Traveling is one of the greatest and most interesting things to do. But this is something you generally enjoy more when you are well-equipped! This is why it’s important to pack the right things, for the right destination and the right season (and occasion!).
How to pack your bag?
You should always have the essentials you need while traveling and be ready for any situation. Therefore, I let you imagine why packing is one of the most important steps in the preparation of your trip! (On top of the itinerary planning, the accommodation/transport bookings, etc.)
What to pack?
The items in the list below are items that you should definitely have with you while traveling. I generally prepare a list of stuff to put in my luggage by visualizing what I will be using from head to toes and then the famous “Phone – keys – wallet” combo.
Let’s do this: These are the essentials that you HAVE TO have with you, no matter what:
– ID + cash/cards (always pack CASH as well!): Shops might not accept cards, your card could be declined or get lost. Be prepared for any case!
– Transport tickets/passes
– Mobile phone AND charger
– Health stuff (glasses, painkillers, plasters, etc.)
– House keys (or car keys if you are traveling by car)
– Clothing: Of course, I would advise to choose your clothes depending on the season, the temperature, the occasion, the comfort and the destination you’re heading to. Generally, I like to go for layers so I can adjust if the temperature ends up higher/lower than expected. Always have a Plan B!
– care products (washing products, beauty, protection etc.): However, these are replaceable as you can buy them in a shop somewhere when you arrive at your destination. Depending if you travel for a long time or not, you can decide to take them with you or buy them when you arrive at your destination (Really handy when you travel by plane).
– bottle of water: I would suggest you to always carry a bottle of water with you at all times. I generally buy one after the controls if I take the plane. But I always have one with me.
You can of course also carry items that are not essentials but nice to have for your comfort, your entertainment or your wellness. I call these items the “Nice-to-have”.
Here are the “Nice-to-Have” on my list (so nothing essential):
– Electronics + Charger (tablet, computer, etc.): a bit of entertainment during transport can be a good thing (especially if you’re traveling for a long time).
– Books: another way of entertaining yourself!
– Practical accessories (sunglasses, headphones, portable battery, towel, etc.): all these practical stuff that you may eventually need depending on your habits and the season.
– Accessories (Jewellery, bags, hats, gloves…): I can definitely live without these while traveling (ok maybe not the gloves… it’s Winter after all, no kidding!)
– Snacks: I tend to avoid taking snack while traveling (unless I travel for a long time and need to get a proper meal) as I have the bad habit to snack when I’m bored (you know, like this reflex of opening the fridge when you are at home, even when you are not hungry…); Well it’s the same concept for me while traveling. If I’m getting bored, I tend to snack. Bad! Bouuuuuhhhhhh!!!
How to pack your stuff?
Once your list of stuff is ready, it’s time to prepare your bag. I personally always put all my stuff on the bed before starting packing in order to have a better overview of all what I need to fit in my luggage.
Here are some tips to gain space in your luggage/to stay organized:
– Roll your clothes: This is my favorite method as I gain so much space and can take more stuff with me. I would roll all the trousers, tops, pullovers, dresses, skirts, etc. The only items I’m not rolling are jackets or shirt that have been ironed. I prefer to keep them folded on top of the rest in the bag.
– Fold them by outfit: Create your outfit in advance and you’ll take only what you need. You can then fold your outfit together (for instance, top, trousers, underwear, socks all in one pack). This means that every time you’ll take something in your bag, you’ll have the full outfit.
The only inconvenient with this method is that you would have to pick a piece in one of your other outfits if you spill something or one of your cloth gets dirty. It could “ruin your strategy”.
– Use the small pockets of your bag for smaller items (Socks, underwear, T-shirts…): I tend to put my beauty products and underwear/socks on the side pockets as it’s also easier to access them afterward.
– Fill the gaps: I would always start packing the biggest items and THEN, fill in the gaps with smaller items. For instance, put socks in your bra or in the middle of your rolled belt, etc.
– Wear some of the biggest items, so it doesn’t take space in the bag: This is something I would always do if I get on the plane. I take the biggest cloth on me (the items that would take the most of the space in my bag). Same for the return.
Some extra tips:
– I always have a plastic bag with me to put my cloth to wash. Even if these clothes are dirty/used, I would still roll them so they don’t take more space in my bag than when I brought them and the plastic bag avoid them to get in contact with the other clothes.
– Have ropes/straps on you: I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest fears is that the zip of my luggage breaks in the middle of the station or the airport and I end up with everything on the ground. Therefore, I always put a strap around my luggage to avoid it to open in case something goes wrong.
Here are all the little tips that I personally use and that I would definitely recommend if you are not doing it already. I literally can take more stuff with me while traveling, which gives me a bit more flexibility in the choice of clothes I’m wearing BUT also let me enough space to bring souvenirs back from my holiday (Let’s admit it, most of the time, it’s food… I’m a foodie, what can I do?!)
And you, what are your tips to pack your bag more efficiently?
Related topic: Essentials to have in your handbag