Once upon a time I took a 2 ½ week trip to Europe with my high school. All my classmates, lugging around suitcases the size of coffins, were astounded when I showed up with a standard sized suitcase and backpack. “How did you fit enough clothes and toiletries in there?” they asked. Through many years of travel and my mom making me run numerous times through the Chicago airport I’ve gotten the hang of packing precisely what I need and packing it well. I would like to impart to you a few tips on the art of packing.
When packing go for not only colors that go together, but also layers and items that can be worn numerous times, like jeans. For ladies, bringing a few camis or light shirts you can wear under other items means you can reuse a few tops.
I know there are people who swear by packing cubes, which I have yet to try, but I prefer a simpler method. Bring clothes that don’t wrinkle easily and roll them as tightly as you can like they’re a sleeping bag. This creates more space for the important things (Tip: When returning with fragile souvenirs, roll your clothes and socks around them for protection).
Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
I rarely forget items because, one, I never really unpack. Two, my method of packing is infallible (at least for me). I start from the top and work my way down. What does my hair need? A brush, products, and a hat or headband, etc. Face? I have eyes so I need glasses, contacts, blah blah blah. I go all the way to my feet and then worry about what goes in my backpack later.
“Take Only What You Need to Survive”
Often times people don’t know what to expect so they bring everything but the kitchen sink and end up not even touching half of what they bring. Know the environment you’re going to and rethink every item you’re bringing. Can you live without it for a few days? Probably. My best example is a hair dryer. Almost every hotel or accommodation has one and with the right product you don’t actually need one. So don’t waste the space.
The one item you’re allowed to bring way too much of is underwear because you never know when you’re going to get stuck somewhere and your grandmother would be so disappointed if you weren’t wearing clean undies. Plus, it’s a pain to wash them in the sink and I guarantee they won’t dry as fast as you want them to.
I hope you all found this helpful. Share your favorite packing tips in the comments below!