The more I travel the more tips and tricks I search for when packing my luggage. Especially now that baggage limitations are strictly enforced by airlines and the fees are being collected for ever ounce more you carry. I have always been a notorious female traveller, packing everything especially those just in case outfits, the many lotions and potions that I never used you name it I packed it just in case. But now that I travel more often and with the limitations I am packing way smarter and this thanks to many travel tips I picked up from the pros.
Best Packing Tips from the Pros
1. Luggage – Start With a Lightweight, Durable Luggage
Well of course when traveling it all starts with the luggage. I am a Heys girl I love that the luggage comes in an assortment of colours and can be spotted quickly on the carousel. I converted to Heys over 8 years ago and never looked back. I used to travel with the same black, soft-sided luggage you all travel with, marking it with ribbon and Canadian flags so I can try and pick it out from the hundreds of other black luggage pieces but then after the last soft-sided bag I had ripped and barely made it through my vacation I switched to a Heys Hard-case Cruiser. I won’t go into the pros vs cons of hard vs soft luggage here, or the durability, flexibility of Heys luggage but I will say that just about every person that has travelled with me has now converted their luggage sets to Heys.
aving the right bag is imperative in this travel market. You want to make sure that your luggage is lightweight, not too large and meets the new sizing and weight requirements the airlines impose. If you are and all-inclusive traveler and fly charter airlines like I do then paying attention to you bag’s size and weight are even more important.
2. Change how you Think about Packing – Pack as Little as Possible Not as Much as you can Carry
This one is still a hard one for me. Narrowing down what is important to pack and what can stay home is really hard for someone who thinks I might pack this just in case. It’s also hard for those who pack as much as they can carry with little thought to what they actually need. You may have to actually adjust your packing mindset a bit before you start. Squash the “Just in Case” thinking before you start packing anything.
3. Make a List – spread out your Packing – before putting it in the suitcase
Be organised and figure out what you will need on your trip before putting anything in the suitcase. Try making a list of the outfits and items you will require.
Clothes – Take note that for most of the day you will be sightseeing, or sitting by a beach or a pool. Another portion of your day will be sleeping or lounging at the hotel and finally you will have occasions where you will be going out for dinner, a show or some variation of evening entertainment. For day to day lounging or sightseeing you can wear the same outfits more than once so you really don’t need a fresh shirt, shorts or swimsuit for each and every day of your trip, a couple of options can be mix and matched through the trip. Obviously this won’t apply to you undergarments unless you have access to laundry in which case you can wash them during longer trips. Your evening outfits can also be reused or mixed and matched throughout the trip, as you will always be meeting new people and no one is going to notice if you wore something more than once. This is a huge packing saver for those of you (like I used to do myself) who pack 7 days worth of clothes with a few “option” outfits just in case. You will only end up wearing half of it trust me.
Lay It All Out on the bed – before you start putting everything in your luggage you should lay it all out before you. it will likely spark something you already packed that you don’t need more of and it may help you realize that you forgot that one all important thing.
Most of all remember that (unless you are travelling to an extremely rural area) there almost always is a store at the hotel or in the town you are visiting where you will be able to buy whatever you need.
4. Travel-size toiletries are a Must
This is not just because of the carry-on luggage limitations, buying your toiletries in travel size packages or putting your shampoo and conditioner into small travel -size bottles will save you a huge amount of weight. Those big bottle of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and gels are dead weight and you will never need a full bottle of any of it for you vacation. So downsize and watch how light your luggage will get.
5. Exercise Clothes on Vacation?
Look I don’t want to tell you not to bring your exercise clothes on your vacation if you actually plan to hit the gym at your resort/hotel. But honestly how many times have you packed the running shoes and workout wear and actually used them on vacation. For beach lovers like me, you’ll be barefoot when walking on the beach or walking around the resort in sandles and flip flops. So unless you are actually 100% going to use the gym on vacation skip the workout wear.
6. Books – they add to the weight of your luggage quickly.
It is getting easier to carry books in one easy to use Kindle or iPad but most of us still prefer to hold that book in our hands and read. Especially if at the beach those electrical devices may not read well in the sun. I have compiled a list of e-readers that are beach friendly here. But if you insist of bringin a book… think through which books you are going to bring and consider how much they weigh. Most of you won’t read more than one book on a beach vacation so don’t carry 5. Be reasonable about how much you are going to read on vacation and choose paperback books for travelling. If you are going on a sightseeing trip those travel books can weigh a lot, you may want to photocopy the important pages, or pick smaller soft cover guides.
7. Rolling your clothes
This is especially good with wrinkle free clothes and will save room in your luggage as well. Rolling your shirts and pants and then stacking them inside your lugagge will save lots of space.
8. Try Using Packing Cubes
I started traveling with these over 8 years ago when I switched to Heys luggage. These are so great for travelling. These lightweight fabric bags come in various sizes and hold your clothes nice and compact. You can sort a cube for you t-shirts, one for your underthings and it keeps everything nice and organized. when you get to the hotel, you simply open the top of the cube and you can slide it right into the drawer or onto a shelf in the closet and you are unpacked. Better yet you know where all your shirts are and they are easy to access because they were rolled nicely into the packing cube. I always travel with these and every person that has travelled with me has now bought their own set. It will make your packing so much easier.