All exciting adventures start with a not so exhilarating experience: packing! It can be nerve wracking and stressful as you always want to pack too much. Here is a list of tips to help you turn this daunting task into a greatest start of your vacation.
- Set priorities
This is the most critical phase of packing. You need to ask yourself the right questions. What type of vacation are you packing for? How long will you be gone? What is your destination and what is the weather like? Packing for a cruise to the Caribbean is a lot different from packing for an expedition adventure to the Antarctic! Once you’ve set your priorities, you will feel relived to leave a whole bunch of clothes in your dresser.
- Your cabin sink is your best friend
Over packing can be due to the lack of willingness to do laundry while on vacation. It is understandable you want to get away from your home routine as much as possible and yet, it is not as much of a hassle as you may think. Take 10 minutes before bedtime to quickly wash your easy-dry fabrics in your cabin sink. Hang them up overnight and that’s it. You’ll wake up to fresh and dry clothes! Socks and underwear are the easiest items to hand wash so no need to bring a dozen of them! Many detergent brands now come in travel size containers for this purpose allowing you to pack them easily or try packing a small and lightweight laundry bar that will last you for dozens of trips.
- Limit the number of shoes
My best recommendation is to pack two pairs of shoes. Rarely will you actually need to wear more than 2 styles of footwear. Once again, ask yourself the right questions. Are you going to be active on your vacation? Will you attend formal nights? Will you spend time by the pool or at the beach? That will help you narrow down your options and figure out whether you need hiking or dressed shoes. You might even have a smart pair of sandals or walking shoes that can do double duty on fancier occasions.
- Use your shoes as packing cubes
To maximise your luggage space, use your shoes to pack your socks, underwear and any other small items such as laundry detergent. Your shoes can also be perfect protective cases for fragile souvenirs you’re planning on bringing home.
- “Roll, don’t fold” is your new packing motto
You won’t believe how much space you can save by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. If you are worried they will get wrinkled, keep in mind that staterooms are usually equipped with a clothes iron and you can always request one from the front desk.
- One piece of clothing for endless combinations
The best trick for light packing is to think of all the combinations that can be done with one piece of clothing. For example, a sarong that can be used as a towel, a beach cover, a beach blanket or a dress! By thinking of all the possibilities and associations beforehand, you will earn lots of room in your suitcase.
- Prioritize neutral colours
Why neutral colours? So you don’t have to worry about mixing and matching colours. If you pack your suitcase with 2 or three neutral colours, it will be less of a hassle for you to decide what to wear on your shore excursion. Black, white, beige and darker colours tend to be the easiest to pair.
- Wear the heaviest/bulkiest item on the plane
You may need to bring a coat with you depending on your destination, but don’t pack it. Wear it! It is a lot easier to carry it than packing it and going through the struggle, sitting on your suitcase trying to close it over that bulky coat. Plus, if you are sensitive to temperature changes and the aircraft’s AC is on full blast… your coat will make for a perfect blanket!