The Best Travel Packing Tips For Your Next Trip
I used to pack last minute, running around in a panic looking for a clean pair of socks or my passport, but regular business and vacation trips have definitely refined my packing skills. I now pack like a pro, traveling light without sacrificing style. Follow my simple tricks and you will be on your way to master the art of packing.
Make a packing list with all your travel essentials.
I always found myself arriving minus something vital, so packing lists are now an essential part of my routine. Before writing one, I cast a mental eye over what my trip diary holds then select clothes that do double duty.
Pack the essentials needed for your trip.
Regardless of whether it’s a trip to see family for Thanksgiving, a Memorial Day break or yet another business trip — my first packing priority has always been the essentials. In the past, I skipped on tees and extra dress shirts but learned my lesson the hard way when a glass of red wine encountered my shirt. Making sure you have enough basics saves tracking down shops if an unexpected misfortune overtakes you.
Over the years I’ve added some other essentials to the list. Plastic shoe trees are more lightweight than wooden ones while a multi-charger cuts down on tangled up lengths of wire. When wires are unavoidable I keep them under control in a small, soft drawstring bag.
Pack each day’s outfit.
Very often we need to look smart during the day but more dressed down in the evenings. A fine-knit sweater that is formal enough to layer over shirts and ties for the office, but laid-back enough with chinos for casual evenings, it is one of my packing favorites.
If my trip dictates wearing a suit, I always travel in it to save space for other essentials such as tees, sweaters and chinos — which let me work my suit jacket and pants separately. A color theme helps carry this trick off. A navy or charcoal gray suit jacket over a striped blue and white shirt plus jeans gives a look sharp enough for after-work drinks in the city or a family dinner in town. If you want a splash of color, an eye-catching tie can easily do the trick but keep it muted enough to allow for use at meetings or other formal events you have planned.
Use your packing space efficiently.
Traveling with just carry-on luggage saves time and hassle at airports, makes using public transport and cabs that much easier and definitely focuses the mind on how to pack like a pro. Whatever size of case you’ve picked, utilizing the space effectively is key.
Socks and small electronics can slip into shoes (if not placing shoe-trees in them) while T-shirts, vests, and lightweight jumpers can be rolled. Once they’re in, slip books, and other paraphernalia into gaps between them. I always pack dress shirts, pants, and knits last — folding them so they fit the width of the case. They’re less likely to wrinkle and unpack quickly when I arrive.
Choose a good suitcase and carry-on.
After several baggage mistakes, I’ve learned that investing in good carry-on suitcases is essential. They make all the difference to packing and traveling and definitely deliver travel style bonus points. My rigid body Tumi should last my working life, it’s easy to wheel and provides a base for my holdall as I navigate the airport. Another luxurious treat was a high-quality leather suitcase from Globetrotter. It’s a purchase I’ve never regretted and like any leather bag, the more I use it the better it looks.
Review what you’ve packed.
Despite my penchant for lists, I always ended up over-packing so now I find doing a lay down as an easy double-checking method. That’s when I ask myself if I really need three striped shirts, or if one can be swapped for a smart casual polo shirt.
Head to the airport and fly out stress-free.
Ever-increasing airport security focused all our minds on traveling light where toiletries and liquids are concerned. No problem if you’re checking in bags but if you prefer to stick to hand baggage then you’ll need to plan ahead. Traveling in the US means I’m more vigilant with my dopp kit, keeping to regulations strictly.
Keeping to a clear plastic bag is the better choice, rather than having to open up your luggage and show security your nice leather dopp kit. In Europe or elsewhere, it’s definitely more lax so I enjoy using my smaller travel accessories that much more.
Hopefully, with these few tips you’re now ready to tackle how to pack like a pro, ready to go out and clinch that business deal or have a great vacation.