As you pack the final articles of clothing into your suitcase for your flight in the morning, you see that the clothes you have already packed are towering three inches above the surface of your bag.
Packing is tough. Choosing what to wear for every situation, whether it be fancy or casual, and packing contingencies for the weather quickly leads to spending an additional 20 minutes at the airport check-in, seeing what you can fit into your carry-on to compensate for your overweight luggage. Holding up the entire line is one thing, but having to unzip your 60-pound suitcase and reorganize your bag full of clothes is a much more embarrassing situation. That said, here are four tips on how to pack smart for your next trip.
1. Pack Small
People are under the impression that if you’re going to go somewhere far, you are going to need to bring a large suitcase to fit every outfit in your wardrobe. However, the best way to begin packing is making an investment into a suitcase that is slightly smaller than your current bag. This may seem counterproductive at first because you may not be able to pack everything that you want, however, with a smaller suitcase, you’ll be forced to only pack the necessities. You may also need to pack gifts for your family and friends or you’re thinking about bringing home souvenirs – if you find that you’re running out of room in your bag, try rolling your clothes to maximize the space in your luggage.
2. Pack Simple
When packing for a trip, always use the Magic 7 rule: pack for the number of days that you plan to be away until you reach seven days. At seven days, your suitcase will likely be full and adding more clothes will only take up more space. Depending on where you’re staying, you’ll likely be able to find coin laundry instead of adding more weight to your bag. Washing clothes yourself could even be an option!
3. Keep Your Style Consistent
A good tip for packing light is selecting neutral shades so that all your clothes will be able to complement each other in one way or another. Now, instead of having to bring seven pairs of pants and dresses to your trip, you can bring three pairs of each for the week to mix and match with the shirts and blouses you bring.
4. Know Where You’re Going
Whether you’re traveling to Northern Canada, or the warmest part of the Caribbean, it’s always important to know what kind of clothes to bring. Materials do matter and cotton tends to be lighter and thinner, hence, you’ll be able to fit more in your bag. If you are going somewhere cold, packing multiple thin layers will take up less space and offer more flexibility than packing bulky items like sweaters and jackets. If it is necessary for you to bring an article of clothing that is cumbersome, it’s best to simply wear it, or carry it alongside you.