For people who travel often, packing is considerably one of the most demanding and time-consuming tasks you need to prepare before your flight. However, packing correctly and efficiently is essential to have a smooth sailing experience. Nothing beats flying without having to worry about missing a clothing item or forgetting a vital travel document. But how do you pack your things properly and efficiently? Here is our ultimate guide to help you learn how to organize your bag for travel strategically.
Packing Tips When Preparing Your Bags For Travel
Packing is an essential aspect of traveling. And if you’re a frequent traveler, you either love it, or you hate it. While packing is relatively simple, this task becomes a bit more complex if you have some limitations and challenges to face, such as limited space and a multitude of items that you need to bring. Taking this into consideration, one of the first things that you need to know when planning your luggage is to consider your destination and length of travel, as these would primarily dictate how you should pack. Here are some helpful tips and tricks on how to organize your bag for travel:
1. Avoid under or overpacking.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when packing for a trip is bringing more stuff than they truly need. While you may be tempted to have several outfit options, packing an extra set of tops and bottoms can take a lot of space in your suitcase. Overpacking does not only make your luggage unnecessarily full and heavy, but it also rids you of space to put souvenirs in when you go back home.
On the other hand, under packing for a trip can also be an issue. While you can simply pack fewer clothes and do laundry in your hotel to travel light, the free space in your suitcase won’t keep your stuff from shifting around when you travel. Consider filling the space with a bulky or fluffy item such as a jacket to keep your things from shifting, or simply use smaller luggage that would fit all your items perfectly.
2. Choose an appropriate suitcase.
Speaking of suitcases, choosing the best suitcase for you can be a bit overwhelming considering the plethora of choices available in the market. Choosing a suitcase is more than the aesthetics but focuses primarily on the size, build, and material. There are three different types of bags and luggage used when traveling:
- Rolling suitcases are your typical luggage that features two or four wheels for easy transport. This type of luggage can either be a softside, made with fabric or a hardside, featuring a strong molded case. Rolling suitcases provide a lot of space and are usually checked in for a flight instead of as a carry-on.
- Duffel bags feature an elongated design and are a type of travel bag simply slung over one’s shoulder or carried by hand. Duffel bags offer a large central space for you to fill in and is typically made using a flexible fabric material that allows you to squeeze in items as much as possible.
- Backpacks are typically used as a carry-on bag to keep most personal belongings. While this type of travel bag comes in different sizes, backpacks are ideal for people who are always on the move while traveling, such as travelers who are exploring and visiting numerous tourist destinations a day. You can use a large backpack to keep everything you have in or get a smaller one to store some of your knickknacks and partner it with a suitcase that has all of your clothes.
Ideally, you would have at least two suitcases with different sizes that you can use interchangeably depending on the length of your trip. If you’re traveling for a couple of days, consider bringing small luggage and a checked bag for your personal items. On the other hand, trips longer than a week would require larger luggage that can fit more than just clothes and larger and bulkier items such as an extra pair of shoes, gadgets, and even small devices that you would need for your trip. Simply put, your choice of suitcase or bag also helps you decide how to organize your bag for travel.
3. Plan your outfits.
Clothes take up the most space whenever we pack. And while you can pack less and shop for new clothes or do laundry, this is not the most practical option for most of us. Considering this, one of the simplest things we can do is limit our packed clothes by strategically planning our outfits for the trip. Here are some tips on how to plan an outfit when traveling:
- Pack bottoms or jeans that work with all or most of your tops. Even better, use your jeans at least twice throughout the trip.
- Bring travel-friendly clothes that do not wrinkle as much or are not susceptible to dirt and stain.
- Bring appropriate clothes depending on your trip: a suit for a business meeting, a dress for a fancy dinner, and comfy sneakers for adventure trips.
- Wear bulky clothing items such as jackets, coats, and shoes instead of packing them.
- Consider cultural restrictions and weather changes when packing.
- Follow the countdown rule when packing for a week-long trip: 5 sets of underwear and socks, 4 shirts or tops, three pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shoes, and 1 hat. This ideally gives you enough option to mix and match everything for a unique outfit each day.
4. Roll instead of folding your clothes.
Packing a small suitcase with a week’s worth of clothing would require skill and technique to do so. One of the easiest tricks that you can do is maximize your bag’s space and roll your clothes instead of simply folding them. Using the so-called “army roll” when packing your clothes will make them into smaller and compact pieces that you can easily squeeze into the tightest space in your bag. Rolling also allows you to tuck typically fluffy and bulky items such as towels and jackets into a compact piece that would take notably less space in your luggage. Here’s a quick guide on how to do the “army roll” on a shirt:
- Lay your shirt on a surface and tuck and fold the bottom end about 1/8 of the length of the shirt.
- With the tuck facing downward, fold the sleeves in and fold the shirt in half to the middle to overlap each other.
- Rotate the shirt so that the tuck is facing away and tightly roll one end to the other while easing over the creases.
- In the end, grab the roll in your hand and tuck it into the pocket created by the first fold to secure it in place.
