10 Tips for Effectively Packing for Any Trip

There are three types of people when it comes to packing for a trip: those who forget things, those who pack too much, and those who never do either.

All the luggage we took in the van... WITH the people too!

Sadly, most of us fall into one of the first two categories and either end up buying the items we’ve forgotten at our end destination or paying overweight bag surcharges at the airport. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do while packing to ensure you have everything you need and not too much more!

10. Leave Beauty Essentials at Home

39. Bed Head Products

Most women could easily fill a carry-on bag or suitcase with the items needed for their daily beauty routines alone. In order to save space, and weight, you’ll want to start compromising just a little bit. Can you pack a shampoo/conditioner/body wash combination product instead of three separate containers? Better yet, leave it all at home and use the stuff the hotel provides. Everyone in your 5-member household should not pack their own tube of toothpaste. You can easily share one. Learn to condense to save space.

9. Carefully Pack Valuables

Why I ned to carry all of the luggage??

Most travel experts recommend leaving all valuables at home but if you must take some with you, make sure to pack them in your carry-on bag and/or purse. Put different items in different pockets or zippered areas so that if someone reaches into your bag he is less likely to get all of your goodies in one quick swipe.

8. Ditch the Extra Reading Materials

August 1, 2007: Some of the book piles that scatter around my study room...

What do we mean? Let’s say you’re going on a 12 hour plane ride from somewhere in the USA to somewhere in Europe. You’ve purchased 4 great books to read along the way. First, are you really going to read them all? And, second, do you really need to purchase them in advance? Buy one book to read on the way there and buy a second one while you’re in Europe for the trip home. Who knows, you might find a great read in one of your tourist destinations anyway.

7. Pack Toiletries in Plastic Bags

Plastic Bags

Tuck a few extra plastic Ziplock bags into your luggage. You can use them to store wet clothing and/or to keep toiletries separate from your clothing so that they don’t leak and make a huge mess. Avoid separating your toiletries by packing them inside of large plastic cases or containers as they’ll only add bulk and weight.

6. Pack Your Clothes in Plastic

Bags Contain Clothes2

Want to find a great way of taking your clothes out and easily seeing what you have and don’t have? Pack your clothes in clear plastic bags before putting them in your suitcase – socks in one, underwear in another, shirts in a third, etc. You’ll be able to stay organized plus you won’t make a mess if you have to open your bag for security or customs.

5. Call the Airline

checkin procedure1

Call the airline before your trip to confirm the number of bags you are allowed to bring as well as the sizes and weight restrictions. It’s better to double check in advance than it is to over-pack and find yourself throwing things out at the airport in order to save space and money.

4. Lighten the Clothing Load

My Suitcase

Do you really need a brand new pair of jeans for each day of your trip or could you get away with wearing each pair a couple times. Do you have a few blouses or shirts that could easily be worn casually with jeans and dressed up with a necklace and slacks or a skirt? Think multi-functional when choosing items to put in your suitcase and remember – you can always get some travel detergent and wash your clothing in your hotel laundry if you find yourself running a shirt or two short.

3. Take ONE Guidebook

The ever present Lonely Planet guidebook

Don’t get carried away with creating a collection of guidebooks and brochures before your trip. They’re bulky, weight down your bags, and take up space that could be used for essentials. Purchase just one, high-quality guidebook before you leave and you’ll have all the information you need. The rest you can get from your hotel concierge or the local tourist board office.

2. Create a Packing List

packing check list haha idk y i took a picture of this

Make a list of everything you’ll need during your trip, including your medications and toiletries, and keep it next to your bags as you pack. Double check the list before you seal everything up to leave and you’re guaranteed not to forget that essential toothbrush, bar of deodorant, or bottle of contact lens solution.

1. Split Your Clothing Up

get these clothes out of here. this is my suitcase

So you and your spouse decided to take a trip with your three kids to Hawaii. You’ve booked a hotel in Honolulu and you’re ready to go with one suitcase per person. Lay those suitcases out on the bed and put one outfit for each person in each suitcase. This way you’ll each have a change of clothing even if someone’s suitcase ends up lost in the shuffle for a day or so.

Follow these tips and you’re guaranteed to show up at your end destination with lighter bags full of essentials instead of heavy bags crammed with things you’ll never use. Enjoy your travels!

10 Comments for "10 Tips for Effectively Packing for Any Trip"

Michael says on April 13th, 2010 at 7:09 am:

Awesome tips! They’re quite sensible tips really. In the rush of packing for travel, we almost always have to squeeze something in at the last minute that we almost forgot.


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