If you're getting ready for a trip, the one thing you may be dreading is packing. While filling and organizing your suitcase can seem intimidating, a few travel packing tips and a thorough checklist will ensure you have everything you need and can help save you from spending money on last-minutes items at your destination. That way, you can focus on the fun and excitement of exploring a new place.
The importance of smart packing for a trip
Having a good packing strategy will make everything about your trip run smoothly. Working from a checklist when you're packing for a trip will make sure you have essentials like your daily medication, as well as ensure you're prepared for the unexpected, such as having bandages in case you get blisters from walking. Knowing how to pack for a trip will also help you keep track of important items like plane tickets, passports, your wallet and other personal items.
Knowing that you have everything you need and exactly where it is will relieve some of the stress that comes with the adjusted routine of traveling.
Packing for trips means packing efficiently. While you'll find out specifics that work for you the more you travel, here are some general tips that will come in handy when packing for a trip.
When you're packing your clothing, try only to bring just what you'll need. Try and plan outfits for each day so you're not haphazardly throwing clothing into your suitcase and end up with too much. Then, roll your clothes instead of folding them — this style of packing will use your suitcase space more efficiently. Keep in mind the material of the clothing you choose as well, as cotton and linen will wrinkle much more easily than other fabrics. Most hotels do have irons in their rooms, but this may be an extra step you don't want to take on vacation.
Another item you may want to have is a laundry bag (or two, depending on the length of your trip). This will help you keep your dirty laundry separate from your clean clothes throughout your travels.
You may also wish to use packing cubes, which allow you to organize your clothing either by outfit or category and will prevent any dead space inside your suitcase. If you're packing in a pinch, freezer bags can work as a substitute for packing cubes to help keep your like items together.
If you're flying and taking liquids in your carry-on, put them in last. Keep the regulation-size clear bag with your liquids right on top for easy access when going through security. This will prevent you from having to dig through your neatly organized suitcase on the floor of the airport. Remember, liquids must be 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less to fly in a carry-on. If you're concerned about spillage, add some plastic wrap over the openings of each bottle and securely screw its designated lid on top. This helps keep things in place!
And lastly, don't wait until the last minute. If possible, try not to put off packing until the night before or the morning of your trip. The more time you give yourself to gather all the items you need, the lower the chances you'll forget something in a rush.
Packing list for travel
Your exact packing list may vary based on where you're visiting, what you plan to do there and how long you'll be there. However, here are some general guidelines to follow to ensure you don't forget anything:
- Dress shirt
- Dress pants
- Swimsuit and cover-up
- Other outerwear
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Dressier shoes
- Emergency medications (i.e. pain relievers, antacids)
- Hairbrush and styling tools
- Daily medications
- Nail clippers
- Bandages and antibacterial ointment
- Cell phone and charger
- Tablet and charger
- Laptop and charger
- Camera, memory card and charger
- E-reader and charger
- Plug adapter if necessary
- Eye mask
- Empty reusable water bottle
- Tickets and/or confirmation numbers
- Insurance cards
- Cash and/or credit/debit cards
There's no one-size-fits-all packing list, but with the above travel packing tips, you're sure to have everything you need for your trip. Give yourself ample time to pack, maximize space and most of all, focus on all the fun you're going to have on your latest adventure.