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You’ve got a trip all planned out and now you are ready to pack your suitcase for the big trip. Packing can seem like a simple thing, but it’s actually a science when it comes to travelers who have had experiences in the past. They’ve had to learn the hard way that how you pack is important, especially if you are traveling several thousand miles. They know that how you pack is the difference between countless detours to drugstores along the way to a smooth trip where you have everything you need. Here are some things to keep in mind and how you can properly pack a suitcase.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you want to downsize your suitcase. If you are looking for one, don’t get a suitcase larger than 22 inches tall. The big reason for that is that if you have a bigger suitcase, you’ll feel compelled to stuff extra stuff into the bag. By going with a simple hard-sided suitcase you can use as a carry-on and pack the essentials with no room for extras.
Secondly is have a clothing countdown. If you are guilty of packing way too much clothing follow the 5,4,3,2,1 rule. In the event you are on vacation for a week, bring five pairs of socks and underwear, four tops, three pairs of pants/shorts/bottoms, two pairs of shoes, and a hat. Adjust the list as need be depending on the situation. Toss in a swimsuit, exercise gear, dress or suit jacket as necessary.
Third step is to lay out everything that you think you need for the trip and then sift through them. You want to be thinking twice about each item and provide clear reasons as to why you are bringing them. If the reason is “just in case I need it” then set it aside. You can always buy it if and when you actually need that particular item.
The fourth step is actually the packing stuff now. The first thing to keep in mind is the packing method. The packing method you want to employ is much like Tetris. You want to fill every nook and cranny of the suitcase but do so strategically. For example, stuff your socks into the footwear you are bringing, then lay them heel to toe at the bottom of the suitcase wrapped in a plastic bag. How you arrange everything comes down to personal preference, however, some other good strategies are to roll up clothing or use packing cubes.
The final steps is during the packing, you want to keep liquids in easy reach of your bag. As such, toiletries should always be at the top and the last thing that you pack. The reason being is if you are hopping on a plane, the security may be interested in taking a look at the exact contents. The last thing you want to be doing is rummaging through everything just to get to them. On the note of toiletries as well, you want to make sure that you never unpack them either. This means have a separate kit specifically for traveling since in the event that you forget about particular items you’re not in a mad panic to find them.