Travel can be stressful. Whether you’re visiting family for the holidays, going on end-of-year business trips, or planning a winter getaway, there are a number of things that can add stress to your trip. With these tips, you can stay organized even away from home.
Nothing helps bring down the stress level of traveling like being prepared. Having items ready to go ahead of time is a great way to ensure you aren’t rushing to pack at the last minute. Having all your items out also helps to visualize the amount of space you’ll need, so you aren’t stuck with a suitcase or bag that doesn’t fit everything.
A strategy I like to use involves using the week before your trip to pack. It’s simple, saves time, and overall makes the process less stressful. Check out my post here to see more details.
Separate by Outfit
One of my Golden Rules is to store items where you use them. This doesn’t translate exactly to packing items on the go, but I like to keep items that will be used together in the same place. This works especially well for outfits—keeping matching tops and bottoms together helps you get dressed quickly at your destination. Your suitcase or bag may dictate how you store these outfits, but I like to fold when I can and roll when space is a bit tighter.
Downsize Your Packing List
Just as with organizing your home or office space, downsizing is essential to keeping your trip organized. Why pack three or four different winter coats when one will do? All-purpose items like this can save you space in the suitcase and the hassle of packing multiples.
It’s a tricky call to make, especially when weather at your destination is uncertain, but as long as you have the essentials, there’s no need to fret! Check ahead of time and plan for slightly warmer and slightly colder than the reports, then choose a jacket and a pair of shoes or two to go with all your outfits. And be sure to check out my video for tips on packing those shoes:
Choose Accessories Wisely
For winter trips especially, there are a few key items that will help you keep warm in any climate. As independenttraveler.com notes in this article, you can go without lots of heavy layers in favor of a good hat and pair of gloves. Their requirements for these items ensure that you’ll have save space in your suitcase without sacrificing comfort.
These outer items are best kept together, just like your outfits. An outer pocket where you can easily reach them is best. This way, you won’t have to dig through your whole bag to find them, and they’ll always be ready to add to your wardrobe before you head out for the day’s activates.
The Reverse Packing System
When you get to your destination—whether it’s a hotel suite, friend’s guest room, or other accommodations—unpack all your items the first day. Unless you’re staying long enough to do laundry, you’ll want to keep your dirty and clean items separate. The easiest way is to pack all your worn items back into the suitcase or bag once you’ve used them. This way, you’ll be all packed once all the clothes are worn, and you won’t mix up what’s clean and what isn’t.