When it comes to packing for a trip, I like to consider myself a PRO! I have been successful in packing a months worth of NECESSITIES (being the operative word here) in a single Carry-On and Backpack combo - even with room to spare! Half the trouble with packing is being able to say "NO" to the things that take up needed space. Below I will list tips on consolidating, suggestions for optimizing space and will encourage you to say "YES" to the things that you actually need and "see you when I get back" to the rest!
Conquering the Carry-On:
- A key to packing is remembering that typically, no matter where you are, (despite some adventure-travel deep within rural or underdeveloped areas) you more than likely will have access to a washing machine. The washing machine is your friend. The washing machine enables you to leave all 6 extra pairs of jeans at home so you can focus on the 1 or 2 you actually need to bring. Cutting your "must take" garments pile in half is a good start to this exercise! What I think anyone really needs for 3+ weeks of Summer travel is this:
- 1 pair of denim and 1 athletic pant
- 1 light sweater and 1 jacket for warmth
- 1-2 light cotton dresses / 1 maxi skirt
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 8/10 shirts
- 2 pairs of shoes. One walking sneaker; One sandal
- A few pairs of socks
- Toiletries (though those can be bought and utilized on an "as-needed basis" whilst away)
- 1 set of PJ's
- A handful and a half of undies / 2 Bathing suits
- Toothbrush, HairBrush, MakeUp Bag
2. Compartmentalizing is KEY. I think that packing bags/squares/cubes are an essential part of staying organized and making it all fit! I bought a set of Bloomora laundry bags to help consolidate my essentials. Using a "rolling technique" v. folding can really save you some extra inches!
3. When it comes down to the travel day, wear your bulkiest items on the plane. You can always layer-off when you are ready for departure without sacrificing space in your bag!
4. Pick styles that are neutral and versatile. Chic, simple, and comfy is the only way to travel-lite! If you pick "statement pieces," you more than likely won't re-wear these garments and ultimately waste space for the classics.
5. Stuff those sneaks with socks and undies (assuming you dont wear that bulkier item on the plane.) Sit on that suitcase and zip it tight! I know this seems like it may be a lot for one little carry-on but trust me, you can do it! This is my 21in. TravelPro MaxLite 4 and very rarely does it not fit the carry-on size standards for airlines. I believe only some budget airliners throughout Europe have asked for smaller.
The Basic Backpack:
Your backpack is the 1 personal item you are allowed to carry-on as well as your luggage. This is where all the immediate necessities need to be stored:
- Travel Documents
- Immediate Meds
The idea behind this is simple; while adding new things to your "must take pile" ask yourself, do I REALLY need this?! If you answer is anything over than, "Of Course!" ..... ditch it and leave room in your bag for epic souvenirs along the way.
Pro tip: for all you girls out there having trouble OVERpacking, play "the packing game" with your boyfriend or brother. This is a cut throat, dudes-version of packing that will revolutionize the way you see necessities. Hold up the garment, defend its honor and if the boy thinks its excessive, he's is probably right. Hah!
Remeber, this is supposed to be fun! The excitement starts with packing and trust me, the excitement continues when you are out exploring with less "stuff" to worry about! Pack light, pack right and have a good flight!