Have you ever left your passport at home, paid an excess baggage fee, or cleaned up a spill in your suitcase? If you’ve encountered any of these packing crises, chances are your suitcase-stuffing strategy could use a little work. To help your trip preparation go more smoothly, keep on reading for the 4 signs you have a packing problem and effective solutions for each.
- You have too much baggage.
If you have that carry-on bag that takes two flight attendants to lift into the overhead compartment, or the suitcase that’s stuffed so full, keep in mind of the perils of overpacking like excess baggage fee so you can lighten your load. Your first packing mistake might be the suitcase you’re using. If you often find yourself edging toward your airline’s weight limits, it may be worth purchasing a lightweight bag to give you a few extra pounds to work with. Also, prevent packing unnecessary items and pack clothes that can do double duty. Stick to neutral colors so your garments can easily be mixed and matched.
- You have a wrinkled wardrobe.
Occasional wrinkles are an occupational hazard of traveling, but if your clothes come out of your suitcase looking like they’ve spent weeks in the back corner of your closet, it may be time to reevaluate your packing strategy so you won’t waste time over a steaming iron when you could be out exploring a new destination. To avoid this, stick to wrinkle-free clothing rather than ordinary cotton and linens, which are prone to creases. When you go to lay your clothes in your suitcase, don’t simply fold and crease each garment individually. Experienced travelers use a variety of packing methods, including rolling and interlocking so that you’ll avoid wrinkles.
- You have a lot of damaged goods.
Travelers who’ve suffered the loss of a favorite souvenir or had clothes ruined by a messy spill may need a few lessons in packing with extra care. To avoid this, don’t put breakable items into your checked luggage, instead wrap them in newspaper or bubble wrap and stow them in your carry-on bag. Also, smaller items can be slipped inside a shoe cushioned with a balled-up pair of socks. Anything with leak potential like shampoo, makeup remover, toothpaste, perfume, and such should be sealed tightly and packed in a zip-top plastic bag.
- You’ve got the mistake of packing the day or the hour.
Staying organized and giving yourself plenty of time to pack will help cut down on your pre-trip anxiety. So, begin making a list of items you think you’ll need about a week prior to departure as starting early will give you time to go shopping for any items you may be missing. As each item goes into your suitcase, check it off your list. By heeding our tricks, you’ll be able to make your trip enjoyable and effortless.