Many parts of planning a trip can be stressful, but packing shouldn’t be one of them. Finding accommodations, arranging travel, and budgeting take planning and a bit of work. With these 4 things you can do to make packing less stressful, you won’t just make it easier on yourself – you’ll save time and money along the way.
Use Modern-Day Packing Systems
Way back when suitcases didn’t cost extra to bring on a plane, there weren’t as low of weight limits, and each passenger could bring their own bag. With high surcharges and low weight allowances for carry-on and checked bags, it can be stressful trying to figure out the best method for packing.
Many people don’t realize that modern-day packing has changed the travel game. Whole systems are available for packing – most specifically packing cubes and their associated baggage. Packing cubes will drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to pack and sort through clothes, and will maximize the amount of items you can bring and space that’s available.
Using packing cubes along with a packable duffle is ideal for multi-person travel. Each individual gets a packing cube or two of their own, keeping clothes separate from one another. Small, sealable zip bags are also great for separating wet or messy items that could possibly soil or ruin your clothes. Another sensible option is to pack each day in it’s own packing cube. Take the guesswork out of which outfit you’ll be wearing when, or if clothes are clean or dirty. Be sure to purchase a bag that works with the packing cube system as well.
When traveling with your family, the best option is to purchase an entire packing system to bring along. In addition to packing cubes, a toiletry bag, or multiple toiletry bags are essential. Instead of packing toothpaste and shampoo for the whole family in each suitcase, same money by bringing along a whole bottle or tube packed in the toiletry bag.
Don’t leave for your next vacation without packing a folding backpack, either. This necessary item is great for day trip with the kids to store souvenirs and snacks, during travel on the plane, or to fill with goodies to keep the little ones busy. When it’s not in use simply fold the lightweight, durable backpack into itself to store away and take up minimal space in your luggage. To ensure you don’t forget a single item in this perfect packing system, purchase a family travel set to save money and avoid hassle, and, most importantly, stress.
Let The Kids Help, But Do The Packing
Children can be difficult to dress; they want to wear what they want to wear. To make packing less stressful for both of you, don’t just leave all the decisions up to them. Give your child some options for outfits. As the adult, you’ll be able to guide them in the right direction – letting them know to pick out a few pairs of shorts instead of snow pants, since you’ll be traveling somewhere tropical.
Once they’ve given their input, do the actual packing. While it may take longer, you’ll be able to pack much neater and more efficient than they will, but allowing their help and input will diminish the number of temper-tantrums during your vacation.
Show your child which outfit you’ve put in each cube by color coordinating the cubes. This will allow them to pick out the cube with the outfit they want to wear that day while on vacation. Letting them feel in control of what they’ll be wearing will help them feel like they’re in charge– even though you’re steering the ship.
To Wash or To Wear?
An important part of packing is knowing what you’ll have access to during your trip. Some hotels and B&B’s offer free laundry services; others offer it for a small fee. Occasionally you’ll find yourself without the ability to wash your clothes at all during the entirety of your trip.
If you know you’ll easily be able to wash your clothes (without having to slave over the washer and dryer all day), pack less outfits and plan on washing them. For those without the ability to wash your clothes, you’ll have to think ahead – which pieces can you wear more than once? Jackets and scarves are great for double dipping. Opt for items that can be transformed into more outfit than one.
Pack an Outfit in Your Carry-On
Whether you have a lengthy drive or a long plane ride ahead of you, many people feel the need, or want, to change outfits mid-way through travel. Swapping out your clothes can freshen you up and prepare you for the rest of your travel. To avoid the stress and mess of having to dig through your checked bag, pack an extra outfit in a readily accessible carry-on bag.
Keep your second outfit simple and easy to get to. Consider a bag that’s easy to stow away, such as a foldable backpack. Trust us – you’ll be thanking us for this easy tip when you’re on hour 9 of your airport layover.
Take the stress out of packing by using packing cubes and packing smart. Keeping an extra outfit on hand will keep you fresh and avoid having to dig through underwear in front of airport strangers. With these four tips, even you can make packing less stressful.