Packing Like A Pro: 5 Mistakes You Should Be Avoiding Already

By John Miller

terminal luggageNo, you don’t need to carry around large heavy bags, pack for every eventuality or dig around in a bottomless suitcase for the item you are looking for.  If you are a frequent traveller or even if you’re not, you need to start packing smarter! Here are some of the top packing mistakes you should already be avoiding making your travel life a whole lot easier.

Overpacking
The biggest packing mistake you can make it to pack too much.  You might dread packing for a trip and worry that you won’t be able to fit everything you need in your bag again! How long are you going to be away for? Does your luggage reflect this or does it seem like you are going away for a whole lot longer? If you are an over packer you have probably been in that scenario where some of your clothes and accessories and even shoes have been left in your suitcase untouched for the whole trip. But why? Why do we carry around things that weigh down the bag, that we will never even use? Just in case? 

Now is the time to stop. Plan what to bring with you and only bring items you will definitely use. Learn from past mistakes, pack clothes that can be mixed and matched. Choose only one pair of shoes that will go with everything, and ditch things that are already provided by hotels. Pack travel sized toiletries to save space and weight too.

travel packChoosing the wrong bag
If you want to travel light, then forget about bringing along a heavy suitcase. Choosing the correct bag will save you so much hassle in the future. A lightweight backpack or bag, especially for carry on is best. Check the dimensions and make sure the bag fits into the carry-on limitations for the airline you are travelling with. Once you have a light correct sized bag now you need to pack it. 

Using packing cubes can help to compact your luggage and separate your outfits and other items makes it much easier to pack your bag. They also compress your items making it more likely to fit everything perfectly into your carry-on bag. You can also use them to separate clean and dirty items making it easier to do your laundry too. Have a look at my packing cubes review to see which ones will suit you best for your trip.

Under preparing for the weather
When planning your trip, of course you will research your destination before you go, and one of those things you’ll find out is what the weather is going to be like. When packing you need to keep this in mind as you don’t want to be caught short in a shower or find yourself freezing on a night out. It might be difficult when trying to pack light, however there are a few things that will help you out.

One warm jumper or sweatshirt is all you need to keep out that chill, as even in warm destinations it can get cold at night. A rain-proof jacket (that you can wear whilst travelling) or a compact pack-a-mac will help you out during rain showers wherever you are. A good pair of comfortable walking boots or shoes, also worn whilst travelling are a great piece of travel kit that can be taken anywhere. Don’t worry, you can still look chic and be comfortable too! With many retailers combining style, comfort and versatility you will find the right travel gear for you.

LaundromatForgetting you can do laundry en route A big mistake often made when packing is forgetting that you can do your washing whilst you are travelling. This means you often bring along too many wear once outfits, when you could wash and wear the same outfits again. This goes for underwear too. You could half your luggage by planning to do your laundry while away and feel like you have a fresh set of clothes once again. 

There are several ways you can do this depending on your budget and where you are travelling to. Your hotel may have a laundry service you could take advantage of or you may choose to stay in an apartment that has the advantage of a washing machine built in. You can also find a local launderette which is a cheap and popular option. It doesn’t have to be a waste of time either, plan your next destinations or where you will eat and drink tonight, read up on the area or update your social media whilst you wait. Remember the space you save by doing your own laundry means you can travel carry on only and save time waiting for luggage at the airport carousels. 

Thinking you can’t buy things when you’re there 

Don’t panic thinking you won’t be able to get what you need whilst you are away. Unless you are travelling to a remote destination then you will be able to buy what you need or get hold things you’ve forgotten. If you need an extra t-shirt because you can’t do your laundry don’t worry, pick up a cheap tee from a local store.

Instead of carrying big or heavy items like large toiletries you can pick them up when you get there. Or if you aren’t sure what your hotel provides check once you arrive and pick up what you don’t have. You might even find that you don’t need what you were thinking of bringing along. Saving you time, money and weight in your backpack too. 

Have these travel tips given you some workable advice for packing for your next trip? Hopefully you’ll be able to adapt these tips and work on your packing mistakes meaning you’ll be packing like a pro in no time. Do you have any other tips for those wanting to pack smarter and lighter?

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About Charlene Mixa

Seeing new places, learning about cultures and seeing the sights has always been my dream. Growing up I was blessed with parents that enjoyed traveling and thought nothing of taking a family of seven on excursions. My career in Human Resources and later as a consultant for an international Human Resource firm offered some travel, but I knew as my husband and I approached retirement, my goal was to do more traveling and broader trips. The nine years since retirement has been filled with fantastic adventures from short local one day trips to several week excursions. Living in Florida, it is especially enjoyable to be away in the summer to cooler climates. Multi-week driving trips across the good ol' USA, settling in for a month in the mountains to explore the local area, or a combination of both fill much of our summer season. Our travels are predominantly self-orchestrated, bringing the fun and challenge of getting everything to click. It's all about doing and sharing! Experiencing a travel adventure is exciting. Reliving a special travel moment with a friend or family is exhilarating. I feel my heart race and pulse quicken, as I sharing that special moment. Thank you for joining in my travel adventures and allowing me to hear your stories.