Confession: I hate packing. The thought of transporting all that I need in a suitcase can stress me out (what if forget something important?), plus packing is just one more thing on my already long to-do list. I know I’m not alone here!
Luckily, I love traveling waaaaayyy more than I dislike packing, so I’ve come up with some packing strategies that work for me. These travel packing tips keep me organized and let me check off the packing task sooner. Bonus: I actually look forward to my trip more, and we can all agree that anticipation is half the fun, right?
Try these no-stress strategies to uplevel your packing game beyond the standard travel packing list:
1. Create a home base for your travel essentials. I have a drawer where I keep all of our travel documents, a travel wallet (the kind where you can insert multiple passports and boarding passes), and other travel essentials like converters, suitcase locks, extra luggage tags, and a photocopy of each passport.
I am never scrambling to find these must-have items, because they are always in the same place, ready to go. My trip-specific items like my itinerary and travel vouchers also go into this drawer. A home base drawer is super easy to set up and you only need to do it once.
2. Open your suitcase early. Bring your suitcase into your bedroom about a week before you travel. Just set it down and open it up. Begin by adding a couple of items you’ll need (and that you don’t use daily) like high-SPF sunscreen, a pashmina, bathing suits, a cell phone battery back-up…. Keep adding items when you think of them: you’ll instantly feel better organized and reduce the possibility of forgetting something. I also like to keep my packing list or a pad of paper next to the suitcase to jot down anything I still need to purchase or add later.
3. Packing cubes for the win. I’m telling you, packing cubes are a traveler’s dream. Invest in a good set and you’ll understand. Somehow, you can get more into your suitcase, clothes have fewer wrinkles, and you can unpack super fast (think moving a cube from suitcase to drawer…mere seconds!).
If you really want to go full throttle Type A, you can combine packing cubes with Marie Kondo’s folding techniques: just transfer your compactly folded clothing packets from your home drawers to your cubes. For jackets or other clothes that can’t be accommodated in a cube, Eagle Creek has a well-designed flat packing folder called the “Pack-It Garment Folder.”
I usually use a small and a medium cube plus a garment folder for myself when I travel. It’s a good idea to buy a different color for each family member’s cube set for even better organization. Most travel packing cubes are machine washable, too. Cubes are seriously the best, I love them!
Do you have a favorite packing hack? Have you found a strategy that works for you? Send me a message and let me know! I’m curious to hear how you make packing easier or smarter.
Happy Travels Always,
Cover photo: Unsplash, used by permission. All other photos mine, copyright Bluetail Travel 2019.