The most savvy travelers know that packing is truly an art. Whether you’re going for a two week trip or a weekend vacation, expert packers know that you really don’t need as much as you might think you do. But packing well isn’t necessarily about cutting down on outfit options or making sacrifices. By investing in a few key items, you can minimize the amount you have packed but still look and feel great for the entire length of your trip.
Check out our top 6 travel essentials for expert packers:
1. A reliable, compact suitcase
The foundation to a great packing strategy is a reliable and compact suitcase. Why? One that’s bulky, has fussy zippers, or takes up a lot of space can be a pain to lug around, or worse, could end up breaking mid-trip. Before you go on your next vacation, consider investing in a new travel suitcase.
If you generally travel to urban areas, a lightweight suitcase with wheels is best for hopping from Point A to Point B. But if you’re the more adventurous type and prefer to backpack around the world, you might opt for a backpack with solid back support so that you can easily move between destinations.
Another thing to keep in mind when buying new luggage, is the organizational space. Suitcases with a place to store your intimates or shoes could save you some space for other items.
2. Items that take up minimal space
While it’s often tempting to pack your entire closet when traveling to Paris or some other high-fashion destination, you really don’t need to. Plus, you’re probably going to want to buy some items there anyway. While you’re packing, choose items that take up less space if you can. Rather than packing bulky, lace-up boots, think about packing a pair of chelsea boots or a pair of comfortable clogs instead.
If you’re headed to a cold climate, you might think about packing a compact puffy jacket rather than a thick wool trench coat to keep warm. Take advantage of any space that you can by choosing items that won’t take up precious real estate in your suitcase!
3. Shoes that are casual and comfortable
Depending on where you’re traveling to and what you have planned to do there, it might feel like you need a different pair of shoes for every activity. But if you buy shoes that are comfortable and can serve multiple purposes, you won’t need to. A pair of casual and stylish athletic shoes, for example, can be worn to walk the town, shop, and exercise. As a general rule, two pairs of shoes should do the trick—one more casual pair and one that can be worn out to a nice dinner or for a night on the town.
4. Space savers
The trick to saving space when your bag is almost filled to the brim? Packing cubes! Sure, you might know how to military pack, but the second you arrive at your destination, your organized bag will likely become a mess as soon as you need to pull out a new item to wear. Instead of keeping all of your items in your luggage during your trip, you can separate your packing cubes into drawers when you arrive at your hotel or vacation rental space!
5. Mix and match clothing
Another good way to cut down on packing list items is to only bring clothes that you can mix and match. Items with neutral palettes and modern styles can all be combined without looking like you’re clashing. Instead of bringing statement shoes, blouses, or outerwear, bring along some statement earrings that take up less space but still make your style stand out!
6. Dual-purpose toiletries
If you’re going to be gone for a long period of time, you’ll probably want to bring a few toiletries with you. But once again, packing a lot of products in your toiletry bag takes up space. Instead of bringing all of the items in your medicine cabinet, consider bringing natural products like Dr. Bronner’s soap which can be used as hand soap, body wash, laundry detergent, and even toothpaste—talk about multipurpose!
With these tips on your side, you can become a much savvier packer and traveler in 2020!