You’ve taken the plunge and booked your first vacation in an embarrassing amount of time. Now comes the most stressful part of it all: packing. When you’re entering the great unknown, it’s tempting to compensate for your worries by bringing all the comforts of home with you. But overpacking will become a greater nuisance to you on the road than swallowing your doubts and doing as the experts do – traveling light.
Trimming down on toiletries
Traveling light is one of those tricks that novice globetrotters balk at and experts swear by. The secret to getting past your need to cram your life into your luggage? Trust. Trust that the rest of the world isn’t so different from home. Trust that other people, whether they’re in Berlin or Bangkok, also brush their teeth and wash their hair. When packing toiletries, stick to sample sizes and only include the items you absolutely need to get through the first few days of your trip. If you do run out of something, it may involve a few wrong turns and a language barrier, but chances are you’ll be able to stock back up at a drugstore or supermarket without too much difficulty.
Simplifying your wardrobe
Countless bloggers like to amaze casual readers with click-bait-worthy claims of how they fit 30 outfits into a carry on. There are plenty of tips and tricks on the web for how to maximize your vacation threads, but they generally boil down to a few main points. Stick to a neutral palette so you can mix and match. Pack durable items that won’t wrinkle easily and that you can get more than one wear out of. And last but not least, get organized ahead of time. Knowing a little about the weather and what you’ll be doing on your trip will help you eliminate some of those pesky “what ifs” that drive so many to overpack. Apps like PackPoint can guide the way if you’re new to the packing game.
Fitting it all inside
Traditional packing lore calls for rolling clothes, but this actually takes up more space than simple folding. The interfolding and bundling methods are the biggest space savers out there, but because these involve folding your clothes into one large chunk that must be undone at every stop, it’s less than ideal for travelers visiting multiple destinations. Packing cubes and envelopes are great, simple ways to compress and organize your luggage, but might bump up your wrinkling risk. There are as many folding methods as there are travelers, so to narrow down the field, you’ll have to consider what your packing priorities are.
If you would rather lose a limb than be seen in a wrinkled garment, go to the trouble of learning the bundling method. Making multiple stops? You need to focus on organization, so investing in packing cubes is the way to go. For a quick weekend getaway, you shouldn’t need any fancy tricks or gadgets. Old school folding and rolling will serve you just fine.
At the end of the day, if how you pack is a constant sticking point, your real problem is probably how much you pack. There’s no substitute for exercising moderation in your packing list, so get organized early on and let go of the “what ifs.”