Whenever people say they hate packing, what they really mean is that they dread the stakes involved like forgetting their passport or contact solution. So in the spirit of getting organized, here are a few quick packing hacks to ensure your pre-flight ritual is positively dreamy.
Keeping Things Neat and Tidy
Picture this. You land safely, you breeze through customs, and your bags are among the first to arrive on the conveyer belt. Everything is going swimmingly until you get to your hotel room and discover a bottle of aftershave has burst all over your belongings. Skip the vacation clean up by:
- Putting your shoes in a shower cap. People often toss their shoes into a plastic bag to avoid getting dirt on their clothes, but a shower cap is a neater alternative. The fitted edges provide a tight hold over your shoes, and you can avoid the big air bubble of a plastic bag.
- Stuffing your socks with toiletries. You can’t control how roughly an airline employee handles your luggage. What you can control is the amount of damage a potential spill or break causes. Store bottles of lotion, nail polish, and any other liquid items in your socks. A sullied sock can easily be thrown out upon check-in. The same can’t be said for the entire contents of your suitcase.
- Separating your jewelry with straws. Keeping your jewelry detangled while you’re at home is a chore. Doing so while you’re traveling is a downright pain. Put the ends of your dainty necklaces through a straw before packing them into your suitcase.
Economizing on Space
The most frustrating part of packing is trying to figure out what to bring and what to leave behind. Even after vetoing most items, comfortably fitting everything into your suitcase is a challenge, particularly if you are limiting yourself to a carry-on. To economize on space, try:
- Stuffing your shoes. Put small items that don’t have spillable content inside your shoes. For a hollowed out accessory, your shoes take up a lot of space, so make good use of them.
- Rolling clothes instead of folding them. Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can free up a lot of your suitcase’s volume.
- Putting bobby pins in a Tic Tac container. This trick allows you to easily put those pesky pins all in one place, and it also makes retrieval easier later.
Keeping Your Stress Levels Low
You don’t want to wind up needing a vacation from your vacation. Using the previous tips will do wonders for reducing the chances of everything from minor inconveniences to major catastrophes. If you add a few of these general, stress-reducing packing tips, you’ll be good to go.
- Do your laundry in advance. Save yourself the frantic midnight spin cycle. Do your washing at least four days before your trip and pack directly from that basket of clean clothes.
- Pack items that transition well. If you want to travel light or stick to carry-on luggage, pack items that can readily transition from traveling to meeting or from sightseeing to dinner. Pack button downs, sweaters, and blouses that can easily be dressed up with jewelry or a suit jacket.
- Lay your items out the night before your departure. It’s rather maternal advice, but hasn’t adulthood taught you that everything your mother said was gold? Laying your items out the night before means even if you sleep through your first alarm, you can quickly grab your keys and travel documents and race out the door.
- Don’t forget a few dictionaries or phrasebooks. If you’re traveling to a country where the lingua franca is foreign to you, grab a phrase book from the bookstore and throw it into your handbag or briefcase. The ability to rapidly look up words and phrases can mean the difference between getting to your meeting on time and having to desperately mime a plea for directions back to your hotel.
Whether you’re jetting off for an important business trip, starting a semester abroad, or gearing up for an international adventure, consider adopting a few of these packing tips for a comfortable and convenient trip.
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