8 Ideas for Smart Packing
Smart packing for travel is an art of sorts and if you want to master it, you need to put in some time and patience. Packing can be time-consuming, complicated and a daunting task if not planned well and in an organized manner. Packing gear for travel is one of the most important steps you take towards ensuring a good and hassle-free traveling experience. Nothing is worse than having to carry too much or leave behind the things you need. But not to worry! With a little patience, efficiency, knowledge and skill, you too can be an expert in packing light and traveling with style and confidence.
Here are a few simple tips that will help you on packing light- be it for a short or long vacation, active or leisurely holiday, domestic or overseas adventure travel; the principles of packing are more or less the same.
1. Invest in a premium quality, durable and light-weight expandable travel luggage– When you get the foundation right, the rest comes easy. Depending on the length of your stay, choose the appropriate bag size. If you are planning for a stay of 7 days or more, a large sized bag of 75- 80 cm luggage would be more ideal. Moreover, luggage bags that are expandable will give you the additional space for accommodating those extra items you hate leaving behind.
2. Make a planning list – It’s highly recommended that you first make a list of all items you need to take before you start packing. Review the list several times and chuck out those items you think won’t be really necessary for your travel needs. Itemize everything and make a final detailed list of everything before you set out to pack.
3. Go for interchangeable clothes – The trick is to simply mix and match the pieces so that you can combine them into multiple outfits and wear them more than once. Pack clothes that you love the most and are easy to wash and dry, comfortable and cool, so that you can re-wear them a number of times in different combinations. Fabrics like linen and microfiber are comfortable, easy to wash and tend to dry quiet quickly, plus you need not worry about ironing as they are designed to look slightly wrinkled.
4. Try to limit yourself to two or three pairs of shoes– Shoes take up a lot of space in the luggage and hence it would be better if you take only three pairs of shoes, including the one you will be wearing.
5. Minimize your cosmetics and toiletries- Make sure you don’t stuff your bag with unnecessary items that won’t be needed for the trip. The idea here is to think compact and take only the right amount of shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, sunscreen, and everything else you might need. You can either transfer them into small and tight plastic containers or buy small sachets or sample size packets. Also make sure you take a quick-dry fabric towel with you because that’s one thing that can come handy anytime.
6. Don’t miss out important documents– Don’t leave behind important documents like passport and other travel documents that will be required to have during your travel. Keep all your documents safe and sealed in a plastic envelope or container to protect it from getting damaged in any way. Photocopy your passport and other important documents and keep them in a separate part of luggage, in case you lose the original ones. You can even scan copies of your travel documents and email them to yourself. Keeping a digital copy is the best since you be sure that your major documents are safe even if your bags go missing or stolen (image by Christopher Elison).
7. Keep your money safe– Never keep your wallet in your back pocket, as this only makes pick pocketing much easier. To avoid being pick pocketed, it would be better if you keep your wallet either in your jean’s front pocket or the inside pocket of your jacket. Also make sure you don’t keep all the money in one place, instead separate your sources of money into various safe spots. You can keep the surplus money, ATM and/or credit cards concealed in your money belt and even inside the zippered pockets of your bag. However, make sure to carry a little bit of cash in your wallet or somewhere you have easy access to, in case of any unplanned emergencies.
8. Carry a first aid kit– Make your own DIY basic first aid kit for travel. First aid kits for travel is a must in your do list and it should be well planned. It can come in real handy in situations where you don’t have easy access to a drug store. Your basic kit should include medicines to treat the most common ailments such as cold, cough, sore throat, fever, cuts, allergies, gastrointestinal problems and mild pain. Also, if you suffer from any pre-existing medical conditions, make sure you carry those medicines as well. It’s always better to discuss with your doctor before you plan to travel.
Apart from preparing yourself for travel, it is equally important to inform your family and friends about your travel plans. Ask one of them to be your immediate contact person while you are traveling. Leave them a copy of your passport, travel itineraries as well as your contact details. Also, give them the contact details of your doctor, in case you are on regular medication or suffer from any serious medical conditions. In addition to all this, it’s highly advisable that you keep a list of all important contact address and numbers such as that of bank, family and friends to ensure a smooth, enjoyable and hassle- free travel.
Related post: Know How to Select Travel Insurance
Feature image by brianwickman