I LOVE packing for trips and have been packing for Iceland for the past week. Here are some packing tips for those who are packing challenged:
1) Pack after doing laundry.
I do laundry and then pick out my favorite things from a full wardrobe and place them directly in my suitcase. That way, I don’t wear them before the trip and end up rushing to do laundry the night before. This time I did the same thing with the dry cleaners, too.
2) Wear your biggest clothing on the plane.
If you’re bringing flip flops and sneakers, wear the sneakers on the plane. Yes, that means you spend a little more time at security getting your shoes back on but it also means there is more room in the suitcase for other things.
3) Steer clear of ‘one use’ items.
You don’t need to bring everything you own. Unless it is for a specific event on your trip you may not need to pack those heels. Packing items you most likely won’t use takes up room for the things you will use.
4) Double check.
Double check your suitcase before you go. I have, in fact, left on a trip to the beach without a bathing suit.
5) Don’t overpack.
This goes along with one use items and the next tip on the list. Overpacking can cause confusion and frustration on your trip. You end up digging through your clothing and items to see if you actually packed it rather than being able to easily see what you have. Remember that some airlines make you pay fees if your suitcase weighs more than 50 pounds. Overpacking could cause you to have to spend.
6) Pick the right sized suitcase.
Going on a short trip? Probably don’t need your biggest suitcase. I went to Paris and England for 3 weeks when I was in college and brought an average sized rolling suitcase and stuffed a small duffle inside for just in case. I packed only enough clothing for half the trip and did laundry in my hotel sink halfway through. I washed everything- underwear, socks, shirts, corduroy pants. Having a small suitcase made it easier to travel from city to city and I was able to lift my suitcase on my own, which could not be said for others I was traveling with.
7) It’s all a giant puzzle.
If it doesn’t all fit the first time, take it back out and try again. Stuff socks into shoes and try rolling shirts instead of laying them flat.
8) Leave a little extra room for vacation purchases.
I have never gone on a trip and not bought something so I always leave a little extra room for those items. My suitcase has a zipper I can unzip to make it slightly bigger. When packing to go on a trip I leave this zipper zipped so I know that I can fit more in it for the trip home.
9) Make a packing list.
I don’t necessarily do this for every trip but I do find it very handy. Each trip is different and you’ll need different things for each one. I will not be packing for Iceland the same way I packed for St. Maartin last year. I tend to make a list of everything I need and check it off when I do my double check. Sometimes I’ll even stick the list in the suitcase so I can use it to make sure I don’t leave anything behind before coming home. This is especially good when going on extended trips and your items may be strewn about the hotel room.