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Don’t let the thought of packing stress you out. Give yourself a break and read our top 75 packing tips. What others would you add to this list?
Our Top 75 Packing Tips
15 Packing Tips if You’re Going on Vacation
Pack a few essentials in your carry-on or personal item if you’re checking luggage. Don’t assume your luggage will arrive at the same time as you. Having toiletries, clean outfit, and electronics in your carryon can help avoid some angst.
Test out luggage first hand in a store to determine what’s most comfortable for you. Everyone’s needs and body types are unique. You can always shop online afterwards for the best deals! This is everything you need to know about how to choose a suitcase.
Pack a couple of single use detergent packs if you’re on a trip that’s less than a month and plan to hand wash clothes. For longer travels, buy as you go but you can pack a few to get you started.
Plan your clothing options according to what you’ll be doing on your trip and where you will spend the majority of your time. If you’re unsure of your exact plans choose items that serve different purposes.
For warm climates, choose light and airy fabrics that dry easily and will keep you cool. Read this guide on the best travel fabrics for more details.
When considering suitcase size, remember there may be times when no one is around to assist you. Your luggage (and total weight) should be limited to what you can handle.
Test the suitcase before you buy, making sure it’s easy to maneuver, doesn’t hit you on the heels as you walk, or drag too far behind you.
For rainy adventures, line the top and bottom of the suitcase with plastic, such as a dry clean bag. Even if your suitcase does get wet your clothing can remain dry. Packing cubes also help. Find out why they’re worth it.
Use packing cubes to help you maximize the space in your bag. You can squeeze so much clothing into packing cubes that you’ll wonder why you ever needed a large suitcase.
Practice walking up and down at least one flight of stairs when packing your suitcase. Can you do it comfortably? If not, you may want to consider removing some items and downsizing toiletries.
You don’t need as much as you think. Lay out all the clothes you intend to take… then put half of them away.
Don’t forget to leave space in your luggage if you’re the type that loves to shop and bring back souvenirs.
Get a refillable fragrance atomizer for your favorite perfume instead of packing the whole bottle.
Packing carryon is the best way to travel. It’s not just to save money on baggage fees. It actually makes your entire experience more enjoyable. Find out the true benefits.
15 Packing Tips if You’re a Backpacker
A backpack for travel is very special. Don’t just buy any old thing. Here’s everything you need to know about how to choose the best travel backpack. Use a rain cover for your bag to keep it bag protected, clean, and dry!
Walk around for 15 minutes with your fully packed backpack to gauge your comfort level with carrying all your belongings. Is it too heavy? If so, you may want to consider removing some items and downsizing toiletries.
It’s important to pack travel clothing that is durable but keep in mind that after you’re on the road for a while everyone gets tired of wearing the same thing over and over. Choose items that will not fall apart after a few washes but items with a price tag you are comfortable giving up.
Pack light and your back will thank you later. Unless you’re going to the desert, you can always buy a few extra things you might need along the way.
Take a spare plastic bag or ziploc bag. You can always find them useful and they won’t take up any space.
Flip-flops are essential for every sun-chasing backpacker or budget traveler especially if you’re hitting the beach; lounging around; or just want to keep your feet clean from grimy hostel showers. These flips flops look like cute sandals and are actually wearable on and off the beach.
Do you really need hiking boots? Unless you’re doing some serious trekking, you can get away with something lighter and more versatile such as outdoor trainers or sneakers.
Don’t start your trip with clothing that’s already overly worn even if you plan to give it away at the end of your trip. It will fall apart very quickly when you’re constantly re-wearing the same things over and over. There’s no point in starting out with items that are unraveling. Everything new will look old when your trip ends.
A headlamp is an essential item in your backpacking checklist that comes in handy more times than you’d think. Read this post to find out why!
A sleeping bag liner is also important because it not only allows you to use your own sheets in poorly cleaned accommodation but some budget hostels may not provide sheets. Unless you’re staying at boutique hostels or nice hotels, these are five reasons you should travel with a sleeping bag liner.
Don’t forget duct tape. There are endless uses when you’re on a backpacking travel adventure. Trust us.
Choose a hanging toiletry bag with a handle or hook. Hostel showers aren’t always the most functional and you don’t want everything getting drenched.
Multi-use products help save toiletry space and weight. If you’re not a fussy traveler, Dr. Bronner’s “Magic” Soap can be used to wash clothes, as body and face wash, shampoo (if you have low-maintenance hair), toothpaste, and shaving cream amongst other uses.
Learn to make a sock bun. It’s a quick and easy way to get longer hair under control as well as create natural heat-free waves.
25 Tips for Every Traveler to Pack Light Stylishly
Each clothing item should mix and match with the rest. With limited clothing options, it’s important to maximize your travel wardrobe. Choose items very carefully and plan clothing that’s interchangeable. Read Pack Light Stylishly as soon as you know you’re planning to travel. It’s your instant shortcut to becoming a more efficient and fashionable traveler.
It is possible to have a portable closet. The Pack is a unique and highly functional backpack organizer that also works perfectly in a carryon suitcase, too. It makes packing and unpacking in a hostel or hotel a breeze. It has four drawers and hooks you can hang in your hotel closet or latch to hostel bed rails (or even chairs). Want to unpack and pack in seconds? Learn more about The Pack – a genius suitcase organizer!
The secret to a stylish travel wardrobe is in the accessories. Items such as a statement necklace are light and don’t take up much space in the suitcase, but can add so much to a simple outfit.
But don’t overload on accessories. Pick and choose wisely. You don’t need to wear jewelry and accessories from head to toe. Less is more.
