I’m not embarrassed to admit it — I’m a chronic overpacker. It seems like I never have any control when it comes to deciding what I will actually need. That’s especially fun when I arrive at the airport and learn that my suitcase is too heavy and that I have to pay some extra fees. Because I’m so notorious for overpacking, I decided a while ago that I would try to work through this habit of mine. I started researching ways to pack smarter and lighter, even if I adopt a doomsday mentality before every trip. Here are the best tips that I have found.
Make a list
While this seems like an absolute no-brainer, so many people forget about it. Make a lengthy and detailed list of everything that you may need on your trip, and follow it while packing.
I would highly suggest not making this list only a couple of days before you take off because it can get a bit overwhelming. Instead, prepare in advance and approach it with a clear head.
Do some research as well and see what people who have already visited that destination are suggesting. Once you start packing, make sure that you are not cheating on that list.
Plan your outfits in advance
In my opinion, this is the absolute best way to pack clothes. Before you decide on the outfits, make sure that you check the weather forecast. Choose your clothes based on the predicted weather, but also take at least one “weather emergency” piece of clothing on your trip.
That doesn’t mean that you should bring a bomber jacket to your trip to Hawaii. But one light denim jacket wouldn’t be too bad, would it? After you have all of that ready it’s time to plan your outfits. Make a list of all of the activities that you are supposed to do, and decide what outfits would suit those occasions the best. Be sure to include layers in this, as some pieces may go well with multiple outfits, and this will eventually save you space.
Do you really need to take 3 perfumes on your 7-day vacation? Realistically speaking, you probably just need one. Also, is it really smart to bring your whole 10-step skincare routine to your trip around Europe? Will you even have the energy to do the whole routine at the end of the day?
I know that nobody wants to neglect their usual routines even when they are away from home. But you have to be real about the fact that your routine is going to change no matter what. Therefore, keep things as minimalistic as possible.
No last-minute items
I have already warned you not to cheat on your list. And I will do it once more. Those last-minute items that you pack once your travel anxiety hits are most likely never going to be used, right? So why even pack them in the first place?
The best way to avoid panic packing is to do it a few days before you leave for your trip. Put everything in the suitcase, double-check that everything on your list is included, and then just forget about it until you have to leave.