When it comes to your vacation, making the right choices during the packing phase is pivotal. The last thing you want to be is disappointed and having to go to a local store to pick something up you could of brought. At the same time you also need to considered where you are going, length of time you are traveling, and even the weather / itinerary so you don’t over-pack or under-pack.
Below are some tips and tricks on packing the perfect luggage for your vacation or travel. There are hundreds more you can also do, but these essential strategies will make sure you have the best trip possible.
Trip Packing Tips for Air Travel
Whether you’re flying somewhere near or far, smart packing is always the way to go. And also, less is more. Keep it light, bring all the necessities and plan to eliminate a lot of what you think you “need”. It’s always better to travel light. And don’t forget your favorite travel pillow, so you can rest comfortably on your flight and be ready to go when you reach your destination.
1. Make a list
We often here of people packing last minute and they end up forgetting most of what they wanted to bring. This doesn’t take long and will ensure you have everything you need. If you already know your itinerary for your trip, you can easily plan accordingly and even go to the store to grab additional items so you don’t waste time and headache trying to find things you forgot. We recommend making an initial list a couple weeks ahead of your trip and then refining it within the coming days.
2. Get The Right Luggage
Even if you don’t travel often, that doesn’t mean it’s good to break out the 15 year old suitcase with dents and a broken zipper. There have been great advancements in the luggage game in the last few years and more modern designs will give you lighter bags, individual sections, compression straps, 360 degree wheels, and many more features to help you travel. Even carry-on bags have become all about functionality, while still complying with airline regulations.
3. Bring Half of What You Packed
You might have great visions of running down a sandy beach or attending a black tie affair, but unless it’s something you do regularly, chances are you won’t be doing it on your vacation. A good rule of thumb is to pack everything you “think” you may need and then start removing items that aren’t essential. Remember too you will probably be bringing a few things back from your trip so you need to have a little extra space for the souvenirs. A later tip will help also help with knowing what you can wear to consolidate clothes.
4. Roll, Roll, Roll
Expert travelers always recommend this tip and trick to packing. Rolling your clothes is far superior to folding as it can take up less space, reduces the chance of wrinkling, and makes it a heck of a lot easier to find what you are looking for. There are few different techniques you can try, but try to get them looking like shirt burritos and even use a rubber band if needed.
5. Use Several 1, 2, 3 Rules
Packing Your Essentials Rule:
Follow these guidelines to get an idea of what you need to bring. This will all depend on how long you are going and the type of trip (cruise vs. business trip), but it’s a good jumping off point.
1 Hat / Sunglasses
2 Pairs of Shoes (ex. Sandals and Sneakers)
3 Pairs of Pants
4 Shirts / Underwear
5 Pairs of Socks
Once you have those items you can then start to sort out odds and ends to compliment your essential wear.
You’ve probably of heard this rule, but may not know what it means. When it comes to flying with liquids, it’s important to follow the following guidelines to avoid security confiscating your stuff.
– 3.4 oz bottle or less
– 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag
– 1 bag per passenger
6. It’s Time To Go Digital
Books are a thing of the past. Not only are they bulky and heavy to pack, there are much better ways to still do what you love. Before you travel, download some books or reading material onto your phone or tablet. You can also download local maps, travel guides, and even translation apps to make sure you have the best vacation possible. Get rid of paper and join the digital era.
7. Check Your Airlines Luggage Fees
While you are packing, it’s a good idea to know the regulations of your airline when it comes to baggage fees. Many flights allow a free personal carry-on item (purse, backpack, laptop bag, etc…, but companies like Spirit Airlines can blindside you and charge up to $100. Knowing size requirements and fees can help make sure you stick to just the essentials.
If you plan on checking a bag it’s also good to know weight limits. Some airlines like Spirit allow one free checked back, but if you fill your luggage with rocks, be prepared to pay at the counter. Some experts also recommend to take advantage of the personal item and not just carry on a purse. Using a tote bag for example will allow you to still bring your purse, but can also hold some additional items that you may want on the plane.
