As I sat in the airport the other day, waiting to board a dreaded red-eye to Indiana to visit my family, I was thinking of all the random trips I’ve been taking this year. I was actually shocked at how often I travel – be that a plane ride or road trip. Since I don’t travel for work, it’s basically always for my personal enjoyment – visiting family and friends.
With all this traveling, inevitably comes the stress that pretty much everyone faces…The dreaded PACKING! (what, when, how much, how little, the list goes on) Some people like to start packing three days before a trip, others throw everything in at the last minute. Everyone has their technique but I’ve come to find many are constantly trying to perfect the method to their madness. I know this because I have been one of them. I’ve taken tips from the most frequent travelers, lavish travelers to the most extreme adventure travelers. That being said, I feel I’ve finally mastered the art of packing.
**My go-to store/website for the BEST travel products is FLIGHT 001 – http://www.flight001.com – Check it Out!!!**
Here are a few of the tips/advise that I’ve picked up from friends, magazine articles and just plane (you like that;)) experience that has helped me be a better packer and has lead to traveling stress free-ISH.
- DON’T ROLL CLOTHES – I don’t bother rolling. I’ve argued with the best of them that truly believe that this method saves room, it doesn’t. I’ve tried it, many a times. It also does NOT prevent wrinkling. If something is going to wrinkle, it’s going to wrinkle rolled too. Some things are worth rolling, such as thin knits and tees and then you can stuff them in the crevices. But for the most part, not worth your time.
- DO PUT HEAVIEST AT BOTTOM: I put the heaviest items and bulkiest items at bottom and work them together like tetris and then build from there. (Shoes, bathroom items, jeans/pants) I stack like folded items on top of each other and lightest items at top.
- BLOUSES/BLAZERS/ STIFF STRUCTURED ITEMS at TOP – I know some people will disagree. For me, I’ve even found placing heavier jackets, structured dresses or jackets folded length wise in half and laid across whole suit case on top. It takes up less room and helps to not ruin the structure and less likely to wrinkle. Same goes for blouses and delicates.
- PLASTIC BAGGIES ARE AMAZING – when in doubt, put it in a plastic bag or sandwich bag. That goes for shoes, face products, perfumes, hair products, etc. So many things have leaked on me, so I’ve learned no matter how short the flight or road trip…ziplock is your friend 😉
- GET RID OF MUSTY TRAVEL SMELL FOR GOOD: I read this tip in a magazine – put a few sheets of tissue paper (not toilet paper) soaked in your favorite perfume in between your clothes in your suitcase. However, the lighter – less poignant ones are best.
- DON’T FRET ABOUT ORGANIZATION: You don’t have be one of those uber organized people – laying out everything ahead of time, each item in a specific bag, an outfit picket out for everyday, etc.. Just worry about how you operate when you open your suitcase and pack accordingly. (ie. I compartmentalize everything and fit them together like a puzzle. So when I am living out of suitcase, I’ll know where to look for smaller items or all my flat pants, etc.)
- OVER vs. UNDER PACKING: I’ve been fighting an endless battle with overpacking. I always wish I could be someone that packs light but always seems to have what they need for every occasion. However, I am not one of those people. I change according to mood, weather, who I’m around, where I am going – everything is a factor. For me, when I try and pack light, I find I end up unhappy and disappointed. If you would rather have more options, pack more.
**MY TIP **– leave out the misc. ‘just in case’ items & the items you haven’t worn at home in over 6 months (unless seasonal) – those are the things that take up space and will most likely be unused.
AIRPORT STRESS-FREE TRAVEL TIPS:
- Check in online ahead of time!
- Be nice! No matter how annoying and crappy the situation is. I’ve had to learn to master this b/c when I’m annoyed, usually it shows through.
- Have your ID/Money, CC/Ticket/Conf.#/etc items ready! My absolute MUST HAVE is a perfect travel wallet that I can also use all year round. I even give it as presents and EVERYONE Compliments me on it and asks where I get them. Check it out – FLIGHT 001)
- DON’T over pack your travel on bag (ie. purse/carry-all) – I always think I’ll need my laptop, tons of magazines, ipod for music, movie rented on itunes, phone, food, etc. By the time I get on the plane, I’m carrying 15lbs of crap. Pick a thick magazine or book and use your phone for music if need be. Bring a scarf that can be used as a throw and toss a health bar/apple/gum in your purse and call it a trip. Get in and get out – light as a feather.
- ENJOY the airport – people watching is fun. As much as people can bug me here, I try to not get too zoned out from my surroundings. It’s often entertaining and can make for good stories to watch the people around you. Plus, you won’t accidentally miss your flight being so tuned out.
All in all, it’s trial and error to what works best for YOU! Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any tricks of the trade or tips to try.
- 6 Best Travel Gear Posts Around (joodieshy.com)
- 7 Tips for The First-time Traveller (travelblissful.com)