Traveling can be an exciting adventure. It is the chance to see new places, meet new people and have lots of different experiences. Smart travelers know how packing their gear correctly will have a direct impact on their traveling experience, and that badly packed bags will leave them exhausted and frustrated as they travel around.
It takes some careful planning and savvy thinking to pack a bag properly when traveling. However, it is not as straightforward as chucking a few clean items of clothing into a backpack and heading out of the door. You need to take into account the time that you will be away from home and what mode of transport you will be taking. You are going to have a very unhappy time if you have to be hopping on and off a lot of public transport or using motorbikes as forms of transportation if you have 4 massive suitcases trailing behind you. Here are 7 ways you can pack smart for a happy holiday or business trip.
1. Make a list
Make a detailed list of items that you think you will need on your trip. Take into account the weather of the place you are traveling to, and whether there are any cultural aspects you need to take into account. Local customs may dictate that women cover their shoulders at all times. So even though it is the middle of summer, it would be advisable to leave the strapless dress at home.
2. Liaise with your accommodation
Speak to your hotel or B&B, and find out what facilities and amenities they have available for their guests. That way you might not need to pack things like hairdryers or swimming towels, which will enable you to free up some of the packing space.
3. Lay out all of the items
Before you pack anything, arrange everything out on your bed – chances are you are going to be able to get a real time look at what you think you wanted to take and how much space you really need to accommodate it. Do you really need 4 pairs of stilettos? You’ll find the answer!
4. Delicate Items
Linen and cotton items, delicate underwear and special clothing items can be packed in between heavier items of clothing such as shirts or jerseys. You will really be able to reduce the amount of creasing that your delicates pick up while traveling. Fold them up nicely, and secure them into a garment bag so they don’t become unraveled while traveling.
5. Garment Bags
For the best wrinkle free travel, stuff your shirts or other clothing items with a generous amount of soft tissue paper and use dry cleaning garment bags for the journey. This way your items will be on a hanger and will have more chance of keeping their shape from beginning to end. Suits, blouses, jackets, skirts and pants do travel very nicely this way – just be sure to book it in as hand luggage at the airport – you don’t want your designer gear to go walkabout.
Shoes are a tricky thing to travel with. They are odd shapes and take up weird amounts of space in any travel bag. And they have a tendency to make things dirty as they scuff your clean clothing items during the journey. All shoes should be in their individual plastic bags. Pack the shoes on top of your other clothing items and put them in second last before you zip the bag closed. This way you will keep everything nice and clean for when you get to your destination.
7. Toiletry Items
The problem with things like shampoo, deodorant, perfume and make-up is that many of these items are liquid, and in transit or under pressure in airplane cabins are prone to leak. You can buy special travel bottles with leak proof lids which are generally inexpensive. Decant your shampoo and other essentials, and wrap up the rest nicely in separate ziplock bags. So if there is any leakage on the way, it will not spread over your entire luggage. Pack your toiletry items last on top of your shoes, zip the bag closed and lock each zip with an individual lock and put the keys in your personal travel bag with your travel documents for safe keeping. Always make sure that you check with your airline about items that can and cannot travel.
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