Stick to one color palette if you’re not a color pro. This helps you mix and match and maximize your capsule travel wardrobe. Remove any clothing items that are too close in style and color. For variation, choose prints in the same color palette.
Plan your outfits before the trip if you know your itinerary in advance. This way, you won’t make any “fashion mistakes” and it makes getting ready easy. Get organized and sign up for our free Travel Outfit Planner.
Every item in your bag should have multiple uses. An item does not need to be a “convertible” piece for it to serve multi-purpose.
Don’t forget about layers. For conservative areas or transitional weather periods, you can layer clothing such as leggings or a long sleeve top under a dress for more travel outfit options.
Choosing a jacket is like choosing a dress – go with either a neutral color that will match all your clothing or select a vibrant color that will breathe some life into your basic travel wardrobe. These statement winter coats will breathe life into the most drab wardrobe.
Never pack traditional pajamas. For PJ’s choose two items that you can use to sleep in but that can also be worn for other activities as well. Here’s our quick guide on how to choose the best travel pajamas.
Scarves, scarves, scarves. Pashminas, wraps, sarongs, and scarves are versatile pieces and can be use in a million and one different ways.
Don’t pack things you wouldn’t wear at home.
If you’re traveling in the heat, avoid dark colors. Beat the heat and wear white and light colored fabrics that reflect the sun and keep you cool.
You do need a sport bra if: you’re planning outdoor adventures, trips with strenuous activities, or an overland safari. Unpaved roads can be brutal without support.
Convertible bras are great when traveling because they can be worn with various style tops without packing a bra for every top. If you didn’t know, nude (or the color closest to your skin tone) can be worn under practically anything.
A bikini top makes a great back up bra option and is also commonly worn in place of bras when by the beach. If you use underwire bikini tops (or don’t need much support) you might even be able to skip a bra altogether and just use a bathing suit top instead.
Save money on quality travel underwear at discount retailers by looking for fitness quality or microfiber fabric blends. These are good underwear brands to look out for.
Everyone loves a sarong. Here’s why.
Jeans are essential when visiting large cities and they are also the perfect travel clothing item in cold climates. Don’t believe old travel clothing “rules”.
Break in any travel shoes before you leave, wear them around your town at least a couple times and try and take them out for a hike or two if that’s what you’re into. And while, you’re at it, make sure they match with all your clothing so you don’t end up with a unwearable shoes.
Three pairs of shoes is all you need. Treat your feet well by bringing proper footwear and by not over packing shoes that you just don’t need. For travel shoes, three is the magic number. Sightseeing shoes, activity shoes and one additional. Read this guide for everything you need to know about travel shoes.
Always wear warm layers for the flight; planes can be extremely cold. Here are some popular airplane outfit ideas from Europe.
Don’t pack an equal amount of tops and bottoms. Remember to pack more tops in the winter months and replace them with dresses in the summer.
Take double the amount of underwear that you think you’ll need. A girl can never have too many pairs of clean undies and they hardly take up any space anyway.
Avoid falling into the travel clothing trap. Some trips require technical travel clothing due to specific activities, weather, or environment. However, for general sightseeing in towns, cities, and beaches you’re normal (carefully selected) clothing will do just fine.
20 Tips for Smart and Savvy Travelers
Keep all valuables and travel documents in your carryon or personal item.
Distribute the wealth and spread your valuables out in different places so if something does get taken – they don’t get everything. Here’s a list of anti-theft products and tips on how to keep your passport safe.
Don’t be that traveler in the security line at the airport. Here’s how to breeze through.
Make sure all your liquid items are inside a sealed bag. If one of the bottles spills, it won’t get all over your entire wardrobe.
Use saran wrap under bottle caps to avoid spills. Don’t believe us? Ask Oprah.
Items have unexpected uses. A regular bar of soap can be used as shampoo and laundry detergent if necessary. Likewise, shampoo can also be used as soap or laundry detergent.
Replace several beauty products with one. Olive oil and coconut oil are versatile and can act as a moisturizer, tame flyaways, and soften chapped lips.
Should you pack your blow dryer? Find out.
Doing laundry is one of the secrets to packing less clothing. Find out how to do laundry on the go.
If you plan to hand wash clothing, test it out! Wash the clothing you want to take and let it dry indoors in the bathroom. If it takes longer than 24 hours, it may not be the best choice.
Some travel size items are just useless. Find out why and when to avoid them.
Earplugs help neutralize sounds from a bus, plane, train, a crying baby, or the snores from a hostel mate. Sleep easier or just experience a quieter journey.
Don’t pack just because you can. Just because your airline gives you 50lb baggage weight limit it doesn’t mean you need to use them all. Pack what you actually need and avoid stuffing your luggage to the brim only because you have the space.
Not everyone’s travel essentials will be yours. Consider your own needs and preferences when planning your packing list.
Purchase an international adapter that works around the world. Take care of your electronics by choosing a travel adapter that also acts as a converter and has a surge protector to avoid blowing a fuse. Learn more about voltage and how travel adapters work.
Bring copies of prescriptions for your glasses, contacts, and especially medication just in case anything happens to either of these items. Never pack these in checked luggage.
Here’s a quick baggage allowance cheat sheet but as a general guideline: double-check the rules for ALL of the airlines you are traveling with to ensure accuracy. Different airlines have varying baggage restrictions.
Don’t pack “just in case” items. If you need it, you can buy it there.
What are your best packing tips? Please share in the comments below!
For more travel packing tips, please read:
- The Ultimate Packing Guide for Overpackers
- You Can Pack Carryon for Any Trip. Find Out How
- How to Choose the Best Packing Organizers
- New to Travel? Start Here.
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