I recently read an article discussing “packing tips for the stylish traveler“. Geared toward women, the content included a chain of, what I would call, hysterical tips. Recommendations included the ‘top thing to leave at home’. Answer – your shampoo and conditioner. Yep, that’s right, save space for more shoes by leaving hair products at home; instead, spend a few hours every day sitting in a salon getting your hair done. I’m not making this up.
It’s safe to say that my incredulous reaction to this ridiculous article positively inspired me to provide my own ‘packing tips’. These tips are geared towards travelers who want to spend their time exploring, to make the most of their adventure and focus on experiences. If you’re looking to evaluate the best in international salons, how to keep your nails in tip top shape for your trip, or the most convenient way to bring your wardrobe abroad, then you’re reading the wrong blog.
Packing Tips for the Smart Traveler:
If you choose to travel far and fast, travel light.
We’ve all done it, and overdone it. You weren’t sure what to wear, so you packed everything you could think of into a giant suitcase, and you barely touched half of it during your trip. Don’t weigh yourself down, especially if you’re traveling by train, using pubic transportation, or even just flying between a few different spots.
Keep calm and carry on…
Big bags waste your time and wear you out. If you pack smart, you can fit everything you need for weeks, even months, away from home into one carry-on sized bag. Trust me. It will be worth it to breeze through customs at the airport, and to move around easily and freely throughout your trip.
How do you fit everything into one carry-on sized bag? Take time to plan through your trip ahead of time. Only pack things you know you’ll need; only pack one of each necessary item; pack versatile, comfy clothes, and follow these suggestions…
- Pack 1-2 pairs of pants/shorts. Wear them over again – no one will notice and no one cares.
- Pack enough comfy tops for a week, even if you’re staying a month. Wash and re-wear! Same goes for socks and underwear.
- Planning a few nice occasions, just bring a FEW nice outfits.
- Bring no more than 3 pairs of shoes. Make sure that at least one pair is a comfy walking shoe. I usually pack one pair of sneakers and one pair of dress shoes.
- Put all of your toiletries in travel sized bottles.
- If you need a big jacket or scarf, don’t pack it. Wear it on the plane. Use it as a pillow..
- Ladies, don’t bring a bunch of jewelry that might get lost or stolen. Select just a few pieces that work with everything.
- Don’t feel the need to pack for every unexpected situation. If you’re experiencing unseasonable cold weather, buy a souvenir scarf. Rain in the forecast? Buy an umbrella. Pack what you expect you’ll need and play the rest by ear.