You’re almost prepared for your trip–you’ve decided where to go, how to get there, and even where to stay. You’ve dreamt of the sandy beaches, the bustling city streets, or the magnificent mountain peaks for far too long, and there’s only one thing left standing in your way: packing.
Packing is the little–and yet absolutely necessary–annoyance of nearly every traveler I’ve ever met. It seems however prepared you want to be, there’s never enough time to pack properly, and you’re left with questions like, “Did I pack enough?” “Did I forget something?” And of course, low and behold, it seems you arrive at your destination only to discover you’ve forgotten to pack your underwear.
Tips for Packing
Rule 1: Necessities first –
While it may seem like a good idea to consider bringing road games, music and reading material, these luxuries are far less fun when you’re without shampoo, underwear, or toothpaste. A good way to make sure you’ve packed the necessities is to pretend like you’re waking up in the morning and walk yourself through your day, checking off the things you use regularly–toothpaste, shampoo, men’s body wash, underwear? Check, check, aaand check.
Rule 2: Coordinate clothes & shoes–
If you’re traveling during the winter, then you might want to pack a winter jacket. You may be a fashionista, but most happy travelers find that the less they pack, the better off they are in the long (or even the short) run. Pack solid, basic colors that you can mix and match. And of course, pack for the weather, checking the forecasts online before deciding what to bring.
Rule 3: Don’t pack valuables –
Carry valuables–like passports, tickets, and money–on you. Never ever pack them in your luggage where they could easily get lost or stolen. You’ll only regret it later.
Rule 4: Pack a day or two ahead –
This is a good rule for several reasons. 1) It means you’re not packing last minute, so you’ll be less likely to forget things and 2) You can have time to carry your bag around a bit to see whether or not it’s too heavy.
Rule 5: Less is more –
As with clothing, packing less of everything is, in general, a really really good idea. Go through your list to see whether or not you can eliminate unnecessary items. If, for instance, there’s something you can buy when you get there, you’ll be much happier walking around beforehand. Pack the necessities and maybe a few extras, but don’t overdo it. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!
While packing may not be one of our most beloved hobbies, it is a necessary part of every traveler’s trip. The better prepared you are, the more likely it is you’ll enjoy your trip. Happy traveling!