Travel is fun, but packing for a trip to a different country can quickly get overwhelming if you aren’t organized. You can’t pack the night before a big vacation without forgetting half the things you wanted to bring. Prepping even before you pack is the best way to enjoy effortless travel.
Create a Packing List Beforehand
Image via Flickr by Dvortygirl
A packing list is helpful even if you’re only heading two towns over for the weekend. For an international trip, it’s essential. Granted, there are stores everywhere, so you won’t find yourself stranded without a pair of spare shoes or new deodorant, but buying things abroad is a bit of a hassle, and it can get expensive. Besides, there’s no reason to replace anything. Just follow your list, and you won’t forget anything, nor will you pack a bunch of unnecessary stuff.
To that end, make a list of everything you plan to take. Include travel-size toiletries, styling tools, and hair products, along with medications. Don’t forget to make a list of electronics and entertainment options you want to take, and check off everything you want to pack in your carry-on bag, as well. Along with clothes, those are the items you don’t want to forget, particularly not when you’re about to embark on an international flight.
Pro tip: Pack a copy of the list in your luggage and check off everything as you pack to come home, so you don’t forget anything in your hotel.
Deciding what to bring and what to leave at home is difficult because you’re visiting a place so far removed from your daily life. Putting together lists of all the items you want to bring along is one way to pack smarter. Another way is to choose luggage that makes sense for your trip.
For example, for an itinerary that includes stops in multiple cities, such as a European tour, you need the fewest bags possible. Moreover, you need luggage that transports easily, even if that means springing for a few wheeled suitcases. On the other hand, a trip to a cold destination requires winter clothing, so roomy luggage is better. Regardless of the bags you take, try rolling your clothes instead of folding them to save room.
Occasionally, you need to bring things that can’t travel with you. At best, they’re cumbersome. Are you traveling to play golf in Scotland? Do you plan to surf in Bali? Are you going on an extended trip that requires more luggage than you can possibly carry? In that case, consider shipping your luggage to your destination. Think about sending large but vital items to your hotel ahead of you. You can send anything right back home, as well.
Know the Rules
Always familiarize yourself with the rules of the airline you’re flying. Every carrier has different baggage regulation. Knowing them allows you to make the most of the bags you’re allowed to take on the plane. You can often sneak other essentials into your personal bag.
Your baggage is the last thing you want to worry about when you land in another country. Pack wisely, and you can spend your time seeing the sights and enjoying yourself instead of dealing with your luggage.