Travel, but better:
How to pack more efficiently

Tips for packing better when you travel

Whether you travel carry-on or you check your luggage, do you know the Golden Rule of packing? 

Basically, it’s this: Take half the clothes you were planning to, and bring twice the money.

It’s a great rule but hard to follow. I mean, we want options, right? 😅 And also, I don't happen to have "twice the money." 

If you're like me — clothing-rich and actual money-poor — you might find my favourite packing tips  helpful. Let me know what you think, and add your best tips in the comments.

1. Use the 5-4-3-2-1 clothing countdown. For a one-week trip, this generally translates to 5 sets of socks and underwear, 4 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 pairs of shoes and 1 hat. Adjust this list to suit your needs, obviously. I always add more undergarments, a bathing suit and a dress. I pack with an overarching colour scheme so I can mix and match.

2. I hold up each item before I pack it and ask: “Would I wear this at home?” This has helped me immeasurably in terms of culling. Then at the end of each trip, I take note of what I didn’t wear and I don’t pack those items in the future. 

3. When I decant liquids like lotions and foundations, I fill my containers at home first, use them and note how much of each item I use. This way I’ll only bring as much as I actually need for my trip. I’ve also read about shampoo bars and toothpaste pills being helpful, but I always just use the hotel’s shampoo, and I’m not sure I want to use toothpaste pills just yet. I’ve also read about laundry sheets but so far I haven’t done any laundry in my hotel. But these are all good options to consider.

4. Packing cubes! I know not everyone loves these but I find them invaluable for keeping like items together. They also help me to save room in my luggage. It's important to note that your clothes will still weigh the same amount even if they’re more organized so if luggage weight is an issue, be aware of this. If it’s a shorter trip, I’ll also use each cube to hold one specific outfit, fully accessorized.

5. No extras. I’ve gotten pretty ruthless about not packing “just in case” items. If my sunglasses break, I’ll just buy another pair. I followed this rule on my recent trip to Spain and Portugal and I’m happy I did. The only time I wished I’d packed an extra thing was when it rained and I didn’t have my umbrella. But you know what? My hotel had one to loan! 

What's your best packing tip? Comment below.

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Find more travel inspiration on my Instagram, @JuanitaNg.