Got any travel plans for this holiday season? Visiting family or finally getting a much-needed break from work after all that spending on your Travel Rewards Credit Card? Well, if you are, you might be dreading the worst part of any trip: packing. What do you pack? How much? What’s the deal with TSA and liquids again? Do you need 4 pairs of shoes? Wouldn’t that be heavy? Perhaps, you’ll just check it? But that is expensive and, if your travel expenses already have you searching for signature loans to get you through, you probably want to avoid it.
If this feels like a familiar thought process, here are four tips for packing light and smart to help avoid paying for unnecessary baggage fees.
You might be used to hearing about “mindfulness” on Instagram or Facebook from yoga gurus and self-help vloggers, but mindfulness definitely has a place in packing. When you’re packing, think about everything you will need, not what you might need. Sit down and look at your trip: How many days is it? Do you have access to a washing machine? What kind of events are you going to? Pick articles of clothing that fit into your outfit needs; don’t just pack jeans because you’ll need them. Pack a pair of jeans, the top you’ll wear with them, and the shoes that go with the whole ensemble. If you pack distinct outfits that you can wash and wear (or that can swap out with each other), you’ll avoid packing those extra bits and pieces that you end up never using. Do you really need those cargo shorts? Is that bedazzled skirt just going to sit at the bottom of your bag? Make a checklist of what you need and use it while you pack to keep on track.
If you aren’t the type of person to plan your every moment or you aren’t sure what the trip will entail, stick to the rule of three: Dressy, Casual, and Sporty. For instance: When you pack shoes, pack one pair of shoes you’d wear out for an evening, one pair of comfortable day shoes, and one pair of sneakers. One of these pairs should be what you wear while hiking through the airport (Might I recommend the sneakers or the day shoes?). Right off the bat, you know you only need 3 pairs of shoes and you only need to pack two. Use this for outfits as well. This way, you are prepared for all eventualities without loading up your bag.
If you are trying to get away with avoiding checking a bag, we’d recommend a soft-sidedPacking Light: Tips and Tricks for Packing Like a Fiscally Savvy Pro bag. You can shape it how you want and smush it into spaces as necessary. When others are trying to cram their rigid carry on back into the overhead, yours will squeeze right in – no corners to cram into small spaces!
Have you ever been prepping for a trip and had to grab mini shampoos and conditioners from your grocery store last minute? Odds are, you probably spent more than you needed to for TSA compliant liquids. You can buy 3-ounce containers online for much cheaper. This also has the benefit of allowing you to pack your own favorite shampoo, conditioner, body lotion – you name it! You can also reuse the bottles for later travels.
So remember, whether you decide to be mindful of what you pack or stick to the rule of 3s, don’t get caught up in packing half your life for a two-week trip. Pack smart and just enjoy your travels!