Is packing the worst part of traveling? We’ve partnered with travel expert and packing guru Angie Orth from AngieAway.com to share how you can save space and pack smarter for your next adventure.
If you find packing for a trip to be stressful, you are not alone! When you think about all the items you have at arms’ reach inside your home, it’s hard to imagine flying to some far-flung corner of the globe and not having access to them all. Narrowing down everything you might need to a suitcase or two is a challenge. If you don’t pack just right, then there’s always that twinge of shame when you don’t wear half the things you insisted on bringing.
Packing doesn’t have to incite panic though. Check out a few packing tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years and you’ll be focusing on booking a flight for your upcoming adventure – and not what you’re bringing along! – in no time.
Keep a Very Organized Carry-On
First things first, I like to keep all of my important travel documents in one folder in my carry-on. That way I always have a hard copy of all the important phone numbers (like the car that’s supposed to pick me up) and the hotel’s address (for customs forms that require it). Sure, you could keep it all on your phone… but what if your battery dies?
Next, anything of value – electronics, jewelry, laptops, watches, phone, keys, chargers – stays in my carry-on, in my hand. If for some reason that checked bag full of priceless jewels never makes it to your destination, the airline will not reimburse you for its value. It’s all in the fine print!
Then, I have a small makeup bag with mini lotions, lip gloss, contact solution, hand sanitizer, etc. Long flights can dry out skin and eyes, so I do what I can to stay moisturized in flight. This bag never leaves my carry-on in between trips, so all my trusty beauty products are there when I need them.
Lastly, I never leave home without snacks. Whether I eat them or not is beside the point. I’ve been stuck on the runway in a blizzard for hours with not so much as a granola bar to hold me over, and I’ll never be unprepared like that again. Trust me, bring a few nibbles, just in case. (If you don’t eat your snacks, they’re a great way to make friends in the airport!)
When It Comes to Wardrobe, Pack Light
I mean, packing light is the ultimate goal, right? At least a week before a trip, I lay out everything I want to take, and over the course of a few days, I whittle down. And I’m absolutely ruthless. If I won’t wear something multiple times during a 7-10 day trip, I don’t bring it. If I’m traveling longer, I bring travel-sized laundry detergent to wash quick-drying clothes before bed. They’re usually dry by the morning.
I also try to stick to just three pairs of shoes at the most – flip-flops or sandals, nice flats and athletic shoes for any outdoor shenanigans that might come up.
Shoot for One Color Theme
Traveling light isn’t possible without a strategic wardrobe plan. I’m serious! The best way to rock your travel photos is to coordinate outfits to mix and match well. Stick with neutrals, black or navy to easily tie in all your pieces. I almost always bring dark skinny jeans, solid tops, black Capri pants and a beige or khaki blazer to serve as a foundation.
Jazz up Your Basics with Accessories
Mix-and-match separates might seem boring, but that brings me to my next point: all that space you save by leaving clothes behind allows you to bring colorful accessories. Bright scarves, hats and chunky necklaces are the key to pulling a quality adventure ensemble together. What’s more, you can pick these goodies up as you travel for instant, fashionable souvenirs.
Plan Ahead for Rest
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. Nothing could improve your trip more than ensuring you get plenty of rest en route and during your trip. So pack earplugs, an eye mask and even a small blanket. (A sarong or large scarf will do, and you can use it later as an accessory!) You never know when your hotel room will be situated right over a raging discoteque or when your flight will be delayed on the runway.
Some things that really are necessities: prescription medications, extra contact lenses and specific toiletries. (What? I really need my hair products!) Most everything else can be scooped up along the way if necessary.
These are just a few basic packing tips to get you started. Share your own tips in the comment section below!
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