When packing for a trip, how often do you find that you add items even though you have sufficient clothing for your trip? Do often find you bring home clothes you never wore? Are your bags so full there is no room for purchases you made while traveling? Overpacking – we all do it. What can you do to prevent this? Some strategy, some planning and a little bit of discipline is all you really need.
First, the strategy. Two key strategies can make a major difference.
- This is your vacation and vacations are meant for doing things differently than you normally do.
- Other than traveling companions, others you meet will probably never see you again.
Keep these in the back of your mind as you read.
Next, some planning.
- Select your wardrobe around 3 colors (nor more than 4) for a 2 week trip. Reduce for a shorter trip. So for shirts/tops and pants/shorts/skirts/dresses all should be of these 3 colors only.
- Pick at least some clothing that is easily handwashed.
- If you plan on shopping while traveling, include items that you would/could give away or discard during your trip.
Put everything you plan to take on the bed or a table.
Now to packing.
- With all your clothing on the bed or table, before placing anything in your luggage, remove half. If half seems like too much, take away one third. Keep in mind shopping and washable items when selecting what to remove. Remember the strategy these people will never see you again? If you now have only 4 pair of pants, no one will ever notice that you wore the same pair of pants 3 or 4 times. Even if you are traveling with the same people, when rotating, most will never notice when you are pairing with different shirts/tops and accessories.
- Now pack what is left.
As you travel:
- Wash a small item daily, leveraging time in the shower. If traveling to another hotel, wait until arrival or place washed items in a plastic bag to hang up when you arrive.
- Remember that vacations are for doing things differently strategy. Treat yourself. Allocate some money for hotel laundry just in case an item gets soiled or needs freshening. Many would not think twice about stopping for coffee, ordering dessert or having another glass of wine. Depending on the item $6-$12 really isn’t a lot when comparing to these other splurges.
- If you brought items to discard while traveling, consider leaving behind in the room either in the trash or with a note so that the hotel does not think it was left in error. Staff may take if desire. If leaving behind for staff, item(s) should be in good condition and not heavily soiled.
This may feel radical. However, all change takes some adjustment. You might just find that having less luggage and fewer items to deal with and keep track of will allow you to enjoy your travel more. One last benefit – with less you might be able to avoid the baggage carousel so you can start and your trip immediately and get home faster on your return!