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Smart Packing Tips

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Are you a hopeless over-packer? You have to bring a bulky sweater on your trip to the beach just in case it gets chilly or even pack ten different pairs of shoes because you have to have a pair to go with each outfit. If this pertains to you, then listen up! We’ll explore some tips and tricks to help you become a smart packer for your next trip.

If you pack too much then you’ll end up disorganized, stuck with heavy bags, and paying a hefty price for airline baggage fees. Here are some fundamental packing strategies that you should learn before boarding your plane. 

  • Make a packing list. Start your packing process days ahead of your departure date. This gives you time to craft a complete list of necessities for the trip based on the weather and any activities you have planned, and also purchase any additional items that you might need before your vacation. The list is a safe way to ensure that you don’t forget something important.
  • Roll, don’t fold. By rolling your clothes, it helps prevent creases while also making the most of your space. It allows for much tighter packing so you can fit more items in your suitcase. Get tips for rolling like a pro.
  • Keep your liquids in a separate bag from your other goods. You never know when bottles will spontaneously leak. No one wants to open their suitcase to a bottle of spilled shampoo covering all of their belongings. Find a leak-proof toiletry bag to store any potential liquids that could open while flying.
  • Know your airlines baggage fee policy. Airlines have different policies regarding checked baggage fees. There are checked bag policies in place that can charge an additional fee based on luggage size, weight and the number of checked bags you bring. To avoid surprise fees at the airport, do a quick search prior to arriving to see what you’re working with from the start. 
  • If all else fails, layer up! Wear your chunkiest shoes that might take up suitcase space, then pile on the layers. Planes are known to be chilly, so it’s not like those bulky sweaters will go unappreciated. In the event that you might want to nap in the airport or on the plane, they double up as a comfy pillow while leaving room in your suitcase for that new outfit you just bought!

Road Trips
You opted out of flying and decided to road trip for your next family vacation. Road trips tend to let us think we can pack whatever and however we want because there are no extra baggage fees and you don’t have to throw away oversized toiletries. When you have extra space in the car, it’s easy to add things without giving much thought to it. However it is still important to pack smart and light while road tripping.

  • Keep a list. Consider making a list of inventory and bags that were brought on the trip. Take a picture of what your car looks like packed up before the trip, so you can see what you should have and how to organize it on your way back.
  • Utilize Secret Spaces. There is a nice amount of space under the seats so use it. You can fit tightly rolled jackets, flashlights, etc. in those small spaces. Another space is usually on the side of the doors, which can be perfect for a small umbrella, hand sanitizer, napkins, and more. If your vehicle has a middle console, it is another excellent place to pack smaller items that can get lost along the ride.
  • Use Duffle bags Instead of Suitcases. Duffle bags are soft and easier to maneuver than suitcases, making them the best option for car travel. Share bags with family members or have them each pack their own. You’ll be able to pack more bags, and fit them in between passengers or under seats if you have limited space in the trunk.

If you’re looking for an economical way of travel, and want to travel without having to book expensive flights or drive, then traveling by bus may be the way to go. Before you hop on your Greyhound bus, there are some things to keep in mind for packing for your bus journey.

  • Make sure your baggage stands out. When your checked bags are being loaded and unloaded, they can be easy to lose track of. With multiple other bags all around, you may not be able to tell exactly where yours is. This can lead to your bag being loaded onto the wrong bus, or worse, someone walking off with it. Tie a scarf, bandana, or even a luggage tag around the handle of your bag so you always know where it is. 
  • Travel light. When packing your carry-on bag, be sure to pack light and only essential items you need for the ride. When you are moving around at a bus stop for a break, you’ll want to take your carry-on bag with you and you won’t want to lug around a heavy bag. Use a backpack as a carry-on as it is easy to carry around and sling on your back when you’re ready to move.
  • Limit checked baggage. The more checked baggage you have, the more money you’re going to spend. Typically the first checked bag is free of charge, however, once you exceed the first bag limit, you will be charged. You won’t want to carry around or keep track of more than one checked bag anyway, so be sure to limit the amount of items you pack.

Whether you’re getting ready to board a plane, hop in the car or jump on a bus for your next adventure, there are many tips to take with you. Follow this advice, pack smarter, and take a load off on your next trip!

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