You may think you know how to pack, but there’s always room for improvement!
When you pack your clothes, roll them up and pack them into your suitcase/luggage. Yes, I mean to roll them up, like take a t-shirt, fold it in half and start rolling it to the end. This ultimately minimizes wrinkles but also frees up space so you can carry more! Don’t forget that you can also take stacks of clothes and roll them up together; this may be preferable to minimize wrinkles as well. When sticking these rolled up clothes, just stack them tightly next to one another, and on top. You can even squeeze them in small spots after most things are in.
If you are carrying anything hollow, you can fill them up with stuff too! For example, when I was packing to come here to Kyoto, Japan I brought a thermos and packed Allegra, a hand towel, and a cool string photo hanger inside it. Another example, I brought a bag of Starbursts just in case I was hired in a school to give to other teachers as a gift (part of the custom) inside my mini rice cooker. Don’t forget that shoes are hollow as well! Roll up your socks and stick them in there! This will maximize how much you can carry, but don’t forget that you have a weight limit too!
When packing, you need to take into consideration the weight of each object. If you plan on carrying something heavy, you may want to place it towards the bottom otherwise if you have it on top and your suitcase is upright, it’ll squish everything below it and possibly move around; this will also prevent your suitcase when in the upright position from toppling over and being unstable. Same thing goes for lighter items, you may want to stick them on top. When I stuck my mini rice cooker into my suitcase, I stuck the bag of Starbursts inside it and placed soft items like scarves around it (360 degrees) and left it in the middle-bottom area of my suitcase so that it wouldn’t get damaged upon transport; because we know not all those guys handling luggage really care about what may be inside our luggages!
If you’re carrying liquids you want to ensure no leakage. In order to do that, you can take a piece of plastic and cover the top and screw the cap back on-top of it. When you pack liquids into your carry on luggage, it needs to all be less than 100ml each and in a quart-sized clear plastic bag. That means that the bottle has to be 100ml or less, not the actual contents; I know, I had an issue with that when I first heard. It’s also good to include all liquids in your check in luggage in a clear plastic bag too, can never be too careful!
What should you pack other than your clothes, toiletries, and electronics?
- Reusable water bottle or canteen – if you’re going to a location that has safe tap water, or if you can find larger water bottles from a supermarket
- Laundry bag – don’t you want to keep your stinky clothes separate from your clean clothes?
- First Aid supplies – better safe than sorry, it’s hard to get something if you don’t know the language too
- Hand Sanitizer – always a good idea no matter where you go
- Travel document copies – always carry copies of your passport and other important documents rather than the original; most times it works and even if it is lost or stolen, you still have your original!
- Flip Flops – if you’re staying in a hostel, this is a must! If not, still a good idea whether or not you’ll be hitting the pool, beach, or for a stroll in beautiful hot weather.
Do not overpack, it’s not worth; nor is it required. You should’ve already done your research and planning for your trip, whether it’s short or long. With that said, you already have a basic understanding of your activities and itinerary so pack accordingly! I do not mean that you know exactly what you’ll be doing, but an idea of what there is to do and what you may be interested in. It’s always nice to speak to the locals, get a feel and follow their lead! Also, I implied that you should already know the weather and climate but if you forgot to check, CHECK it! If your trip is short then simply looking at the forecast should suffice, but that includes the morning, afternoon and nights. If your trip is rather long then do include the seasonal averages of rainfall, snow, possible natural disasters and such. Just plan your trip properly.
Now, go start planning your next trip and hopefully these tips will help you like it did me!
I honestly cannot tell which is more effective, the rolling or this compiling technique; however they work! What I’m labeling as compiling, I’m simply referring to taking clothes and laying them out flatly on one another. For example, taking your 5 t-shirts and laying them down on-top of one another, and then fold. I do not know the reason or logic behind this sorcery but it works! Recently, I stuffed dirty laundry into a small and netted compartment in my suitcase. It got too full and needed to force more inside, so I used this trick and WALA, it fit! I was able to continue adding more dirty laundry as the days passed too! Some muggle sorcery I tell you, muggle sorcery; not that that makes any sense at all…
Anyways, do you have any packing secrets that you would like to share? Sharing is caring!