m sure that’s part of it (but I don’t consider myself girly when it comes to clothes but then sometimes…) I just want to make sure I have all possible options, enough clothes, etc.
With that in mind, let me introduce you to my first trick: my Halving Technique. The basics of which is, put out what you want to bring, what you need to bring, what you should bring (you get the idea) and then half it! You heard me correctly. Half it!
Do you always find yourself wearing everything you brought with you? I don’t. Have you ever come back from a trip not having worn some of the clothes you’ve packed? I have.
Hence the Halving Technique being born! 🙂
Now, we’re not talking about just putting half the clothes back.
Look at what you’ve put out first.
Do you have several bottoms that will go with a top or two? Do you have several tops that will go with one or two bottoms? Try to do your best to mix and match things. In that way you will still have plenty of outfits for the trip without lugging along several outfits which you probably won’t ever wear.
Bottoms are where I would start first. Maybe it’s just me but I wear my bottoms more times before a wash than my tops. Plus, they have a tendency to be much more multi-functional than tops.
Do this technique with your accessories too (belts, shoes, sandals, ties, jewelry). Granted, these don’t take up much space and most don’t take up much weight but if you really don’t need them why risk losing them or getting them stolen.
I do think you should bring one extra outfit, just in case. I’m a just in case kinda gal! And to be more clear, I think you should have one extra outfit in your carry-on with you on the plane; and an extra one in your checked luggage.
So, that’s not too harsh is it?

Closet full of clothes. What to wear? Find out how to Never forget another thing when packing.

Next, toiletries:
Think about your day and night routines and jot down everything you normally use. You know, deodorant, moisturizer, soap, etc. And yet, there might still be something you’ll miss. For me it seems to always be q-tips.  I’m always forgetting my q-tips. Not life or death but it does get annoying if you don’t have them!
Needless to say that’s why I’ve come up my Never Forget Anything Again packing list, to help us all out! No more sitting down to think what I need to bring. Just simply print out the list (and feel free to make lots of copies) and then you’ll always be prepared.
Travel hack: Always have and use a packing list!
It’s amazing how much less stressful it is when you have a packing list.
(Here in the near future I plan on putting one together for traveling with a baby/toddler-so keep an eye out for that if you think you’ll need that any time soon, or know someone who does!)
Another trick: Use travel size bottles as much as possible. Most things can be transferred to travel size bottles and should be. Unless you’ll be gone for months, you’ll be able to manage with the travel size bottles – trust me!
Also, remember this rule (if flying): any liquids carried onto the plane must be 3.4 ounces or 100 millilitres or smaller and placed in a quart-sized bag. (as of April 2017 per TSA).
I have a tendency to always carry my liquids in my carry-on, that way I now I will have them when I arrive at my destination. If you’re like me but sometimes have too many to fit into the quart-sized bag then you can put the additional bottles in your checked luggage.
If you have bottles that aren’t that small and you can’t transfer them to smaller bottles then put them in your checked luggage.
If you don’t have checked luggage then you’ll either need to figure out how to pare down even more or decide which things you can purchase once you’re at your destination.
Tip: Remember, if you’re putting any liquids in your checked luggage make sure you put them into some type of sealed bag (like a Ziploc bag) or make your own with something like a grocery bag that you can then tie off or tape up so if they leak they don’t ruin things.
Electronics:
Depending on what type of trip you’ll be taking: business or pleasure or will it be a little of both, will help determine how much of these you’ll really need to take.
I guess you could either call me old-fashioned or out of touch but I think that going on a trip, especially a pleasure one should not be about being on your (fill in the blank here with your electronic of choice – cellphone, tablet) 24/7. Yes, I think you should definitely take picture, and yes, we all want to share them with friends and family but …..
Tip: If you really don’t need it, don’t take it. Save yourself the space, weight and distraction.

Suitcase. How to pack, essential tips, tricks and hacks. Free packing list.

Misc:
Snacks:
Travel hack: Always bring your own snacks.
The thought of spending a small fortune to buy something at the airport is just too much for me. Plus, food can get through security without any problem. My favorite: a mixture of almonds and dried cranberries. I figure some healthy protein and sugar can always be on the menu. Plus, it’s individual size so you can eat as much or as little whenever without it going bad, etc.
Space saving techniques:
I have two tips here: space bags and rolling.
First, have you heard of Space bags?
Do you think they are just those crazy infomercial products that would be great if they worked, ‘cause it looks super cool but they probably don’t so why bother?
Well, let me tell you, they work!!! I’ve been using them for years! Maybe around 10 if not more. And they work fantastic.
You put your clothes in the bag, seal it, then roll the air out. Easy-peasy! They do offer vacuum seal ones which sound great until you realize you might not always have a vacuum cleaner to use, especially one with a hose. So, stick to the roll up kind.
Second, rolling. You’ve probably heard of this one. I feel like it’s become the very popular thing to do and I definitely use it in my packing. Nothing difficult here, simply roll your clothes.
No, not into a ball but more like, fold your shirt like you would to put it in a drawer then roll from the top down. I feel like that will keep the collar (if there is a collar more protected. Pants you can fold before rolling or just fold in half than roll.
Both these options help in keeping your clothes nicer during the trip and can help keep things organized a bit. The space bags can even hold wet stuff, just in case. (just remember to get the wet stuff out as soon as your home or to your destination to keep things from getting moldy, etc.)
So, there you have it. I hope these tips, tricks and hacks help you pack easier, better and with less stress. And if you need help with what exactly to pack, get my free printable – Never Forget Anything Again packing list. It even comes with a bonus list I promise you’ll be grateful for!
Happy and Safe travels!

My challenge to you:

Try the halving technique.
Try one of the space-saving techniques.
I’d love to hear when you do. What worked, what didn’t.
Do you have other questions/ideas I didn’t cover?
Just leave a comment below!

Get my free Never Forget Anything Again Packing List.