how and when - not what - to pack for a trip

There's a lot of lists out there for what to pack.  This is not one of those pages.  You need your own list, I don't know what your favorite pants are.  

The real question - actually, the real answer - is WHEN to pack, and that answer is: Mostly before it's time to go

I don't just want to be the person saying, "plan more!" but really, you're thinking about traveling right now, why not go through some of these steps and get prepared?  It's fun to think about your stuff and how you will succeed.  Take a few minutes and do some prep. 

Here's how:

First, do you have your paperwork?  How's your passport? Do you have your plane tickets, or the correct airline app so that you have your ticket on  your phone? (this is definitely the way to go, btw).   

If you're going international, have you checked on your phone plan?  What do you need to do so that you have what you need in terms of data and calling? 

Then, the real packing:

Have your standard stuff already in your bag. What's the standard stuff? 

  • Toiletries.  Have this whole kit, separate of what you use every day, already in there. Use the little travel-sized stuff, keep things under the 3 oz TSA limit.  If you need to take special shampoo or lotion, there's bottles for that.  However, I bet there's stuff where you're going. 
Keep these things in a *small* pouch or kit.  Keep some First Aid things in there too.  
  • Travel underwear and socks.  Just get 3 undies and maybe 3 pairs of socks (if you're a sock person) of your favorite style and commit them to be your 'travel set'.  
  • Travel sweater/jumper/warm shirt.   Again, get something you like, that will mix and match with your other stuff, and commit to it being your 'warm travel layer'.
  • Swimming suit.  Get the one you look the best in, and commit it to the travel gear. 

Put all the above in one organizing bag.  I strongly recommend vacuum bags to squish out the air and make everything smaller.  They're also obviously waterproof, so you can keep wet or smelly things in it during your trip. 

Now figure out how you can do *most* of the activities you do with just TWO pair of shoes.  This will need some thinking, and maybe some compromise, but this is vital.   

  • You will want one pair that will look good - in restaurants, at parties, at your business meetings.  These should still be very comfortable, and ones you could walk miles in if you had to.  They should also look good with most or all of your outfits. 
  • Then your second pair would be, in many ways similar: comfortable, able to walk a long way.  But now comes the real debate:  
  • Do you want sandals, because where you're going is warm?  Do you want outdoor/hiking shoes because you're going off road? Or do you need another pair of business/dress shoes, because that's the focus of your trip? 

Get a good shoe bag to put these 2nd pair in, so they don't get your other stuff dirty. 

Next post:  clothes and outfits

 

Photo by Shopify Partners from Burst