There are many times when traveling can become a hassle. It does not, however, need to start with packing. Following these travel packing tips can make your trip a little easier – even if the rest of it is not.
Write Out a List
If you begin a list of all the things you need to pack a few days before you're due to leave, you'll inevitably think of things to add to it during those final few days. However, this can be good and bad. You don't want to be adding half the house, so try to add only the things that are important as you think of them.
Roll Your Pants Up
This doesn't mean to run around on your trip with high water pants! Instead, rolling your clothes before placing them in your suitcase will save lots room in your luggage. First, fold your item in half, and then smooth out any wrinkles. Then begin rolling tightly from the bulkiest end of the clothing.
A great way to minimize the weight of your luggage while still looking sharp is to accessorize. Adding a scarf or belting a jacket will give you more options with your clothing, but will require less room inside your luggage.
Think About Bulk
Once you lay out your items to pack, take away half of the clothing. Limit yourself to micro fibers, instead of cotton blends that will require ironing. Pick clothes that have similar color schemes, so that different pieces of clothing match and can be interchanged. Choose lighter articles of clothing that you can layer to minimize the weight of your luggage.
For men, any decent leather shoe can be used for both day and night. For women, pack a pair of casual flip-flops and a pair of strappy sandals. If you know you'll be walking long distances once you arrive, make sure you include one pair of shoes that will be up to the task.
Don't Show the Undies
To reduce the chance of embarrassment at the airport, place all of your unmentionables inside a plastic zipper bag. Make sure there is nothing else inside the bag that might warrant security opening and emptying the bag. Place the bag on top of your other items in you luggage so security can scan it if necessary, without unpacking your entire bag.
Leave Extra Items at Home
Almost all hotels have hair dryers and irons – leave yours at home to help lighten the load of your luggage.
Keep the Important Stuff with You
It's very important to keep items, such as medicines, money, or travel documents, with you at all times. Don't put these items into checked luggage. The airlines do lose their fair share of bags, and the last thing you need is to wind up at your destination without a needed medication or document.
Following these simple dos and dont's should make life easier for you at the airport, in your hotel, and on return trip home. Too many people pack for a month's time, when a week is all they'll actually be gone. With airlines now charging for checking extra baggage, you can also save a lot of money if you just eliminate one piece of luggage from your trip.