Packing Tips Part 1

You’ve booked your trip, you’ve posted the countdown on your Instagram feed, and now the time has come for your trip!  Now you face a big hurdle: packing.  Can we all agree packing is the worst?  You’re constantly thinking of “what if” scenarios and packing according to your imagination.  What you’re left with is a bag that’s heavy and filled with things you won’t even touch.  If I’m being completely honest, I still struggle with the packing process, but I have definitely gotten better at it.  So here is Part 1 of my tips for packing for your next adventure!

  1. Make a list
    • I picked up a premade packing list in the Target dollar section a few years back.  I use it for every trip, long or short, and it’s a lifesaver.  There are tons of great premade lists floating around the internet.  I recommend this one or something like this.
    • These will help keep you organized and make sure you don’t forget anything important.
  1. Items I won’t leave without
    •  I’ve learned a lot about packing by getting stuck somewhere without something I need or being uncomfortable in my environment.
      1. The first thing I always bring with me is an extension cord. This is great if you’re spending a lot of time in airports, train terminals, bus stations, etc. This has also come in handy when I’m in a hotel with limited outlets.  You may even make some friends by sharing.
      2. You will never find me without the following three items that are essential for my own person comfort: earplugs, a neck pillow, and a small blanket. Traveling can be loud, cold, and uncomfortable. On long flights and train and bus rides, I am able to maximize sleep by maximizing my comfort. You won’t sleep if you’re cold, your neck is cramped, or if you can’t block out the screaming child.  Earplugs don’t take up any space, you can wear the neck pillow, and I factor in my small blanket when packing my carry on. To me, it’s a priority.
      3. A small pack of tissues in your carry on can really save the day. They don’t take up much space and again, you may make a friend or two by sharing.
      4. Snacks, because as the Snickers commercial says, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”
      5. Entertainment of choice. If you’re like me, you’re attention span isn’t very long (thanks social media). I download a variety of items: TV shows, movies, games, books.  You name it, I download it.
  1. Know what you can and can’t live without
    • Most articles with advice on how to pack will tell you what to bring and what not to bring.  And while those lists and the advice can be super helpful, you have to find what works for you, your individual needs, and your personality.  For me, I can live without my daily skin routine and can put up with crappy hotel hair dryers for a week.  What I cannot go without, is my hair straightener and curling iron.  Nope, no way, not happening.  This is a lot of trial and error (if my hair could talk…) but eventually you’ll figure out the best way to pack for you!
  1. Dos and Don’ts
    • You know how I said find what works for you?  Well trust me on these next few items.
      1. Do bring a small first aid kit. This one here from Amazon is perfect.  You’re bound to get a cold, a headache, or a blister a some point along your trip.  Or if you’re lucky and manage to escape any ailments, you might just make a friend or two by helping them out.
      2. Do bring an all-in-one outlet converter/adapter. I bought this gem here  and it’s perfect. It can go to countless countries seamlessly and handle all my appliances. No need for multiple adapters and converters in your bag or your junk drawer at home!  Oh, like you don't have a junk drawer.
      3. Don’t bring an electric toothbrush. I love mine as much as I’m sure you love yours.  But a coworker of mine once got stuck in the Palm Beach airport after TSA shut the whole place down due to what they thought was an explosive.  The culprit?  You guess it, someone’s electric toothbrush went off in their bag.  Don’t be that guy (or gal).
      4. Do bring extra socks and underwear. This is the only time I will tell you to bring more of something.  Everyone hates dirty socks, am I right?

Stay tuned for Part 2!