Sharing some of my top packing tips during this time seems a little odd, doesn’t it? It’s been a year since we’ve all been mostly stuck at home and leaving our suitcases to catch the dust as we daydream about all of the beautiful places we’d like to vacation to. Well, thankully, vaccines are being distributed, countries are slowly opening back up, and I have a good feeling about this summer! In France, we were told we should start to re-open mid May and I am keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve always traveled quite a bit in my lifetime, so I have a TON of packing tips and tricks for you. Not only that, but I did pack my whole life into seven suitcases when I moved, so I’d say I know a thing or two about making it work in a suitcase. I condensed my list to the top five packing tips to help you get the most out of your suitcases this summer season.
Packing tip #1: Roll your clothes!
This is absolutely ESSENTIAL. Especially when it came to moving, this was life changing in order to pack up most of my closet. Not only does this save a TON of space, but it also prevents weird lines on your clothes. Do keep in mind that if you’re rolling an item that creases easily, you will more than likely need to iron/steam it once you arrive at your destination. I roll absolutely everything- jeans, sweaters, dresses, undergarments, swimsuits… If it’s fabric, it’s getting rolled!
Packing tip #2: Valuables stay with you!
This is HUGE! I’ve never had the misfortune of losing luggage for more than a week, but I can’t even imagine how horrible that must be. Now imagine that this happens and in that luggage, you packed your grandmother’s diamond earrings, or the fancy Rolex watch that you saved up for for years. Or maybe, a disgrunteled employee opens up your luggage for a routine check and decides to steal said earrings/watch. How awful would that be?! This isn’t something you ever want to risk. Make sure to ALWAYS pack your most valuable items in your carry-on luggage, personal item, or even wear them on you. Really, it’s not worth risking.
Packing tip #3: Pack a full outfit in your carry-on luggage
Have you ever arrived at your final destination, went to baggage claim, only to find out that your luggage is still chilling at your connecting airport? Well, I have, and let me tell you, it’s NOT fun. Actually, I’ve had this happen a few times. One of my best packing tips that I can give you is to ALWAYS pack a full outfit in your carry-on luggage so if you’re the unfortunate victim of delayed baggage, you aren’t stuck in your grody airport clothes all day. If you’re heading to a beach destination, I’d add a swimsuit as well. Waiting for delayed baggage is a lot more enjoyable when you’re sitting beachside with a daiquiri. Or in your cute little summer outfit, wandering the streets of a beautiful European city. Really- this one is a life saver! You can take this one step further and add a few toiletries under the flying limit, too.
Packing tip #4: Layer!!!
Sometimes, even when you follow all of the best packing tips, you still don’t have enough room for everything. You’ve gone through your packing list, only included items you know you’ll actually use, but the luggage won’t close. Well, I guess you better start packing on yourself! At the airport, I make sure to wear the pair of shoes that take up the most space (usually combat boots that I’ll unlace before security check in order to not hold up the line), add a hoodie, a coat, and even a hat depending on the destination. Don’t be afraid to add those layers on in order to make more room. You can always shed them on the plane, but let’s be honest, they’re usually FREEZING, so you’ll probably be thankful you have the coat on you and not packed away, anyways.
Packing tip #5: Weigh your luggage!
I feel like this packing tip is commonly missed, but it’s SUCH a good one! I once went to Las Vegas with a couple of girls and we tried to be sneaky and pack all of our stuff in one checked luggage thinking we’d avoid the fees. This was an airline that was quite cheap, but charged you extra for everything, including checked luggage. Well, we didn’t weigh it beforehand and when we arrived at the airport, we realized that it was over the weight limit and we had to pay a small fortune… Don’t be like us at the airport; weigh your luggage before you leave! The way you do this at home is by standing on your scale with your luggage and then weighing yourself without it. Then, you just subtract it from the first number and BOOM. You have a good idea of how much it weighs. Honestly, I did this SO much when I moved to France! Most of my luggage was hovering right under the limit by the time I was done and I was able to take so many more items with me overseas.
Bonus Packing Tips
I wanted to include a list of the most commonly forgotten items to pack. Some of these I’ve definitely forgotten myself and others have been experiences by friends/family.
- Chargers (phone, laptop, tablet, headphones, etc)
- Makeup remover
- Sunscreen (make sure it’s biodegradable if you’re planning to swim in the ocean/sea)
- Lip balm (you don’t know true pain until you’re out on a sunny, all-day excursion with no stores in sight)
- Swimsuit (for non-sunny destinations, too as hotels often have pools/jacuzzis)
So there you have it! A few of my top packing tips. I truly hope these will help you pack for your next vacation and that you learned a thing or two! 🙂 Where would you like to vacation to next? Let me know down in the comments below! Make sure to check out my Weekend Trip to Camargue post for some beautiful travel inspiration, too.
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