Does traveling seem daunting to you because of the sheer amount of stuff to pack? Whether you are a solo traveler or traveling with kids, getting the right amount of luggage is always a potentially problematic decision.
In this article, I’ll talk about a few quick tips on how to pack your luggage better so that you save time, money and a lot of hassle!
Here are the top 10 tips on how to pack your luggage better tried and tested by the experts:
Table of Contents
1. The Important Questions
Lay out all the items you want to take with you on your travel. Everything ranging from the smallest item like earbuds to fancy loungewear. And begin the very first step to packing your luggage right by asking these key questions:
- Is this a must-use item or a one-time use feel-good piece?
You see, many of the items we cling on to for dear life are actually available in the host country. Whether they are towels or make up or T-shirts, you will find them all across the world in today’s globalized economy.
Take a look at the item you want to take. Does it serve multiple purposes? Can it be layered up or used in various combinations?
Are you taking it because it holds tremendous sentimental value?
Is this something you can try living without for a few weeks?
Answering some of these questions can give you an idea about whether to drop it into your suitcase or not.
- Can I rent it?
You will be surprised to know how much stuff is available on rent in different countries. Sleeping bags, camera gear, tripods – These bulky merchandise can be purchased second hand or rented abroad easily.
The cost of carrying excessive luggage is not just monetary; you can waste several hours of precious time waiting in long lines at airport counters with explanations and declarations. Different flights have different pricing and luggage policies – a hindrance that might make you leave some of your dear stuff behind.
There is also a big chance of losing your luggage if you have more than one suitcase.
2. How Many Bags To Take?
The easiest answer is just one large backpack which you can take with you as cabin luggage. When you have multiple options, there’s a greater chance of packing more stuff. But if you know that you have just one single bag, you will most likely pack only the essentials.
If it is impossible to pack everything in just one bag, consider buying a suitcase or backpack with removable wheels. This way, you can stack luggage one on top of each other and roll it around when convenient or carry it on your shoulders when not.
Obviously, this will not work if you are traveling with children and infants. But remember that each child is allowed a certain free luggage limit and that is something you can definitely take advantage of.
Another tip when purchasing luggage is to check the product weight. Lightweight luggage is always preferred. And if you are buying bags online, always check if the weight mentioned is the shipping or item weight. We need the exact item weight, not the shipping weight.
3. Rules For Packing Toiletries
When going for a short vacation, you needn’t pack like you are leaving home for a year. Besides, homestays, hostels, AirBnBs, and hotels all across the world stock enough toiletries to last through your booking dates. Soaps, shampoos, lotions, wipes, towels – you can get them all maybe even free of cost at your place of stay.
But if you insist on taking your favorite moisturizers and soaps with you, consider packing them in trial size weightless bottles. Rethink how much of shampoo and makeup you need. Solids weigh less than liquids so getting soap instead of a body wash is a prudent decision.
4. Being Creative With Packing Luggage
Did you know that there are a number of ways to save space while traveling?
For years, during my travels, I would carry a large tote bag as my personal carry on item and fill it up with more bags inside so that I could mix and match them with my outfits.
Replace your umbrella with disposable ponchos. This saves space and reduces weight. You can also pack shoes in shower caps.
Most airlines allow carrying the camera on you by just slinging it around the neck. Even if this can be a little inconvenient, a dearth of space can often make people do the extreme!
5. Secrets Of Organized Packing
Experts suggest that the best way to pack to save space and decrease weight is by rolling up clothes rather than folding them. At times, even a combination will work. Use rubber bands (or hair ties) to tie in rolled shirts to clear up space.
Compression bags, ziplocks and other forms of airless bags are lifesavers when coming to creating more space in your suitcase. All you have to do is fill them with your essentials, roll out the air in it and seal them well. These inexpensive and commonly available methods to store objects reduce space but not weight. You can also pack in a few mesh kits and waterproof drawstring bags to separate soiled items from the rest.
You can also consider organizing your earphones and USBs in mini travel pouches which will prevent them from getting tangled with each other.
6. Packing Guide For Electronics
Electronics pose a big doubt in people’s minds when deciding which all to pack. These are bulky and heavy in weight. The questions you should ask yourself when packing electronics are:
- Can I replace the work I do on my laptop with a simple iPad or tablet?
- Can a Kindle replace a heavy book?
- Will a single portable charger work for all my devices?
- How can I maximize storage space by using online facilities like iCloud and Google Drive?
One item you shouldn’t leave home without is a travel adaptor. Different countries have different types of plug points. A universal travel adaptor will come to use if going to multiple places on a single trip.
7. Clothing Rules
It’s going to be tempting to pack your entire wardrobe into that tiny cubicle of a suitcase, however impossible as it sounds! But do you really need those many clothes with you for a short trip?
Add in just enough clothing for a week, and then, find a good laundry service near your hostel or hotel that will help you reuse everything. Stock up essential colors like black and white which can pair well with outfits. Pack a few pieces that can be layered up into being style statements.
Having quick-dry synthetic material outfits that don’t wrinkle easily can be a big bonus while traveling. These are usually lightweight and have minimal maintenance.
As comfortable as they are, taking all your jeans with you may spell danger as jeans are super heavy in weight.
8. Packing For Colder Climates
Reducing the amount of clothing when traveling to cold places seems almost impossible. But these tips might come in handy to minimize those winter packing woes:
- Wear merino wool clothing. It’s super light, has climate balancing features and won’t smell even if you wear them for days (not that you should!).
- Pack plenty of layers and one main woolen jacket that you can wear on the flight.
- Take a few old pieces with you which you can use and then donate to charity in the country you are traveling to.
9. Camera Gear
The next tip when packing your luggage is to reconsider your camera gear. Cameras are bulky, occupy lots of space and have a high risk of damage. How about carrying just one versatile waterproof camera (like a GoPro) for your whole trip?
Do you really need to take all those big lenses when traveling? Or can you substitute them with a mini phone camera fit-on lens which is weightless and easily portable?
Certain images can be captured extremely well with just a decent phone camera rather than a DSLR.
When packing camera gear, take the entire device apart and pack them separately. This saves space and decreases chances for scratches and device damage, make sure to pack the lens well. Also, put one of those silica gel pouches you get when purchasing new products into your camera bag. It will absorb extra moisture that comes when taking photos near water bodies and high-altitude places.
10. When Returning Home
Load up on souvenirs that don’t clutter your suitcase like magnets. Photos are, of course, the best souvenirs! If you have a lot of excess clothing after your travel, you can courier them home at a fraction of the cost of a checked bag.
Check with your airline about their flying programs. Some of them provide a free bag when you sign up. Note that the weight of the luggage you came with and left the host country can be different. So consider taking a portable travel weight checker with you. They are available everywhere at low cost.
And that’s it! – The top 10 tips on how to pack your luggage better and increase your overall happiness when traveling. We hope you take away a few key points from this article to improve your travel experience.