Last week, I shared with you some general tips to take into consideration prior to traveling.
If you missed it, you can see that post by clicking here.
Today, I thought I’d share a few general packing tips.
After all, sooner or later all of us end up having to pack a suitcase, right?
First of all, I recommend you make stacks of everything you think you should pack, by category.
For some people, a category is a clothing item you wear like “pants/shirts/underwear.”
For other people, the actual day (or event) is a category. For example, “On Tuesday, I’ll be at a fancy event. I’ll need a dress, stockings, high heels and special jewelry.”
After you make stacks of what you think you’ll need,
Put about half of it back in your closet.
Overpacking is the biggest mistake we’re all prone to make.
If you’re traveling by air, I recommend you do everything possible to take a roll-on carry bag and one other small, carry-on, item like a purse/camera bag/laptop bag/etc.
Avoid checking a bag if at all possible.
If you’re like me and you have to use your two allowed carry-ons for camera gear and/or technology items (expensive stuff which should never be checked),
You will have to check a bag.
If you do, make sure you carry with you a change of clothes, any and all medications, and whatever you need to survive 24-48 hours in the event your checked luggage is lost.
(Oh, the humiliating horror story I could tell you from my early days as a professional in the corporate world!)
Packing cubes can really be a huge organizational bonus when you’re traveling.
Some people pack the cubes with what they’ll need by day/event.
Other people pack the cubes by clothing category … all socks in one packing cube, for instance.
Personally, I pack the cubes by clothing category.
However, if I’m attending a big event, I may have a separate packing cube with everything I need for that ONE special event.
(Families often use different colored packing cubes for each member of the family.)
I mostly use Eagle Creek packing cubes. I like their very lightweight Specter line best.
I know some people LOVE using whatever shampoo products are “free” at hotels.
Most of the time, however, the free products leave me with “hotel hair.”
I like to bring my own products from home because I know they work for my skin/hair.
But, packing a cosmetic bag has always been an incredible hassle.
I’ve tried several methods, and I think I finally have my “forever” solution.
I keep a travel cosmetic bag of everything I need, ready to go, always.
Yes, I’ve gradually accumulated both a duplicate makeup and cosmetic bag (with all my shower stuff in it).
They’re both ready to go on a moment’s notice.
When I return from a trip, I refill my shampoo bottle and/or anything else I’ve depleted and I’m ready for the next trip.
I will only use GoToob travel bottles for shampoo/conditioner/etc.
They’re made out of a soft, squeezable, bpa free, plastic which allows you to get out every drop of product.
They also have big openings for refilling and/or cleaning … which makes the whole process WAY simpler.
(I used to buy miniature bottles of my normal products, but they’re overpriced and such a PAIN to clean/refill!)
I’ve also found the GoToob bottles almost never leak.
(I won’t say “never” because if I do say “never” someone will write and tell me they found one that leaked.)
I also use GoTubb small containers (even when I’m not traveling).
The GoTubb small containers are awesome for small portions of hand lotion/lip gloss/etc. which you might want to keep in your handbag or cosmetic bag.
For my most watery-liquids (like makeup remover), I use small, clear, spray bottles.
They’re the least likely to leak.
I’ve also been known to use a little washi (masking) tape around bottle seals as an extra precaution against leakage.
If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll probably need some type of power adapter.
If you travel a lot, it’s well worth investing in a universal power adapter … which will work in just about ANY country.
What’s the best way to pack your clothes?
I like to roll many clothing items, but everyone has their own preference.
I always have extra plastic bags in my suitcase.
One bag is a large trash/compactor bag for dirty laundry so it won’t get mixed in with clean clothes.
(Some people use a compression bag or packing cube as their dirty laundry bag.)
I, also, keep a few assorted sizes of empty ziploc plastic bags in my suitcase for emergency wet/leaking/messy items.
Remember to keep all your liquids in small containers, in an easy-to-get-to, see-through, bag for airport security.
(If you’re a frequent flyer, consider getting approved for TSA pre-check and/or Global Entry so you can avoid the entire liquid hassle.)
Lastly, all my shoes go in Shoe Sacks.
I can’t think of anything worse than getting to your destination and finding all your clothes smell like FEET.
(And/or have dirt marks on them from your shoes.)
Do you have some packing tips to add?
I’d love to hear them.
Because while you’ve been reading this …
I’ve been busy packing!