In a way, the perfect packing list is key to saving time and money on a trip. Most airlines charge for checked bags, anywhere from $25-$50. And that is each way. Might not seem like a lot, but why pay for something you could avoid? Plus, there is the benefit of not having to spend time checking your bag before your flight or having to wait for it after you land. So whether you are trying to make everything fit in a carry on or just trying to avoid a heavy suitcase, here are some tips for only packing what you need.
Clothing Packing List
Clothing is perhaps the biggest piece of packing for a trip. It is one of the most important parts – and takes up the most room as well. This is why carefully making a packing list is so crucial, you really can’t afford to waste any space. Here are some tips for packing clothes that will save time and money.
Check the Weather
Keep an eye on the weather up until the day before you are about to leave. Make sure you are packing clothes accordingly.
Hopefully before your trip you have at least an idea of some of the activities you are going to do. Try to plan outfits that you would feel most comfortable doing these activities in. Are you spending your time at the beach? Or are you going to be hiking most of the trip? Maybe you plan to spend your time going to museums or shopping. Make a rough list of some of the activities you realistically plan to do, and create a packing list accordingly. Don’t pack some super nice dress “just in case” a fancy occasion pops up. It is your trip, if you don’t plan it then it won’t come up. Save the space.
Pack Outfits – Not Pieces
Do not throw a bunch of tops, bottoms, and shoes in your suitcase with the idea of making it all work once you get there. Not only will it likely not work, but you will be stressed out every morning trying to pick outfits. Instead pick outfits to put on your packing list (taking into consideration the weather and activities, as mentioned above) and stick to them. If you are more of a visual person like me, you can start keeping an album of go to outfits and you can pick from those. Read all about how I do this here.
Create a Standard Packing List
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you go somewhere. Create a template packing list that works for you and stick to it. It might take a few trips to tweak it just right, but after that you will feel much more at ease. Include a section with a list of the super important things that must be brought – such as travel documents and any medications you might use. Also list some of the things you most often forget, so that you always have them written down. My most forgotten item? Pajamas. Not the worst thing in the world, but still annoying.
To help you create a template, run through a typical day in your head. Write down all items that you would use and need. This should help you to remember some of the more mundane and easily forgotten items (like your PJs).
The Bottom Line
Having a perfect packing list will save you time and hassle (and maybe even a little money too!) Make sure you carefully select outfits with weather and activities in mind. Put together a template packing list for the feature so that you do not leave anything important behind. Most importantly, create your packing list and stick to it.
What is your most forgotten item?