Gear and Packing,  Travel Tips

The Art of Packing


Packing is all about trial and error and so I share with you some tips on how  to pack lightly.


 

I must admit it took me a while to master the art of packing. I’m a bit of an obsessive-compulsive freak so I used to bring a lot each time I travelled, only to realize I didn’t really need half the stuff in my suitcase. Needless to say, packing is all about trial and error and so I share with you some tips on how I try  to pack lightly.

 

1.  Pack for the actual number of days you’ll be gone.

Before you snort “Well isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?!” know that there are people who bring  a month’s worth of clothes and accessories for a 3-day trip. You’ll recognize them instantly. They usually walk with a “what if” thought-bubble hovering above their heads.  What if my flight is cancelled and I get stranded?  What will I wear?  What if the Sultan suddenly throws a party? What will I wear? Blah blah blah.  The best way to face this demon is to plan your outfits according to your itinerary.  I usually make a checklist of what I’ll wear on specific days and allow for “repeats” (meaning, I wash my clothes.) I also make sure I bring outfits with neutral colors so that they’re easier to mix and match.

 

//All packed for a 6-day trip!

2.  Lay everything out on the bed.

Before I put everything in the suitcase, I lay everything out on the bed first just to make sure my checklist is complete.  A quick survey also gives me a mental picture of all my stuff so it’s easier to spot if anything’s missing when I’m packing for my return trip.

 

click on the pic to see notes on this pic on flicker

 

3.  Invest on travel accessories and clothes made for travelling.

I proudly use the services of packing helpers like cubes, toiletry kits and other wonderful travel accessories. They just make life so much easier.

 

//Eagle Creek Pack It double cube, a great organizing tool

//My ever-reliable toiletry case,  the Deuter Washbag

 

Travel clothes may be expensive but believe me,  they’re really worth the investment. Usually made of lightweight materials, they virtually weigh next to nothing, are easy to wash and are quick to dry.

 

 

//My travel uniform:  bush shirts from Columbia

 

 

4. Roll your clothes.

Rolling your clothes will prevent wrinkling and give you more space in the suitcase.

 

 

//Inventory: 2 bush shirts, 3 t-shirts, 3 tank tops, 1 dress (sleep wear), 1 pair of shorts (sleep wear), 2 walking shorts, 1 pair of pants and undies (in the black bag)


5.  Downsize your toiletries.

Think twice before you bring that giant bottle of shampoo. There are mini-versions of everything now. You can also just transfer your favorite products into smaller containers.

 

//A toiletry case with sleeves and pockets will force you to “edit” your products

Lastly, always be mindful of the 10 or 15-kilo weight allowance for checked-in luggage. Invest on a digital weighing scale if you have the budget.

If you follow these simple tips, I guarantee you won’t have to pay for excess weight. Unless you plan to bring a ton of pasalubong back home…

How about you?  Want to share your own tips?

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