It recently occurred to me that I have now officially traveled enough to have a specific packing routine; one that’s been honed over a matter of many years and even more round trip flights. I have actually always been pretty organized, and have fervently believed in the ‘you can never be too prepared’ mantra. My family used to tease me mercilessly for laying out my outfits for the following day to keep my mornings moving efficiently (OK, maybe a little uptight for a 7 year old), but now I think all that attention to detail has served me well. Here are just a few quick tips from a self-proclaimed pro packer.
Shoes should never come in direct contact with clothing. Placing your shoes in either their dust-cover bags or in plastic bags (separately or together as a pair) will ensure that the dirty soles don’t make marks on your favourite white tee.
Seek out mini versions of your essential beauty products. Even if you are checking a bag, there is really no need to lug the entire bottle of your favourite shampoo. Some brands will have travel versions, or even sample sizes of their product line. If that’s a no-go, then invest in some good quality travel containers and transfer your creams, cleansers, and serums. Now you have a traveling set ready to go for last-minute jaunts.
3. Travel Day
There is much debate over the casual (read: pyjamas) vs. jet-set (read: blazers) approach to travel days. I say just ‘do you’, but these are my plane ride musts: a big comfy scarf, an elastic waist band, cozy socks, Purell, lip balm.
4. Garment Sleeve
Unless the last time you purchased luggage was in the 90s, your suitcase probably came with a handy little fold-out garment attachment inside the lid. If you are like me, you probably discarded it somewhere to increase the capacity of your case. See if you can dig that piece up because I just discovered mine recently and it’s the best thing to happen to my shirts and jackets. You simply place any of your hanging items in it, fold them over and ta-da – no wrinkles when you land!
Grab three net bags; one for undies, one for bras, and one for socks. Keep these items stashed in their bags for easy access, and then use them again to tote dirty laundry home.
There’s nothing worse than dealing with a heap of tangled necklaces when all you want to do is get out of your room in time for happy hour. I came across this little trick a while back, and it has been working like a charm ever since!
7. Plan Ahead
The credit goes to my (equally
insane organized) husband for this one. Next time you’re at the airport, grab a stack of border security forms and keep them on hand for future trips. These can be filled out at home before you depart rather than dealing with balancing pen and paper on your knee while savvy travellers whiz by. On that note, you can also grab a stash of airport-issued plastic bags for your carry-on liquids to ensure you do not exceed the limits before hitting the security line.
8. Think in Outfits
Perhaps the number one tip that makes my life easier (both while packing and on my trips) is to pack in outfits. Deciding ahead of time what I will wear for each day and each event means no carrying around excess items that never get worn, and no ‘what to wear?’ stressing while on vacation, because who needs that!?
9. Extra Bag
If you have the space, try to bring an extra bag that flattens into the front pocket of your suitcase to use for day trips or bringing back a good haul from the local shops.
At the very least, bring along some earbuds to drown out the din of your fellow travellers. But if you travel quite a bit, it’s so worth the splurge to get yourself some noise-cancelling headphones. I luuuurve these ones that my husband and I bought ourselves for our honeymoon trip to Australia and New Zealand. They completely drown out the cry of a baby or the sniffling of your seat mate and can honestly mean the preservation of your sanity on long haul flights.