Depending on your perspective, packing is either a fun activity to get you ramped up for your trip or an exhausting exercise in futility as you try to cram your entire closet into one suitcase. We’re here to make sure your pre-trip packing ritual is closer to the first option. We’ve compiled five packing tips from experienced travelers that are sure to have you rolling your clothes like a pro in no time!
Unzip your suitcase and grab your daypack, we’re diving right in…
1. Don’t Leave Home Without Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are the secret to having a perfectly-packed bag every time. As Chantelle says over at Travel Fashion Girl, “they allow optimum use of the space in your luggage, keeping everything organized and in place during your travels, and making the task of unpacking and re-packing simple and stress-free.” She’s got a great list of all the packing organizers you could possibly need: compression sacks, packing folders, Ziploc bags, and more.
2. Travel Shoes: Take Only What You Need
Think you really need hiking shoes, dressy shoes, beach shoes, boots, flats and high heels? Well according to these experts, you couldn’t be more wrong.
For men, Eytan of SnarkyNomad offers these words of wisdom: “Travel shoes aren’t just for hiking. They’re also about pretending to be a classy person whilst attempting to project some semblance of respectability.” He’s got a great rundown of the qualities of the perfect travel shoe on his blog, as well as recommendations for the ultimate men’s travel shoe.
For women, Brooke from Her Packing List says “the best plan is to think about the different types of shoes you might need for your intended trip style, and then see which ones could potentially be done without. Ask yourself questions as you whittle down the list. Will you be needing these shoes more than once? Is it imperative that you bring these exact shoes? Can you make another pair work?” On her post about picking the best travel shoes for women she manages to whittle all of her tips down into the one great image above. Impressive skills!
3. Keep Your Valuables Dry
Whether you’re trekking through the jungle in a rainstorm or just trying to get up-close photos of a waterfall, you don’t want your camera and other valuables getting wet!
There are plenty of waterproof cases on the market, but Brooke from Her Packing List says her favorite is the Travelon Clear View Waterproof Pouch. “I’ve jumped in the ocean with this waterproof Travelon pouch and taken some really great under water ocean photos! I have also gotten stuck in a sun shower in Martha’s Vineyard and was able to still take pictures of my surroundings with no worries to the rain!” Sounds like a life-saver to us!
4. You Probably Don’t Need All Those Toiletries
Over at Vagabondish, Darina catalogs her transition from over-packer to a one-suitcase gal with some great tips, including “for basics like shampoo, body wash, lotion, toothpaste etc… consider buying them abroad. The travel size bottles at your local convenience store are usually a rip-off and you end up needing more than just the three pumps they contain anyway.”
We’d also like to point out that your accommodation probably offers most of these things for you. At Ka’ana we certainly do!
5. Go Green!
The Cultural Travel Guide has a great list of how to go green on your travels, including using cute canvas bags for your dirty laundry instead of plastic, carrying your own refillable water bottle and packing light. “Traveling light also has the advantage of putting less weight on the plane or the car or the train, which helps fuel consumption, which helps reduce pollution.” It’s a win for the environment and your back!
They also recommend choosing eco-friendly hotels, which is a definitely a recommendation we can get behind.