This post and my packing tips are brought to you by Atlantic Luggage. All opinions are 100% mine.
Graduations are starting to take place, and school will soon be out for the summer. For many people, that means the start of summer travel season. Whether it’s a roadtrip or if you’re going by air or ship, I’ve got packing tips to help get you where you’re going.
Create a Packing List
Number one on my list of packing tips is to create a packing list. I have been doing this since the first time I traveled solo (and maybe even before that).
I write out a list of everything I’m going to need to take, and as I pack each item, I cross it off the list. Then I copy the list over onto a new piece of paper, writing down only the items I actually packed. That clean list gets placed inside of the suitcase so that I can use it as a check-off list when we head for home; no more forgotten favorite dress or sunglasses.
Roll Your Clothes
This is one you’ve probably heard before. I never really bought into it at first, because I have been able to cram a significant amount of “stuff” in a bag or suitcase by folding in my day. But once I tried it, I did find that you can get a few more items in there, and they have a tendency to wrinkle less. Just make sure the roll is really tight.
Mix and Match Choices
This one is key, even though I sometimes have a hard time taking my own advice on this one. If whatever your packing can’t be worn with at least a couple other items, leave it at home. You want shirts that will go with jeans, a pair of khaki’s, shorts and even a skirt. Neutral colors work well for this.
Pack Those Shoes
You probably think “Well of course I’m going to pack my shoes” but I also mean to literally pack them. When you are traveling using all available space is important, so I actually will pack socks and underwear or other similarly-sized items right into my shoes. I also generally place each shoe in a plastic bag so that if they get dirty while I wear them on the road, it doesn’t transfer to everything else in my suitcase.
Some of this will depend on where you’re going (sunscreen for a tropical vacation, etc.), but for the most part it’s a pretty standard list: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, razor, cosmetics, etc. If you are staying in a hotel it doesn’t hurt to call ahead and ask what types of items are standard for guest use so you can leave some things home. Many times if I know there’s a pharmacy or store next door or nearby I will just wait and make some of those purchases on site.
Waiting to make purchases on site is something I tend to do more frequently if I’m flying, because packing toiletries can be a pain when you need to follow the 3-1-1 rule. If you do plan to take them with you while flying, be sure keep them at 3 ounces or less and pack them in the quart-size plastic baggie (some airports have these if you forget, but many do not). Pack it in an easy-to-reach spot, like an outer pocket or on top of all your other items just inside the bag.
What to Leave at Home
I am horrible when it comes to losing small items. Knowing this about myself, I leave a lot of things at home that I might otherwise take with me. For example, jewelry. After leaving a very sentimental necklace in a hotel when I was a teenager, I now don’t ever take anything that I can’t absolutely live without.
Packing a Grab Bag
Many people say never to pack your essentials in a checked bag, and that you should also pack a spare outfit in your carry on “just in case”. I actually suggest that you take this advice to another level, but only packing those types of things in your “personal item” (or a small grab bag for the car).
Many times you will be asked to gate-check carry on bags (or find yourself trying to dig through three suitcases in the car to find them), and you may be without the spare batteries for the kids’ games, the charger for your phone, or even your medications. Keep really important items – plus that extra outfit – somewhere you will always have access.
Choosing Your Luggage
The last of my packing tips is choosing your luggage. Depending on the type of travel you do – and whom you do it with – you will want to put some thought into the type of luggage or luggage collection that you purchase.
With weight and number-of-bag restrictions when flying, I am more likely to purchase a roller board piece for each member of the family. I use these even when not flying, as they take up much less space in the car, which can be just as crucial if you’re driving to your destination.
Atlantic Luggage has a number of luggage choices for you, like the Lumina Ultra Light 2 series. There are different sizes and colors to choose from, so you’ll be able to get exactly what you need! The pieces are stylish (the satin finish is really pretty) while still affordable (and even on sale right now!) – just what I want, whether I’m traveling with my family or flying solo to a business conference.