One of the secrets to traveling successfully is to travel light, yet so many of us often end up packing loads of things that we actually don’t need. As a result, we pay larger baggage fees, our bags come apart at the seams and we heave our suitcases around airports, train and coach stations or, even worse, around our destinations. Why does this happen so often to so many?
Packing for the doomsday
Some people believe that they need to take everything they use at home on their trip, but that is simply impossible. Usually, we pack too many clothes, because we don’t want the weather to surprise us. However, a holiday in Spain usually doesn’t require a sweater, just like a short business trip to Chicago can be a success without a bathing suit and beach towels. What you need to do is pack the essentials, which depend on the type of activities you’ve planed and the weather forecast. Also, have a contingency plan that includes travel insurance and backup copies of identification.
Avoid oversized bags
It’s in the human nature to fill the bag to the brim. So, instead of choosing a suitcase first, opt for making a list of things you want to pack and choose the smallest possible bag or suitcase that can hold all your belongings. Also, it’s a smart idea to invest in a lightweight, quality piece of baggage, since you might have problems with airlines and their policies regarding the maximum weight allowed. Especially when traveling with kids, you have to take extra care of packing only essentials for a trip. You do not need 10 T-shirts and another 10 long sleeve shirts for 10 days trip, trust us! Try to adopt your needs with your kids and partner needs and plan in advance every day.
Dress for the weather
Speaking of planning in advance, it’s perfectly normal that you are in doubt when packing for a trip through multiple climates or during transitional seasons. This problem is usually “solved” by overpacking. However, you simply can’t pack clothes for every possible weather scenario. Instead, choose lightweight pieces, such as chic women’s jeans for traveling and thin clothes that can help you wear just enough layers. The secret is to be able to add or remove layers depending on the current weather conditions. If you are traveling with kids, they should have multiple layers as well – one moment they would climb rocks and be warm, but another one they might be sleepy in a chilly night while you are having dinner so they’ll need a jacket.
If you’re one of those people who pack without a packing list or create one just before the trip, chances are you’ll forget something important or you’ll stuff your bags with stuff you don’t really need. The sooner you create a list, the better equipped you’ll be for the trip and you’ll avoid paying overweight and oversized bag fees. This is particularly true if you’re traveling with a low-cost carrier since they are notorious for hefty fees.
There are those who believe they’ll go running each morning while away on a trip or that they will be regular at a local gym. Unless you are truly dedicated to such activities, you’d better leave your running shoes and gym equipment at home. Also, unless there is a formal dinner organized and confirmed, you probably don’t need your smartest dress.
No laundry strategy
If you are planning a longer trip, you might want to check local options for doing laundry. That will allow you to pack fewer items of clothing. It may be a bit of a hassle, but you’ll carry less, pay less and stress less during the trip. Most hotels offer such amenities and so do Airbnb rentals. Even if there’s no washing machine, you should be able to find a laundry service near your accommodation.
Too many gadgets
A lot of us are addicted to various gizmos and gadgets, but we should be very rational when it comes to packing all of them. Especially if that means we have to pack different chargers for each item. So, chose those that you really need and make sure you have a universal charger. Also, check what kind of adapters and converters you need in the country you’ll be visiting. Some hotels keep such chargers and adapters, but make sure you check their availability before you set off.
If you manage to overcome these common mistakes when it comes to packing, you’ll have a better time traveling and you won’t have to pay unnecessary fees for overweight and oversized bags. If you are a novice traveler, expect to make a few mistakes, but make sure you learn from them.