A Brief Guide to Packing for a Trip

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A Brief Guide to Packing for a Trip

Before you carry that overloaded suitcase to the car, imagine how much heavier it is going to feel when you have to lug it through the airport terminal. Straining your back just so you can have three or four extra dress shirts to choose from is not worth the pain. Odds are that the majority of travelers who have difficulty with their luggage have over packed.

The lines to get through security and to the baggage claim are long enough. The effort to move your luggage across the airport as well as the additional stress of worrying if the oversized, over packed bag will make the flight and meet you at your destination can not be justified.

Be sure to inspect your bags on order to make sure that you are not bringing anything along that you do not need. If you find an item that you could live without for this trip, take it out. That extra pair of shoes will be in your closet waiting for you when you return. You will most likely still have to check your baggage when you arrive at the airport, but at least it will not be as heavy as it was and you can rest easier knowing that everything in your bags is essential.

Going with as small and as light a bag as possible, is the best place to start when packing for a trip. The ease of carrying a small, lightweight bag through the airport, up and down hotel stairs, or to and from your rental car is a great example of the benefits of being thrifty with your luggage.

On an airplane you can put a small bag under your seat in some cases (each airline has its own policies on whether bags can be stored underneath your seta or not). However, even if you cannot store your bag under your seat, it can be stored in the overhead compartment above your seat or aisle. Having the assurance of knowing your bag is onboard with you eliminates worries over baggage being lost by baggage handlers. This is another reason to use a smaller bag, if possible, to store your belongings.

Still, the question remains: How do you travel lighter in order to take advantage of these benefits and not arrive at your destination without needed items? The simplest answer is to plan your packing with as much attention to detail as when you plan the rest of your trip.

Begin by packing the most important items, such as prescription medication. However, it’s a good idea to buy a small pill dispenser and place your medication in them for the days you will be on your trip, plus an extra day just in case you are delayed by a day in returning home. This takes up much less room in a bag than full bottles of medication or vitamins. If you are unexpectedly delayed at your destination for a longer than anticipated period of time, you can always call your doctor and request that he or she call in a prescription to a pharmacy close to where you are staying.

Par down how much clothing you are taking with you as these are bulky, heavy items. 3 pairs of jeans, or pants, one skirt or shorts, 3 shirts, 1 set of pajamas, 3 pairs of socks and 4 pairs of underwear will last you 7 days and you can wash your clothes if you will be staying away longer. Wear a pair of jeans that day and air them out that night and wear them again the next day. Rotating your shirts will give you a new look every day. Socks and underwear can be worn inside and out for two days of wear. Shorts could be worn for outdoor recreation to save your jeans for dining and attending indoor events. A skirt could work in the same way or be worn home the last day of your trip.

Hygiene products such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, denture brush, denture cleaner, hairbrush, and soap bars. And items like curling irons and hair dryers can take up a lot of room in your bag when you take them in their full-sized versions. You can scale hygiene products down in size by putting them in travel size containers. Many hotels provide free shampoo, conditioner, and soap for their guests, so you may not need to take much of these products with you. Consider too that many mid-priced, and higher priced hotels provide hair dryers in-room for guests to use. Ask about this when you make your reservations and you might find that you can leave your bulky hair dryer at home. If you must take items such a these because the hotel doesn’t provide them, buy them the travel size versions of them to keep them from overloading your bag.

Taking excess money and valuable jewelry with you is never recommended. Hop online and find other tips for traveling lighter.

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