You might be a seasoned traveller; however, it's next to impossible that you won't make a few, common packing mistakes on your next trip.
With umpteen, small details to keep in mind, something simple slipping your mind isn't baffling at all. Also, incorrect methods of packing very often lead to overburdening your luggage.
You must learn the art of packing travel bags efficiently for having a comfortable, pleasurable, and memorable trip.
Here are seven packing mistakes to avoid on your next trip:
Selecting the wrong clothing for your destination
How many of us carefully plan to dress for our destination’s conventions, weather, and activities? Hardly anybody. In reality, we devote the least amount of time to researching our destination before getting out our bags to assemble our vacation wardrobes. So, make sure to pack the right clothes, thus carrying a chic as well as a practical travel wardrobe.
To start with, make sure to factor in fabric. For instance, if you’re setting out for a warm-weather destination, cotton and rayon ought to be your go-to threads. On the other hand, for cooler places, go for wool and cashmere. If you love to live with less, consider the flexible and travel-friendly merino wool, fitting any climate, warm or wintry.
If you’re headed to a rainy destination, don’t leave out your waterproof jacket and for a desert-bound trip involving climate extremes, select breathable, light fabric as well as sweaters and full pants. To make dressing easier, pack more neutral colours which you can coordinate with lesser colourful pieces.
Speaking about conventions, try as much as possible to adhere to your destination’s dress code. For instance, a trip to London won’t ask for any variations from your daily wear.
However, if you’re planning to visit Arab or Buddhist countries, skimpy clothing is a strict no-no. It’s a good idea to carry an oversized scarf while vacationing in culturally conservative lands. Also, while travelling to parts of East Asia, for example, to Japan, leaving out your athleisure wear will help avoid offence.
Bringing excess and big-sized toiletries
What's the point of forcibly stuffing your large shampoo bottle in your suitcase and arriving at your destination to discover “goo” everywhere around it? This and several other problems arise when you pack too many and full-sized cosmetics.
While it’s understandable that barring generic toiletries such as body wash or shaving cream, you’d want to carry your favourite cosmetics along like day cream or foundation, moisturizers, and hair gel, it also makes tons of sense to carry these liquids and gels in travel-size bottles.
Travelling by air subjects you to carrying TSA-approved sizes of toiletries. Bringing travel-size versions of toiletries helps, in any case, so, make sure not to pack your regular containers no matter what mode of transport you take.
If your must-have cosmetics are not available in travel-friendly sizes, pour them into inexpensive, reusable travel bottles. Prefer those with thick rubber and a tight-fitting cap so that you can avoid leaks. For added protection, you can place all your travel-friendly cosmetic bottles inside ziplock bags.
Leaving out a few essential items at home
Forgetting to pack your hairbrush, toothbrush, swimsuit or any similar, important item is commonplace. You tend to make this mistake even after preparing a list of all essential items! Unfortunately, you might have to pay for such a common packing mistake!
For instance, if you’re flying, forgetting to pack additional clothes including undergarments in your carry-on luggage is sure to create difficulties if the airline accidentally loses your checked luggage. You won’t have any option other than going to shop for new clothes immediately upon landing at your destination. How would it feel, leaving aside the excitement of arriving at your vacation getaway and, instead, rushing to purchase your necessities?
So, it’s best to make a packing list for every piece of luggage and cross-check the packed items with it. Also, don’t overlook basics like simple tanks, tees, and stylish scarves and hats that are sure to do double-duty, a key element of versatile dressing.
Stuffing excess footwear
While travelling, there’s no real reason to pack more than 3 pairs of footwear. Even if you’re packing for a wedding, you can do with just an additional pair meant specifically for the occasion. Also, ladies should leave sky-high stilettos at home because of their awkward-to-pack form. Instead, choose a practical alternative like a wedge or a midi.
So, generally, what should go in your suitcase is a pair of walking shoes, a casual pair like loafers or flip-flops, and a more elegant pair. Any more will surely risk overloading your luggage. So, it’s best to keep footwear to a minimum.
Bringing a Gargantuan Medical Kit
Consider carefully if you need to pack an enormous medical kit, full of family-size bottles of regular or over-the-counter medicines. The reason is that in most places, you’ll have access to pharmacies selling modern medicine and also to doctors.
Barring a few, rare prescription drugs and supplements, make sure to not carry large quantities of basics like ibuprofen, motion sickness pills, throat drops, antiseptic ointment, and bandages.
Reducing Your Bag Space By Folding
We all tend to, as a habit, fold our clothes before arranging them in the travel bag. However, by doing so, we fail to make the fullest use of luggage space. So, while packing, follow the golden rule - roll instead of fold.
Rolling clothes lengthwise, besides preventing unsightly wrinkles, enables you to pack small things into your bag’s nooks. Use rubber bands for keeping your rolled clothing in place and sort it into big storage bags so that all of it stays coordinated as well as compact.
It’s best to include a travel towel instead of a big, heavy, fluffy one. Besides not taking up excess luggage space, your travel towel will dry quickly, making life easier on your next trip.
Packing clothes you’ve never worn earlier
This is not the time to pack stuff that was just lying in your wardrobe, never put on before. Perhaps you never found an occasion befitting the outfit. Sadly, it’s very likely that you won’t end up wearing it on your next trip either. So, while packing outfits, be realistic and don’t let your imagination loose.
Keep in mind that with comfortable, tried-and-true clothing, you’ll feel confident and hence, happier on your trip. Won’t you like to look your best as you visit new places, taking pictures and selfies, while sitting on a car roof rack, creating memories of a lifetime?
So, let all your unworn clothing, or, rather your irrational purchases stay back in the closet until you get a chance to convert them into the “tried-and-tested” ones, once back home.
So, the mantra is - travel smart and light. Begin packing right!
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