Doesn't matter how organized or experienced a traveler you are, packing kind of sucks. I have compiled a couple of tools to make the process easier starting from the absolute beginning. Let me know if you find it helpful!
- First off, what do you need ? Travels' Checklist is a free website that builds you a custom packing list based on destination, how many travelers, length of trip, etc. Seriously, so easy! Use this to gather, buy and borrow everything you will need
- Now that your list is complete, you probably are going to need to trim it down a bit. Do you really need 12 pairs of socks for a 5 day trip? Maybe you do, who am I to judge? Just wanted to make sure I asked the question! Cut out everything you know you are not going to wear. As the saying goes....
"Take half as many clothes and twice as much money as you think you'll need for any vacation”
- Are you going to be checking a bag? What about a carry-on and personal item? Netflights is a great site to search for airline baggage allowances by carrier. Take all of your items and divide them up accordingly. I highly recommend also bringing a money belt (I know, totally dorky). Try to get one that is RFID blocking and has a place for your passport, debit/credit cards and cash.
- Pack your personal bag with items you will need on your flight (empty water bottle, magazine, phone, iPad, headphones, travel pillow, etc). Throw in a change of clothes and a toothbrush just in case something happens to your checked luggage. Make sure your liquids are in an easy- to-reach place for going through security. Here are the current TSA rule for liquids, by the way.
- Now onto the big bad checked bag (or carry-on if you are like me and travel without a checked bag)! Here are a couple of hacks to make this a little easier:
- Roll clothes instead of folding them (this saves room and keeps creases from happening
- Wear your bulkiest clothes on the flight. i.e. boots, jacket, sunhat, scuba mask, etc.
- Utilize packing cubes! You can organize cubes by type of clothing (shirts in one, socks and undies in another) or pack an outfit in each cube. They make packing and unloading SO much easier and don't add very much weight at all.
- Once you have everything packed, weigh your luggage. You may need to take out a few more items. If you have a backpack, try it on and walk around for awhile. Remember, you are going to do some shopping on your trip so leave room! You may even want to bring a lightweight tote for carrying souvenirs back home with you.
- When you have alllllll of the above items taken care of, double check that you have everything on your packing list. Lay everything out the night before/morning of your trip so that you have one less thing to worry about.
- Feeling ready yet? Good! The last step is to enjoy your trip! Remember, other than your passport and money you can pretty much buy anything you need while you are away. If you followed all of the steps above that shouldn't be a problem, but I thought I would remind you just to ease a little travel anxiety.
P.S. Want to earn some extra credit? Check out these travel hacks from Swifty (I love the plastic wrap idea)
P.P.S. I have created a shopping list of Must-Have items for traveling. Some of these are items I have personally used and the rest are the best of the best (like the Osprey backpack that I am dreaming of!) Enjoy!