Packing a suitcase is painful, even if you have traveled extensively. This travel packing guide will give tips for making the process more streamlined and straightforward. The best way to get ahead of getting anxious is to pack a few days before your trip and keep a list of which outfits work well for traveling for different holidays. Don't wait until the last minute; it's not worth it.
Many bloggers write about how they travel for two weeks with only a carry-on suitcase. Then, they talk about the twenty outfits they can make from the few items they brought. It looks impressive, minimalist (my favorite word), and a breeze.
Then I try to do it, and it just doesn't work – WTF! Plus, I “always” get annoyed with these people who drag on these full carry-on suitcases; some of them are bloody huge! They take forever to put them in the overhead locker, and there's barely room for anyone else. They usually also carry a large backpack that just about fits under the seat, and it takes them five minutes to get everything sorted. Everyone seems to want to do that now, and it's beyond annoying.
I'm going the opposite way. For Europe, I carry the 30″ suitcase because I nearly always bring stuff back. For US travel, I go with the 25″ suitcase if it's more than a weekend trip. I check it in, and then I can wander around the airport with a small backpack, not dragging stuff around. It easily fits under the flight seat; notably, I can sit down in seconds without blocking everyone. The same goes for getting off the plane since I never have anything in the overhead locker.
Travel Packing Guide – What I Use On My Trips
eBags Packing Cubes
After trying a few different brands of packing cubes, I settled with eBags because the feel of the material is lovely. Other brands had a hard-feeling nylon fabric which I couldn't stand. Not sure about other HSP's but I hate the feel of a lot of nylon products. These are soft and super easy to fold away when not in use. They make packing so organized and easy and come in lots of different colors. I also use one of the cubes as a shoe bag.
When I decide to use cubes, I use these ones, but lately, I have started packing using the Marie Kondo method. So far, I like it more so than using cubes. Try different ways to pack your suitcase and see which method works best for you.
Silicone Travel Jars
I love these tiny silicone jars and use them on all of my trips. They hold enough cream for about a two-week journey and take up no room in your luggage. I have had no issues with them, and they never leaked. They are also great for the gym; whether you keep them in your locker or your gym bag, you will barely notice them.
Silicone Travel Bottles
Like the travel jars, these bottles are leakproof and slightly bigger than other travel bottles I have tried. Most importantly, they feel great; I'm a fan of silicone and love how it feels. I'm not too fond of the typical rigid plastic travel containers, so these fit the bill perfectly. Even though they are leakproof, I always put these bottles in a ziplock bag just to be on the safe side. Having one leak all over everything is the last thing I want to deal with.
The Epicka travel adapter is an affordable, all-in-one multifunction adapter covering more than 150 countries with US/EU/AU/UK plugs. It has 4 USB Ports, 1 USB TYPE C, and 1 AC Socket to charge six devices simultaneously with high speed.
Orb Luggage Strap
Luggage straps have two purposes – 1) to help you know which bag is yours, go for a funky unusual one, and 2) to protect your bag if the zip falters. Over time, many suitcases have zips that will wear out or tear. If this happens while traveling, it could be a nightmare, and this cheap option will protect against that.
Victorinox Expandable Spinner
This is my favorite suitcase; I have used it on about six trips. It is easy to wheel while traveling and it’s a hard-side suitcase with an expandable center. I thought the expandable part would make it super bulky, but it’s simple and doesn’t take away from the sleek minimalist look. It expands an additional 5″ that will give you up to 45% more capacity.
Travel Packing Guide for Clothes
The best way to choose what you bring is to keep one primary color in mind and work in that color group. You can easily interchange tops and bottoms and have different outfits. Or, if you have a favorite pair of shoes, you want to bring, start with them and then come up with outfits.
For those with sensory issues with clothes, bags, etc., pack soft and not too tight items, especially for the plane.
It has taken a long time, but I am finally better at getting my clothes right. There are so many options now, and it seems like it's gone mainstream to have soft, easy-to-wear fabrics. You can be fashionable and comfortable at the same time.
I particularly love Athleta; some of their stuff you can barely feel you are wearing, so something like that would be great for the plane.
If you decide to cut off all of the tags – this is something I “always” do – make sure you A) don't put a hole in the garment and B) don't leave little bits of it there that will undoubtedly start driving you insane while you are out somewhere and you can't change.
- Dryer Sheets – throw one or two into your suitcase, and they will keep everything smelling lovely.
- Bring an extra cube or bag for laundry, or use the pocket in the case's lid.
- One-color scheme and no just-in-case items.
- Plan outfits before you pack – two tops for every one bottom
- Limit shoes – two pairs in the suitcase and wear the third.
- Pack for one week and do laundry if you stay longer.
- Limit jewelry; I only bring what I'm wearing.
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