By Taylor Oddino
When it comes to packing for a long trip, there are certain things to keep in mind. From choosing what to pack to choosing how many suitcases to take, it can be tough. But if you follow these guidelines, your packing process will be smooth sailing.
Pack with Purpose
The first thing to decide is what you will spend most of your time doing, then pack accordingly. When packing for a longer trip, you will probably need a little bit of everything. Don’t try to squeeze by with one pair of pajamas, and yet don’t forget your bathing suit! No matter where you’re going, you never know when you will have the opportunity to jump in a pond on the trail or take a dip in the hotel pool. Pack toward the purpose of your trip to avoid packing unnecessary items.
Style vs. Practicality
When it comes to long trips, it’s crucial to be practical when packing. Just because you’re going on a long trip does not mean you’ll need to take your entire wardrobe. Do you really need three cocktail dresses? Do you need all three of those new pairs of jeans? We all want to be stylish, but sometimes (most of the time) packing all your trendy clothes is just not practical. Again, keep in mind the purpose of your trip and pack mostly toward that purpose, whether that’s business, adventure or lounging on the beach. Go easy on any clothes outside of that purpose because you’ll probably need them less than you think you will.
Look at the clothes you have laid out so far. Now take away about three to five pieces of clothing, if not more. It will save you space and you would not have worn everything you packed anyway. It is a quick and easy way to save space. Plus you will have the opportunity to get more creative with the clothes that you do pack!
The number of suitcases you’ll need will vary in correlation with the length of your trip, but generally you should be able to get by with one large suitcase (a checked bag if you are flying), a mid-sized bag (a carry-on if you are flying), plus a smaller bag such as a purse or backpack. The majority of your items will go in your large suitcase (clothes, shoes, curling iron, etc.). Toiletries can also go in the large suitcase, but also consider buying most of your items once you reach your destination. The mid-sized bag is great for extras like a hoodie if it gets cold, or practical things like your chargers, journals for the trip and a box of granola bars in case of a snacking emergency. Besides housing your phone, passport and wallet, purses are great for medicine and your latest favorite novel. This is also a good time to mention: you will be gone for a while, don’t forget to call your doctor and get your prescriptions filled so that they will last you the duration of the trip.
Beware of Shoes
Shoes are heavy and can take up quite a bit of room. Every inch counts when packing for the long haul. Try to cut weight and save space by being minimalistic with your shoe packing. If you are doing an outdoors trip, your vital pair of shoes will be your hiking boots or some sort of equivalent. With a business trip, you will be able to get by with wearing one or two pairs of shoes. Black heels go with everything!
It’s common to come home from a trip with more than you left with, especially on longer trips. Think about it: more time traveling equals more time to acquire stuff. You are going to need space to put the things you buy or pick up along the way. This is another great use for the mid-sized piece of luggage. Leave some space in it to pack your souvenirs and what not for the return trip.
Bring Some Bling
Just because you do not have your full wardrobe doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish. Jewelry is small, easy to pack and spices up almost any outfit. Another tip: To prevent necklaces from being tangled, use a straw. Feed one end of a necklace all the way through the straw then fasten the necklace on the other side.
Finally, remember that you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time. Grant yourself some comforts, whether that means some easily packed photographs, or your favorite pillow cover to slip on the pillow in the hotel.
Luggage: twentymindsomething via Flickr
Packing: PJ Rhymeswithsausage via Flickr
Woman with Luggage: kris krÃ¼g via Flickr
Rolled Clothes: Connie Ma via Flickr
Luggage Set: Step via Flickr
Packing Shoes: abby28xyz via Flickr
Travel Purse: CÃ©sar via Flickr
Lucky Necklace: Samantha Marx via Flickr
Stuffed Toy in Luggage: Nomadic Lass via Flickr