8. Keep Clothes Smelling Fresh with a Dryer Sheet
Just because you washed your closes before you packed your suitcase doesn’t mean they will still smell great when you are a few days into your trip. It’s a great idea to pack a dryer sheet or two within your clothes to keep that fresh smell you want. For anything that could possibly smell (like shoes, wet clothes, or dirty clothes), bring some large zip lock bags or shower caps to keep them away from your clean garments.
9. Wash Your Clothes on Vacation
Nobody will judge you if you wear the same clothes during your vacation. Instead of trying to pack for every single day of your trip, bring some neutral color’d shirts and paints that can be washed and reused with a different wardrobe. Style can be a top priority for some people so layout several different shirts and pants and start mixing and matching to see how many concoctions you can come up with.
Many places do offer laundry services, but if there are fees involved, consider bring one or two Tide pods and use your bathroom as your own personal laundry room. Shower curtains are easy places to hang dry your apparel while you go adventuring.
10. Pack Your Luggage By Activities
You don’t have to go crazy with trying to determine what clothes will go best with what activities, but it’s always a good idea to think about your itinerary and pack certain things that are specific to those plans. Bags for swimming, exercising, camping, etc… will help keep you organized.
11. Layer Up
This goes along with some other tips and tricks, but packing with the mindset of layering can help shed some space in your luggage. Think about clothes that can easily be layered with one another. Weather can change sporadically so having clothes that can easily be put on or taken off will help you enjoy your vacation instead of having to head back to your hotel to change.
When it comes to packing, it’s also good to layer your items to not only help keep you organized, but also when going through airport security. Ex. Having shoes as one layer, pants as the next, electronics next, etc…will help security easily see what is in your luggage.
12. Pack Jewelry in Press n Seal or Pill Bottles
The last thing you want to have happen is your valuables get damaged during travel. Experts have recommend things such as Press N Seal to keep everything untangled or even pill bottles to avoid any damage while you travel. This is also a handy way to keep everything together and make sure nothing is misplaced.
13. Don’t Pack Essentials
This should go without saying, but make sure when you are packing that you don’t put anything in your luggage that is vital to your trip. Credit cards, money, passport, wallet, jewelry, and other precious items should go into your personal carry on. If the airline unfortunately loses your suitcase, you don’t want to be stuck in another country with no money or a way to get back (unless that was your goal).
14. Pack With Heaviest Items On Bottom
For easier transportation, a good tip and trick is to put all your heavier items at the bottom of your luggage. Things like shoes or pants are perfect as it will help rolling your suitcase around. This will also aid in preventing wrinkled clothes.
15. Compression Bags
We get a lot of mixed reviews on whether or not it’s good to use compression bags to pack your luggage. Outside of it being a little time consuming, there are a lot of benefits.
- If you really can’t decide what not to bring on your trip, you’ll be able to almost double your wardrobe by shrinking them into compression bags. Just watch the weight limit as you might have a 100lb bag in no time.
- They are a great way to hold dirty clothes and keep them separated from clean ones.
- Compression bags can act as a laundry machine and if you are in a pinch, throw in some detergent and swoosh it around.
16. Go For a Test Drive
Once you have finished packing, the last thing you will want to do is make sure you can get around with your suitcase. Roll it around your house and see how it feels going over carpet and hardwood. Pick it up and walk around for a few minutes. Even try going up and down some stairs with it. If everything seems easy, congratulations! You just packed the perfect vacation bag. However if your arms are getting tired and you feel frustrated while rolling it around, you may need to revisit what you packed and start dropping some items.
17. Get Travel Insurance
Our last tip and trip when packing and traveling is to make sure you protect yourself. For just a few dollars you can make sure that in the event something happens like lost or stolen luggage, you will be reimbursed for all your items. Even if there are delays in your flight, certain insurance coverage will make sure you don’t have to pay for essentials you needed to buy due to worst-case scenarios. There is nothing better than peace of mind while you enjoy your amazing vacation.
For more information on tips, tricks, and guides on traveling in luxury check out: