A few of my friends and classmates are going away on exchange for a few weeks and have been struggling with packing for a prolonged amount of time. With a fair amount of packing skills under my belt- hey, I've travelled through Europe with zero checked bags #winning- I was happy to lend a helping hand for those who want to avoid crazy bag charges and not lug two massive bags through extensively long terminals... looking at you, mile-long JFK. Of course, there will be times where checking bags is unavoidable, so you'll surely want to maximise the space when that happens. Unless you are truly going to the middle of nowhere, you don't need to pack everything under the sun. Packing can be stressful, but the smarter you are........ the easier it is? Meh, that went downhill real fast.
Onto actual words of packing tips and tricks.
Time to be one with your luggage.
+ In some cases, it's a stellar option to ship something ahead. And, not just for the sporting items like sailing gear or skis, but if you're staying the same place for a fair amount of a time and it isn't too far away, shipping a suitcase or box is better than spending the extra money for a second checked bag.
Balance the Space
+ Shoes are a packing blessing. Use them to store your underwear, socks, t-shirts, swimsuits, or anything that fits. On the reciprocal, the fabric helps keep your shoes from being, for the lack of a better word, smushed.
+ Use clutches and other small bags as storage for workout clothes and sunglasses cases are great for storing small jewelry that can get lost in the mix.
Double Bag It
+ Oh no, never forget the beauty products. Follow the basic rule of toiletries in plastic bags, but take extra caution. There is no trouble in going the next step to avoid a sunscreen explosion all over your clothing. Been there, done that, no fun. Once everything is in one plastic bag, put another bag over in the opposite direction.
+ If you end up checking bags (I also do this for carry-ons), follow simple safety precautions. Use TSA-approved locks and keep track of the codes for each one of them. Take a picture of the inside of your suitcase, in case something is stolen during your travels. Lessons learned.
photo from my Instagram