By Lekpea Buekor
Regardless of the distance of a trip, you want to embark on, packing is an essential aspect that cumulates to having an enjoyable trip. As much as we know that packing a bag is necessary, it is even more important to pack correctly.
In determining what to bring along, a lot has to be considered, such as the kind of trip you are embarking on, the duration of the trip, your itinerary, the weather, the size of the luggage, and your mode of transportation.
Due to many factors to consider, it is easy to overpack or under pack for a trip, especially if it is done hurriedly.
Whether you are packing for a family trip or an individual trip, the tips shared in this article will help you pack like a pro in a very short time without forgetting the essentials.
1) Prepare a checklist of everything you intend to take along for the trip
This should include your toiletries, clothes, shoes, gadgets, etc. It’s safer not to assume you will use stuff you may not need. Why pack five pairs of shoes for a 3-day trip?
“It is quite annoying trying to stuff things into your suitcase, only to discover that you didn’t even use or wear them. Being realistic and planning ahead is key if you must pack rightly,” says Nina Ruggerio, deputy digital editor at Travel and Leisure.
This checklist will also be helpful when you are returning from the trip as it will serve as a guide to help you make sure you are not leaving any item behind.
2) lay things out first
Before you start packing up things into your suitcase, it is essential to lay everything out first. Grouping things together on my bed enables me to see at a glance what items are not too necessary.
For instance, if I had picked a pair of shorts that I think matches a pair of shoes I wasn’t planning to pack, it goes right back into the drawer, and I could easily find a replacement.
“Seeing everything clearly before you begin packing, enables you to arrange things into your bag logically,” Nina says.
3) Organize and pre-pack your toiletries
One of the easiest things to forget while packing for a trip is your toothpaste and brush. Quite annoying. So, if you don’t want to forget these, you could have them always pre-packed.
Regardless of the duration of your trip, get a travel-size bag for your toiletries. This should include your toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant etc. You don’t want these to spill on your clothes, so keeping your toiletries in a separate bag is essential.
4) Roll up your clothes, and pack them first
“Most times, I overpack, so I make sure I roll up my clothes, so it takes up only less space”, says Devin Traineau, Associate at Travels and Leisure.
The roll-up method is the most excellent way to prevent the clothes from being wrinkled, and it also saves space. Spread clothes, fold in the sleeves and roll up from the bottom upwards. For trousers, place the legs together and roll from the waist down. Then place pants and tops properly in the bag (placing the first outfit you want to wear on top) before other accessories.
5) Keep your important medication in your purse
“After I suffered food poisoning, fever, bug bites and other illnesses, during an international adventure I embarked on, I learned the hard way to always carry along a personal medical kit for every trip I go on,” says Karen Chen, Editorial Producer at Team Travel and Leisure.
“You could request for a prescription of essential medication from your doctor before your trip. If you happen not to use them eventually, it’s all better, but don’t risk it,” he advised.
If you’re traveling to a place that has a completely different climate from that of your home country, say from the Australia to Nigeria, its likely your skin reacts to the harshness of a temperate climate.
You may develop a skin rash, or sun burns, a little fever or migraine, or even a sore throat. These things are expected as your body is trying to adapt to a new environment.
To make sure they don’t steal the fun away from your trip, its important pack a medic-kit. Some aspirin, some sunscreen, Zinc Oxide ointment and already existing medications.
6) Keep heavy items at the base
You don’t want to open your bag to find essential items broken, misplaced or clunked up; therefore, place heavier objects like books at the base of your suitcase.
Experts say this positioning keeps the bag stable when it is upright and prevents other items from getting compressed.
7) Be careful not to under pack or overpack
You could be tempted to leave additional space for souvenirs; bear in mind that items may change positions, break, or crumble with excess space. Good Housekeeping Institute experts recommend that you could fill excess space with dry cleaner bags and pack them later with souvenirs from your trip.
Also, it is important not to overpack. It could be rather hectic to repack while going home. If it is not necessary, don’t bother bringing it along.
The way you pack plays a significant role in the total outcome of your trip. Just packing wrongly or leaving some essentials could completely ruin the fun and take away the excitement of your trip. You wouldn’t want that to happen. You don’t want to leave any stone unturned; early preparation and planning as well as taking into consideration these tips can get you all ready for your next trip.