There is a golden rule for packing and it’s incredibly simple:
- Don’t pack too much.
Follow this rule to save on baggage fees, plus save on dragging around a lot of stuff you won’t use. And yet, we break this rule all the time. According to a survey of British travelers by Travelodge (from last year, but it still seems totally on the mark), fully 66% “admit they always over pack and bring home up to six unworn outfits.” How to avoid this? Follow these five guidelines.
1. Only pack clothes you know you like.
Pack your favorite items of clothing that you know you look good in. If you’re not absolutely wild about a blouse or a pair of pants, forget it. The only exception to this rule might be the odd t-shirt or pajamas for sleeping.
2. Don’t pack anything you haven’t tried on lately.
Maybe it looked great in the store when you bought it last month. But have you tried it on since you gained those five pounds? Have you worn it for at least a day so you know if it moves (or bunches) when you stretch, or if the hem is too short or the buttons come undone? Wear any new clothing for a least a day before you travel.
3. Don’t pack shoes you haven’t already worn.
Most travelers do some walking, and many do a lot. Do not bring unworn shoes or shoes not sufficiently ‘broken in’. Nothing ruins a trip faster than aching feet.
4. Make sure you have the correct accessories.
No, we are not talking about the ‘right’ tiara to go with that designer gown. We are talking absolute necessities for certain outfits. You know what you need but here are some suggestions:
- Socks for sneakers
- Belts for pants
- Hat (preferably something squashable) if you’ll be walking in the sun
- Bathing suit (if you know for a fact you will be brave enough to wear one)
5. Don’t pack more than you need.
Wear your favorites more than once – which means no super-delicate fabrics and no ‘gets dirty easy/fast’ items (unless the latter can be easily washed in a hotel room sink). A good packing rule of thumb:
- Wear pants three days
- Wear shirts two days
Remember, don’t bring any ‘maybes’ as in, “Maybe this will look good.” Whatever you bring must look good and feel good, too.