Do you have a trip coming up and can’t even begin to think about what to pack? With my travel experiences over the years I’ve learned the art of packing smart for a trip. I want to help you avoid being that person at the check in counter in the airport with your suitcase opened in the middle of everyone, trying to figure out what you’re leaving behind because your HUGE suitcase weighs over the weight limit and they won’t let you check it. (We’ve all been there.) Here are 3 tips while packing for your next getaway!
1.Have a clear understanding of where you’re going.
Ok no judging here. I know this sounds like a no brainer but I’m going to share a real life occurrence that happened to me. When my husband started racing in a new series just after we got married, I was unfamiliar with the racing circuits and where they were located. I saw on the schedule “Laguna Seca”, so when it was time to pack for the trip, I opened my Weather App and looked up the weather for Laguna Beach. Sunshine and 70’s was in the forecast so needless to say, that’s what I packed for. Unfortunately, on the plane ride out I told my husband I was excited to see Laguna Beach for the first time. He laughed and asked where I got the idea from that we were going to Laguna Beach! I told him I saw on the racing schedule “Laguna Seca” so I assumed it was in Laguna Beach. Epic fail. When we arrived to Monterey (not Laguna Beach) and it was 53 degrees and windy, I went to Target right away to try to find some warmer clothes. I didn’t have much success because it was early May and they had already rolled out their summer items. I was chilly the whole weekend but luckily my husband and his teammate won the race so it turned out just fine! Now, every year we go to this race, we laugh about my mishap and I’ve packed appropriately since!
- For your luggage, use a carry-on.
I know some of you reading this just gasped out loud! Trust me, it’s not so bad. Traveling with a carry-on is honestly the best way to travel, especially if you have a connecting flight. Reality is planes get delayed and the best way to make sure your belongings make it to your final destination on time, is to have them with you. If you only have 15 minutes until your next plane boards and your current plane just got to the gate, the likelihood of your luggage making it to your next plane could be slim to none. Also, another good reason to only travel with a carry-on, is it allows you flexibility while traveling. If you end up with a long layover somewhere but there’s an earlier flight you could jump on to get you where you’re going sooner, you can now do that. Make sure you are aware of the carry-on size requirements, and if you’re traveling on an international flight, they require a bit smaller carry-on. If you show up with an oversized sized carry-on, get ready to check your bag. (Actual dimensions can be found on airlines websites.)
- Pack smart.
Sounds simple but how many of you have over-packed? We all have, so after you have a clear understanding of where you’re going 😉 and you know what the weather will be, choose outfits that match the weather and lay each day out. Then, see if items can be re-worn for a dinner or a few days later. (Jeans are the easiest to do this with and is an item that can take up room in your suitcase.) Something else I spend time thinking about while packing is shoes! Sometimes I may want to bring a pair of shoes for each outfit but that’s just not practical! I usually try to stick with only 2 or 3 pairs of shoes and for me, I try to wear the shoes that will take up the most room in my suitcase on my travel days. (Usually boots or tennis shoes.) Now how do I fit a week or more worth of clothes in a carry-on? The rolling method! I roll my clothes as shown below and this has helped me fit a ton of extra clothes. You can also stuff socks and smaller items in your shoes to help with a little space-saving.
*This picture here is 5 days worth of clothes along with 2 work out outfits and my leather jacket for the cooler nights.*
As we know weather can change, so I’ll throw one of my go-to leather jackets or a t-shirt in and I always travel with a light jacket to wear on the plane. Depending on the length of my trip, and if room permits, I’ll toss in a dress. (This has come in handy a time or two for a last-minute dinner I needed to attend, which of course one of your shoe choices needs to work with this.)
As for your toiletry items, make sure you are aware of TSA’s guidelines. You can go to the airlines website for specific details on what you can and cannot bring. The travel area of stores has become very helpful in providing proper sized liquid containers that you can purchase. I have a cute travel set I bought years ago that I love and works well for me. Make sure you pack your toiletry bag on top so it is easily accessible for when you go through security at the airport.
*Toiletries right on top and ready to zip up!*
Now you’re going to love me because I’m about to save you money! Are you ready?! Pack snacks! A family of four can easily spend $50 while traveling and buying food in the airport! Plus, this gives you the opportunity to have healthier choices with you at all times so you don’t give in to the pack of M&M’s staring you in the face at the checkout counter. I always travel with protein bars and they have been a lifesaver multiple times.
I hope you found this useful and now you can become a packing guru! If you have more questions about how to prepare for your next trip, feel free to head to the contact tab and ask away! As always, thanks for reading!
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