5. Pack and organize.
Packing strategically means more than putting your items in your suitcase successfully. Instead, strategic packing also involves considering easy access, weight distribution, and overall neatness of your items. Generally, you should place items and clothing you would first use on the topmost of your luggage for easy access without having to dig in and mess all of your belongings. Another tip is to invest in travel bags and organizers to help you store smaller items and keep them in your bag neatly. Place your toiletries and makeup in a transparent bag for easy access and visibility while storing your cables, chargers, and electronics in a hardcase for extra protection when traveling.
How to Organize Bag For Business Trips
As mentioned earlier, your destinations and length of travel would primarily dictate how you should pack for your trip. Packing for a business trip requires careful consideration because you are traveling to meet people and make a good impression in the name of your work. Taking this into consideration, your presentation will have a great influence on how your business proposals would be received. Here is how you should organize your bag when you are packing for a business trip:
1. Pre-plan your outfits.
As mentioned earlier, your presentation of yourself will greatly impact how your business transaction would go. Take some time to plan your outfits for each business meeting you would have from your top, bottoms, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. Also, consider different styles and outfits suitable for every event, such as a corporal meeting, a business presentation, and a company gala. Also, consider packing your most important suit with you in your carry-on just in case your luggage gets lost.
2. Bring your own toiletries and hygiene kit.
While you can depend on your hotel’s selection of soap, shampoo, and conditioner, you can take one step further by bringing your own set of toiletries to make sure that you are clean and presentable. Even better, you wouldn’t have to risk yourself to possible allergic or adverse reactions when you use your preferred brand of soap and shampoo.
3. Use a presentable travel bag.
For people who go on business trips often, it is ideal to invest in a quality and presentable suitcase that will scream class and finesse when you use it. Besides that, bring a presentable carry-on bag such as a leather messenger bag that you can bring with you when you meet clients and present to possible business partners.
>> Check out the best deals on leather messenger bags here.
How to Organize Bag For Solo Trips
Traveling solo can be quite the experience as exploring a foreign country for the first time would give you such as exhilarating feel. Besides planning every activity, tour, and itinerary on your own, you will also have to put extra effort in packing everything because you won’t have anyone else to depend on. Here are some helpful tips on how you should pack your bag when you are traveling solo:
1. Travel light.
Traveling solo most often than not means that you focus on the adventure that there is to experience. Considering this, it is essential to travel as light as you could as you would most likely be flying and commuting often throughout your trip. Pack lightweight clothing, opt for travel-size toiletries, bring a microfiber towel, and wear all of your bulky items.
2. Secure your personal belongings.
When it comes to traveling on your own, you should put your safety and security as a top priority. Secure your cash and credit card in a small bag close to your body or bring a certain amount of money with you whenever you go out of your hotel room. Also, consider installing extra locks in your hotel and your belongings to be safe from break-ins and theft. For your safety, always bring an emergency and first aid kit as well as a multitool or personal alarm that you can use to protect yourself in certain situations.
3. Pack a smart carry-on
One of the biggest advantages of going on a solo trip is that you can do whatever you want. While you can travel with a strict plan, solo travelers often find themselves veering from their itinerary as they meet other people throughout their trip. Taking this into consideration, it is important for solo travelers to always keep all essential items with them in case they try out something new or unplanned. Pack a discreet carry-on in a small backpack or sling bag that includes all necessary travel documents, identification, some cash, a set of clothes, toiletries, snacks, and an emergency kit to make sure that you never find yourself unprepared for any situation.
How to Organize Bag For Family Trips
Packing suitcases for a family trip is a lot more complex than packing for a solo trip. Not only will you need to pack for yourself, but you will also have to consider the needs of the people joining your trip. Here is a quick guide on how to pack suitcases for a family trip:
1. Use packing cubes to organize items for each individual.
Packing cubes are god-sent for people who want to stay organized when traveling. Considering that you are likely to bring large suitcases when going on a trip, use several packing cubes to separate and organize clothes and items dedicated to each individual. Try color coordinating or simply labeling each bag so that it is easier to identify which one belongs to who.
2. Keep the essentials in your carry-on
Considering the numerous bags and suitcases normally involved when it comes to packing for a family trip, it would be extremely difficult if you suddenly forgot which bag you put the first aid kit, your travel documents, or the kids’ snacks in. Considering this, keep the essential travel items in your carry on so that you have easy access whenever such an item is needed.
3. First aid and Emergency Kits
When it comes to traveling with kids, it is important that you are ready for any emergency that you might face. Aside from the typical cuts, scratches, and scrape wounds kids often get from being too active, you should also be ready when they start asking for snacks or their favorite toy. Also, consider bringing blankets, electronic devices, and other items to make sure that they are comfortable and aren’t bored while traveling for a long time to Disneyland or while you are waiting in line for a tour. Remember to pack these items on the top of your carry-on luggage so that it will be easy to access anytime your kid starts complaining.
To Wrap It Up
As mentioned earlier, packing can sometimes be a frustrating and complicated part of traveling. If you often have a hard time fitting all your belongings in your bag and suitcase, maybe it is time for you to learn how to organize your bag for travel. It is important to always have all essential travel items packed and ready to go before your flight to ensure that you wouldn’t have any problems throughout your trip. Hopefully, this article provided you with enough information about the basics of packing and the tricks that you can do to pack better for your next getaway.