HOW TO PACK
Whether you are a seasoned traveler or heading out for the first time… We all can probably learn something from these great tips.
Tip #1: Try and not wait to the last minute to pack… Rushing often leads to problems and forgotten items…and don’t bring so much, have a plan.
Tip #2: Pack your clothing tightly without over-stuffing your suitcase. Tight packing means no loss of space and fewer wrinkles. There are three basic ways to pack efficiently:
- The Rolling Method: Roll clothing, especially garments like turtlenecks, pajamas, sweaters, slacks, etc. By wrapping a rubber band around each item, they stay rolled up.
- The Interweave Method: This works best with longer items such as dresses, pants, etc. Start with the longest items first, placing them in the bottom of the suitcase, with the ends hanging over the case. Then place smaller items on top of the longer ones. Finally, when the suitcase is filled, fold the hangover on top. This will prevent sharp creases on your long garments.
- The Bundling Method: Like the interweave method, bundling is accomplished by folding longer items around smaller items. However, bundling is done by outfit. In other words, if you plan to wear a particular shirt with a particular pair of pants, you bundle them together. Starting with socks and underwear, you then wrap the shirt and finally the pants. The advantage of this method is that each outfit is together and easily accessible. If you then put the complete bundle in a zip-lock bag and expel all of the air out of it, you have a fairly wrinkle free outfit at your fingertips. With longer garments, however, a garment bag or a suitcase with a suitor is best of all to prevent wrinkles.
Tip #3: Make use of dead space. Stuff underwear, socks, ties, scarves etc. into shoes. This not only saves space, but also keeps your shoes from being crushed.
Tip#4: Use packing cubes to help organize and separate items. If you get the right Packing cubes they also can help compress items..
Tip #5: Layering clothing with plastic dry cleaning bags or tissue paper helps to prevent wrinkles.
Tip #6: Don’t bring full sized toiletries. Many drug stores carry sample size toothpaste, hair spray, shaving cream, etc. These take up a lot less space and are much lighter than their full-sized counterparts. Also available at drug stores are small plastic bottles and jars that can be inexpensively and ecologically refilled with your preferred toiletries.
Tip #7: Traveling with a friend or your family? Consider ‘cross packing’. Pack essential items of each person in each other’s bags. That way, if a suitcase is lost, everyone will still be able to enjoy their trip until the bag is found.
Tip #8: Place jewelry, medicines, contact lenses, and other valuable or irreplaceable items in your carry-on. Also consider packing a change of socks and underwear in your carry-on (see Tip #7).
Tip #9: Unpack as soon as you arrive at your destination. Doing so will keep your clothes as wrinkle free as possible.
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Even More Great Packing Tips
Bonus Tip #1: Although some airlines still allow you to check two bags per person plus allow you a carry-on, many airlines are now charging to check your bags. Always check with your airline for their regulations regarding the number and size of the bags you are required to carry. With this information you will be able to plan your wardrobe carefully.
Bonus Tip #2: Make a list of all the activities and events you plan to do and then make a list of the clothing you need to wear for those activities. Now go over the list and eliminate anything you really don’t need.
Bonus Tip #3: The best way to plan your wardrobe is to mix and match basics, planning the wardrobe around one or two basic colors. For dress, men can pack two suits for an extended trip matching them up with different shirts and ties. A charcoal gray or tan suit will mix and match with just about any color. Women can mix and match the same way with black, gray, or tan jackets, skirts and pants. In either case, a change of tie or scarf with a different colored shirt will make another outfit.
Bonus Tip #4: Casual clothing depends upon where you are going. Do not assume that jeans are appropriate casual wear. In many countries, jeans are frowned upon. Khaki pants, however are usually acceptable. Additionally, jeans are heavier and bulkier than khakis. In many parts of the world, shorts are considered inappropriate as are any clothing that has a military look. It is better to err on the side of conservatism. When it comes to casual clothing, layering is a much better scheme than packing bulky, heavy clothing. Layering your clothes also gives you more opportunity to mix and match outfits. A turtleneck under a sports jacket will give a much different look than wearing it under a sweater. Always bring a bathing suit. You never know when a hotel will have a pool. For men, a conservative bathing suit can also do double-duty as a pair of shorts. For women, a bikini can do double duty as underwear. One warning, though: two-piece bathing suits may not be acceptable in all countries.
Bonus Tip #5: Knits and textured fabrics travel better than natural fabrics that have a tendency to wrinkle. Synthetics don’t wrinkle as much but can be very uncomfortable in hot humid climates. A blend of natural and synthetics can be a good compromise. However, undergarments should be made of natural fabrics because they breathe easier. Also, you can bring fewer undergarments and wash them out at night. If you do opt for washing out your socks and underwear be aware that cotton takes a long time to dry. Try silk undergarments. Not only do they dry quickly, they breathe well and feel good against the skin.
Bonus Tip #6: Consider not bringing much clothing at all. Buying clothing at your destination can often be less expensive than buying it at home… unless you are staying in a resort area.
The Ultimate Packing Tip
After you pack always remember the Golden Rule of travel packing …
Take half of what you packed and Twice the Money…
Somehow it always seems to be so true !
— Safe Travels