Tips Travel Packing – Let’s face it, packing for the holidays is no easy task. With so many factors at play — from the length of the trip to changing itineraries — it’s easy to overpack or underpack, especially if you’re saving it until the last minute. To help you get back on your feet, we’ve compiled the ultimate all-in-one packing list, which you can download here.
While we can’t do all the packing for you, we have some helpful travel tips from fellow travelers…
Tips Travel Packing
These durable yet lightweight bags allow you to group similar items (eg: underwear, accessories, beachwear) together and pack them into a single cube. This makes unpacking and repacking easy.
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“Everyone from the US seems to love Amazon’s basics or e-pouches. Eagle Creek and Osprey’s high priced cubes also have good reviews.” – Ceetine in the Travel Gadgets and Gear forum
Rolled clothes take up less space and help prevent wrinkling. However, for heavier items such as winter jackets, you can save more space by folding them or storing them flat at the bottom of your suitcase.
“I’ve been on a 3 week trip and never used an iron. The trick is to smooth and roll as tight as possible while rolling. I just roll them up until I’m ready to wear them. You’ll be amazed at it How easy it is.” – texsun59 in the Las Vegas Forum
Always put the heaviest items on the bottom of the suitcase. Top-heavy suitcases are at risk of tipping over. Frequent flyers of budget airlines will also know that the best way to keep your luggage bulky is to wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane.
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“Wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane. Sweaters, jeans, and sneakers take up more room than t-shirts, slacks, and sandals. This allows you to carry a smaller bag/suitcase.” – MusketeersPlus2 on Ask …forum
While lost luggage is rare these days, luggage delays are still common, even if your flight is a short non-stop. Bring an extra set of clothes (especially a change of socks and underwear) – this is also useful during layovers if you want to freshen up.
“I always bring a swimsuit, a full change of clothes, all your medications, lotions, sunscreen, whatever you want in case your luggage gets lost or delayed. It’s happened to us before and we’re able to be like Move on as if nothing happened and enjoy starting our vacation.” – Bips in the Hawaii Forum
Another way is to make sure everyone has everyone’s essentials in their suitcases, in case some bags are delayed or lost.
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“We always ‘mix-pack’ our boxes so that everyone has something in each box, so if one of the boxes gets lost we’re all left with something. We’ve had cases where things went in one direction , and we’re going in the other direction, so this works for us.” – fjab in the family travel forum
If you’re traveling with someone or family, the last thing you want is to compete for the limited number of charging points in your hotel room. Bring an outlet extender so you can charge multiple devices at once.
Instead of opting for a bulky winter jacket, choose a lightweight coat that won’t weigh down your suitcase. Thermal shirts will keep you warm when layered with other clothing, including scarves. You can always add or remove layers depending on how cold it is outside.
“The clothes I bring dry very quickly so I can wash them easily and I can pack very, very lightly. My goal is to never check luggage.” – BlueSparrow on the Ask… Forum
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Skip the trendy wool overcoats and go with a fluffy down jacket. On extremely cold days, you can tuck the jacket into your backpack as an extra layer of insulation, use it as a pillow on the plane or roll it into a pouch to save space.
Pollen grains rise with warm air in the midday afternoon and fall again at night when the air cools. When outdoors, carry a small tube of petroleum jelly with you and dab it on the inside of the base of your nose, which acts as a trap for some pollen particles. A good pair of sunglasses will also keep pollen out of your eyes.
“It’s weird, but we’re used to it. In a worst-case scenario, (pollen) could coat the windshield of your parked car in a few hours. Bring a light coat and you’ll be fine.” – panchopup. in the road trip forum
Spring travel can be especially tricky – your destination can be cold, warm, wet or dry, or all four in one day. Your best choice? Pack breathable, warm, sweat-wicking and quick-drying clothing to prepare for sudden weather changes (merino wool is a good choice).
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“In a word, layers! We mostly wear light travel pants and long sleeve tees, or a tee under a light jumper. During the day it definitely gets warmer, and if you walk, you still get warm, but at night It’ll just get cooler.” – Longing for escape on a Japanese forum
In addition to the usual bug repellant, pack some resealable bags when visiting the tropics to keep bed bugs (it’s high season!) from getting a hold of your luggage. Use these bags to store dirty clothes and wash them in hot water when you get to your next hotel.
We get it – humid country (think many places in SE Asia) will leave you feeling hot and sticky in minutes. If you can’t park yourself in front of the air conditioner, the next best thing is to bring a spray bottle in Spray on face while exploring in the hot sun.
Autumn weather can seem unpredictable at times, with sunny days, cold nights and occasional afternoon downpours. Make sure you pack a loose, waterproof raincoat or windbreaker that you can take off or tie around your waist when needed, and a few pairs of wool socks.
Rick Steves’ Packing List
“Be sure to bring a raincoat, waterproof scarf, small folding umbrella, and gloves, and layered clothing types. I mostly wore dark slacks and light tops on the dirty subway, but not white (just because I Don’t want to do laundry all the time). For a nice dinner, I’ll bring a nice black dress and some colorful scarves.” – Discovery
Keeping your valuables safe is essential to a great day at the beach. If you leave any items unattended, consider stashing your cash in a prominent beach towel with a hidden pocket and keep it near a lifeguard if possible.
After a day at the beach, keep a bottle of talcum powder in your duffel bag and say goodbye to pesky sand residue. Before hopping in the car or walking back to your hotel room, dust some talcum powder all over your body to dehydrate your skin and hair and let the beach sand slip off with ease.
Properly organizing your pack can help you hike comfortably for longer. Start by placing compressible items like sleeping bags or pajamas on the bottom of your pack for shock absorption and lumbar support. Then, place larger food and cooking items in the middle section, padding them with tent cloth or spare clothing to keep them from digging into your back. Finally, place the top layer of the pack on the items you will use most while hiking, such as an insulated windbreaker, waterproof layer, toilet supplies, and a first aid kit.
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“You want something with a belt that transfers a lot of weight off your shoulders. Something like the Osprey Talon/Tempest is light and should hold the weight well.” – Liz Man
Cuts, scrapes, blisters and unexpected serious injuries happen all the time when you’re outdoors, so make sure you’re well-prepared for each situation. Prepare an emergency kit with essentials, including a lightweight 1-liter water bottle, water purification tablets, ready meal kit, matchbox, a waterproof flashlight with spare batteries, flares, a multi-tool, and first aid supplies such as sanitizing wet Allergy medications such as towels, medical tape, and antihistamines. Depending on how far you’re hiking, you might even want to carry signaling equipment such as satellite radio, signaling mirrors, flares, or a survival whistle.
If you’re planning to travel during the rainy season, line the inside of your backpack with a sturdy plastic bag to keep it out of the rain before you put everything in it.
Keep your car cleaner for longer with designated snack and trash compartments. Seal unfinished treat bags with clips or clothespins. For disposables, line a spare cereal or cookie box with a garbage bag and tuck it between car seats to catch used napkins or sweet wrappers.
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“Get a couple of clothespins – they’re usually just what you need to hang wet stuff or clip things together. You don’t even need to take them home, so throw them in the bin on the return trip.” – Fey Buddha
A great cooler is a luxury you’ll thank