Is there anything worse than setting off on your trip only to discover that you’ve left a whole lot of necessary items at home? Once you realize that it’s happened, you either have to turn around and go home, or you’ll need to spend your money replacing them.
The best way to avoid this problem is planning your packing as thoroughly as you plan your trip. While it might be convenient to throw a few things in a bag the day before your trip, it’s a recipe for disaster. Planning your packing with military precision right down to the tiniest detail is the only way to be sure that you’ll remember everything.
Prepare the paperwork
Having the necessary documentation with you is essential for travel, especially if you are going overseas. Write down what paperwork you need for your trip. This will include travel tickets, passports, hotel reservation confirmations, maps, and insurance papers.
Make copies of all documents, in case something goes wrong and your paperwork goes missing. Have a written list of contact numbers so that you’ll be able to reach loved ones if your phone goes missing.
While they don’t strictly speaking qualify as documents, this would be the ideal time to go through your wallet as well. Make sure your bank cards, credit cards, and driver’s license are there.
Look at your luggage
Waterproof backpacks are a great idea if you are going hiking or adventure traveling. Everything inside them will remain safe, even if you get caught in the rain. Another great feature of backpacks is that, unlike hard luggage, they can be squeezed into tight spaces.
When packing for a trip, remember that space is at a premium. The better you pack, the more you’ll be able to fit into your suitcases and bags. The first step is to decide on your large suitcase and what you’ll be using as your carry-on luggage. Have a list of what will go in each.
Take your toiletries
To make sure you don’t forget any toiletries, make a comprehensive list of what you’ll need on your trip. Use travel-sized bottles for items like shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion.
Packing your toiletries is a great time to sort through and pack any medication you use. Keep your medicines in their original containers for ease of reference for customs officials. Take medication for an extra few days. You need only turn on the news to see how easily flights can be delayed, and you don’t want to be stranded at the airport without your medication.
Collecting your clothes
Have a detailed list of what clothing you want to take on your trip. Lay everything out on your bed and put similar items into piles. This will help you check that you have selected enough clothes.
Don’t forget to include your shoes when you’re completing this exercise. Shoes are bulky and take up a lot of space in your luggage. Select outfits that you can use the same shoes with.
It’s not all about what you pack; it’s how you pack
Give yourself enough time to pack, so that you can experiment with different techniques to make sure you can fit everything into your luggage. The way you use your space counts.
Some items, like T-shirts and pants, take up less space in your suitcase if you roll them up tightly. They can fit into the corners of your luggage quite easily. However, be warned that they’ll be creased when you take them out.
As a final step, weigh your luggage before you leave the house if you’re flying. Then you won’t run into unnecessary excess baggage charges at the airport.