The Art of Packing

Practical Packing Guidelines & Tips for Your Next Trip!

Packing is an art…most of us are guilty of over packing and regretting it later. Remember, you may have to wheel, heft, and maneuver that bag or bags in and out of car trunks, airplane overheads, up and down stairs, onto trains, in and out of small spaces…

The first mistake is buying luggage, backpacks and handbags that are too roomy and too big and heavy to start with. It’s human nature to squeeze in one more thing…and our backs and shoulders suffer for it.

Packing Tips

Following my practical packing guidelines will make that trip more enjoyable!

Some suggestions are to pack your bag or backpack then carry it around the block a few times. Another is “take only what you can carry half a mile at a dead run.” Whew! And, if you’re planning to carry on, can you lift that bag over your head and hold it for 10 seconds?

If you’ve ever had to run through an airport to catch a connection with your bags bouncing behind you or almost dropped to your knees trying to heft your bag overhead…you’ll be cured of over packing!

Also, keep in mind that over packing can cost you $$$! Many airlines are charging for checked bags and even carry-ons. And they all charge for over-weight bags. Before you start stuffing  your wardrobe into your luggage, check the size and weight limits of the airline.

I’ve provided some “Don’t Forget” and Don’t Bother suggestions, but first let’s review some useful guidelines.

The Rule of 7

#1 Consider where you’re going, when you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, and what you’ll be doing. 

#2 – Work around a color scheme: Pick a basic dark color (black, brown, navy), then no more than two accent colors.

#3 – Pick clothing – pants, shirts, skirts, tops, jackets, sweaters, etc. – that are versatile and can be mixed and matched.

#4 – Think layers:Pieces that you can peel off or add as needed such as vests, shawls, scarves and windbreakers are easy to pack and come in very handy.

Packing -choose a color scheme

Pick and stick to a color scheme to “mix and match”.

#5 Choose packable, washable and preferably wrinkle-free or resistant fabrics.

#6 Bring COMFORTABLE shoes – at least two pair – appropriate for the activities  you’ll be enjoying. Please, please, PLEASE break them in before you pack them!

#7 – Now, make a list of everything you would like to take. Put everything out and based on the criteria above, eliminate anything that doesn’t fit within the guidelines. Then remove about half of the rest, at least 2-3 more items (yes, I know this is going to be painful).

* * * *   A Dozen Great TipZ   * * * *

#1 – Be organized: Try to pack and unpack with a system so that you aren’t constantly tearing your luggage apart looking for something; frustrating and time consuming for you and for your travel mates.

#2 – Fold and roll: I turn my items inside out, then fold and roll them super small and pack them very tightly. I try to pack in the order I will probably wear the items unless I’m able to completely unpack at my destination.

#3 – Protect:I use dry cleaning plastic bags to separate layers dresses, tops, etc. This helpsprevent wrinkling & also protects them in case of any leakage.

#4 – Toss: Bring some pieces you were thinking about getting rid of anyway and discard them along the way. (I’ve done this with shoes, slippers, t-shirts, nighties, even underwear.)

#5 – Hand wash: Bring some concentrated liquid soap (such as Woolite) and wash out items that hang and dry quickly.

#6 – Short stays: I rarely completely unpack. I pull out what I will wear/need for that stay making it easier and quicker to re-pack.

Packing Tips

Make a list so you remember essential accessories.

#7 – Split the difference:If you’re traveling with a spouse, significant other or close friend, pack half of your clothing in each others’ bag, just in case one gets misdirected!

#8 – Do NOT pack: Any important documents such as passports , boarding passes or tickets,   money or credit cards.

#9 – Souvenirs: Leave room for souvenirs! Wrap fragile purchases in your dirties.

#10 – Bring an empty tote: Bring a compact fold-up duffle or carry-all tote “just in case”.

#11 -Label EVERYTHING! Place luggage tags inside and out with your contact information while you’re on the road and, if possible where you will be staying on your first stop. Those sheets of self-addressed mailing labels you get from non-profits? They’re perfect! Use them on your luggage tags and stick them on everything!

#12 -Most Important: Pack your sense of adventure, an open mind and a sense of humor! They will serve you well no matter what happens!

Besides, think about what great stories you’ll have to share when you get home!

More Packing Help: My Don’t Forget and Don’t Bother Lists

and… A Great Packing List

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9 Responses to The Art of Packing

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  2. Debbie says:

    Perfect timing, Victoria! We are leaving in two weeks for Italy – already mulling over the wardrobe!
    Thank you for a great post!

    • Postcards from Travel PiZazz says:

      Ciao, Debbie!
      Lucky you! Enjoy (like I have to tell you to enjoy Italy!).
      I’m so glad the post and info was “perfect timing”! Let me know how it goes…the packing and your trip!

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  5. Sandra says:

    It IS an art…..and you, Victoria, have mastered it! I’ve seen you in action and I still can’t quite get my rolls as tiny as yours. :-) Thanks for all of the great reminders!

    • Thank you, Sandra for the testimonial! Although I’m not sure that “master” is the right word – it requires constant refinement and I’m still subject to “overpacking”! I do roll those rolls well though & hardly a wrinkle! I find that staying with a smaller piece of luggage is very motivating, too!
      Safe travels, my friend!

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