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Here are my top 10 packing hacks, or the mistakes you need to avoid when packing!
Packing used to be very stressful for me. For several years when I started traveling, I would seriously overpack. I’d return home after a weeklong trip having at least 4-5 unworn outfits.
It wasn’t the biggest problem for the occasional trip. But, when I started traveling frequently, the problems started popping up:
- extra baggage fees
- extra weight to carry in my backpack leading to back pain
- not having anything to wear by the end of the trip because while I overpacked, I packed the wrong clothes for the trip
What helped me stop overpacking?
The first and most important tip is to start thinking in terms of outfits and plan your outfits for every day of the trip.
The second tip is to create a travel minimalist wardrobe with mainly neutral colors that mix and match very well.
And the third tip is not to drastically change your style for the trip. If you normally don’t wear jeans, don’t bring jeans with you. I personally love wearing dresses, and initially, I thought dresses were not great for traveling. I’d pack shorts and jeans that I would end up not wearing because I hated them most of the time. As soon as I started packing dresses, everything started falling in its place.
Think about the pieces of clothes and items you’re really going to wear and use. And only pack what you know you’ll wear and use, not what you think you’ll wear and use. And when you’re finally done, review everything and see if you can reduce your load even more.
2. Not Checking the Weather Forecast for Your Destination
This is a really silly (but easy to make) mistake, and you may end up picking the completely wrong clothes and shoes for the weather. Even though the weather is not always predictable, it’s good to know if a storm is coming at your destination so you can take out the swimsuit or sunhat from your suitcase. So, always check the weather forecast for your destination.
3. Not Making A Packing List
Stop thinking that you’ll remember everything and start making a packing list of all the little things to bring with you on your trip like socks, a toothbrush, chargers, etc. Make that list now, and thank yourself later.
4. Folding Instead of Rolling
Rolling your clothes has been recommended for a long time as a way to save space when packing. But, in my opinion, folding your clothes and using packing cubes saves significantly more space than rolling, and prevents getting wrinkles. So, I prefer to fold my clothes, and I use packing cubes, especially compression packing cubes, which help you save a lot of space in your suitcase or backpack.
5. Wasting the Space in The Hidden Pockets
Most suitcases and bags have hidden pockets that you can use to put a few more items when you’re going on a longer trip. You can also use the empty space in your shoes to fit your adaptors and chargers.
6. Picking Heavy or Hard-to-Use Suitcases and Backpacks
Don’t choose heavy or impractical suitcases or backpacks that can only hurt your back. Do not be that person who struggles with their too heavy or immovable bag or suitcase at the airport. Instead, get yourself an easy-to-use and lightweight suitcase and an ergonomic backpack or a lightweight carry-on.
7. Not Thinking About The Fabric
You may never think about the selection of fabric when packing for a travel, but this is really important if you don’t want to look sloppy. You may pack the latest clothing trends, but choosing the wrong fabric will make you look your worst. Therefore, choose rayon, cotton, and silk for warmer climates, and save cashmere, knit, and wool for cooler locations.
8. Packing Your Shoes
The first packing mistake when it comes to your shoes is not placing them at the bottom of your suitcase. They are heavy, and that’s why they should always come at the bottom with the rest of the heavy items.
Another mistake you probably make is not putting them in shoe bags and letting all the dirt from them get on your clean clothes.
The last mistake is bringing more pairs of shoes than you really need. Therefore, choose up to three pairs of shoes, put them in shoe bags or simple plastic bags, and place them at the bottom of your suitcase.
9. Not Bringing a Laundry Bag
Ideally, you’d pack only as many pieces of clothing as you’d use. But, you often come back with some pieces still clean, so you need to think of keeping them away from your dirty clothes. That’s why it’s good to bring a laundry bag with you to keep your clean and dirty clothes separate.
10. Packing Just Light Colors
Going for a summer holiday doesn’t mean you have to pack only light-colored items. In fact, darker colors show less dirt than lighter colored pieces of clothing. So, don’t forget to bring some darker color items with you, just in case.