This blog post was updated on October 22, 2018.
I was scanning through my Twitter feed and the sentence, “I loathe packing,” came into view. Those who begin packing the night before a big trip often utter this sentence. Packing is a pain for most people. It is the task that comes in between you and your vacation. Once it is all over, what we have thrown into our suitcases isn’t always the most thought out. In order to lessen your hatred for packing or to merely just have a better packing situation, here are a few simple steps to follow that can make your packing experience before you open your suitcase.
Check the weather and seasonal conditions at your destination: I have been guilty of neglecting this step on my travels. I pack for the weather I want and not the weather I will get. If you haphazardly throw items into a suitcase without checking the weather of your destination, you could be making several purchases at your destination. Before you can even decide what you will need or what you want to bring, you have to check the weather. It is also a good idea to read up on the seasonal conditions at your destination. Most guidebooks have a section detailing what each time of year is like at your destination. Pay attention to these blurbs before you open up the suitcase to pack.
Shop for packing accessories for organization: While too many packing cubes can be too much of a good thing, they just might make your packing process easier when you do begin. While I don’t always travel with packing cubes, for big trips that require organization, they can be a lifesaver. Before you begin packing, you might want to shop around for these types of packing accessories that will make the process simpler, especially if you loathe packing. You can find packing accessories that will help you place certain clothing items in set containers. Even if you don’t feel like shelling out for packing cube accessories, you might want to buy some Ziploc bags instead to help with space saving and organization without much of a cost.
Make a list: There are a number of packing apps that can help you make a list of the items that you need to fit into your suitcase. Even if you don’t have those apps, you can still pull out the pen and paper and merely think about what you need. Part of the problem many travelers face with packing is that they begin in a hurried manner the night before a big trip. They don’t remember what they need or what they have packed. If you have a set list to go before you even consider packing, you can check off items as you pack to ensure you don’t forget anything or pack unnecessary items.
Give your suitcase a careful check: Just as you hope they do with the airplane that you fly, you need to give your suitcase a careful check for damages and potential problems before you take flight or even start packing. Sometimes it isn’t about the items that we place in our luggage that are the problems but rather it can be the suitcase’s fault. Days before you are set to leave, conduct a careful assessment of your suitcase. If you find holes, loose strings, broken zippers and the like, it might be wise to purchase a new bag or seek out a replacement. Those problems will only get worse as your bag is tossed from airplane to conveyor belt. It is also wise to make sure that your suitcase has useful features that assist with packing rather than hurt it. A bag with an awkward layout will make packing the night before a true nightmare.
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