Traveling can be a lot of work. You have to make sure you pack everything you need, but not so much that you’re lugging around tons of extra weight. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your trips easier on yourself—and your body! If you’re looking for advice on how to make the most out of your next trip, read on:
If you’re on a tight schedule, it’s crucial to pack only what you need. Make no mistake: the more stuff you bring with you, the longer it will take for TSA agents to process your bags before boarding—and that’s not even including how long it will take for them to actually reach their destination once they land. To avoid being late for your flight, limit what goes into each bag and only bring items that are absolutely necessary.
Make a list of everything on this list and cross off anything that can wait until you’re in flight (such as reading material or headphones). That way, when it comes time to pack up your carry-on bag ahead of an upcoming trip, there won’t be any last-minute attempts at cramming extra items in there because they seem like “must-haves”—which inevitably leads us back here: packing too much stuff!
Bring a laundry bag.
At the risk of sounding like your mother, a laundry bag is a good thing to bring. It will keep dirty clothes separate from clean ones, dry cleaning and other items in your suitcase. If you’re traveling with someone else, they can use it to store their own dirty clothing as well so that they don’t have to see yours or smell it while they’re rummaging through their own stuff looking for something to wear. You could also use it to keep your dirty outerwear separate from everything else if you’re staying somewhere where there isn’t much closet space available in the room (and therefore no place to hang coats).
Get a travel credit card.
There are two types of travel credit cards: those that offer rewards and those that don’t. The latter type is exactly what it sounds like—a card with no rewards program. It may be a good option for someone who doesn’t want any added perks, but it can also be a disappointment if you do plan on using your card frequently. The best choice is one that offers either an airline or hotel loyalty program where you earn points toward free flights or accommodations. These programs will let you rack up points faster than those without them, so make sure to read the fine print before committing to a credit card and signing up for its rewards program (which usually involves paying an annual fee).
Fold your clothes.
- Don’t let the word “fold” fool you. Folding clothes does not have to be time-consuming or difficult. You can easily fold your clothing at home and save space in your suitcase. And it’s easy to pack more into a carry-on bag if you know how to fold clothes properly.
- If you don’t have time for folding, try rolling instead of folding your clothing—it takes up less space than folding, but still helps keep things tidy!
Put small items into plastic bags.
When you’re packing, it’s easy to forget the little things. But you don’t want to be left with just your big items when you’re out at the airport. So here are some things you can do:
- Use ziplock bags instead of packing cubes for small items. These come in handy for holding your makeup and toiletries.
- Throw small articles of clothing into sandwich bags if they fit comfortably inside, like socks or underwear. You’ll find them easier to pack this way because their shape will conform better than folding them would.
- Put liquids in plastic freezer bags so that nothing spills during travel (and so TSA doesn’t have to deal with them). This is especially important for shampoo, sunscreen, lotion—anything liquid that could leak through regular plastic packaging and make a mess in your luggage!
Try not to purchase souvenirs while traveling.
If you’re traveling for fun, it’s nice to get souvenirs. But if you’re flying, those little tchotchkes are going to be a pain in the ass to bring home with you. You’ll also have no room for them!
Instead of buying souvenirs while traveling, buy them before your trip at home so that they can be delivered to your hotel before your arrival. That way, when you arrive at your destination, everything is already waiting for when you check into your room or hostel (or wherever else).
Besides being able to save money on travel souvenirs because they were purchased before leaving home, another benefit is that there will be more variety available in stores near where they live than there would be while out on vacation elsewhere in the world.
Wherever possible, travel carry-on only.
You’ll want to travel carry-on only whenever possible. You may not be allowed to bring liquids or gels in your carry-on, and it’s easier to take care of a baby or toddler if you don’t have to worry about carrying around a lot of stuff.
Find ways to exercise on the road.
- Get a gym membership, then don’t use it. If you’re planning on doing some exercise while traveling, plan ahead and get a hotel gym membership so that you can avoid the temptation of getting lazy. But if possible, try to avoid working out at all—it’s a great way to avoid jet lag and keep your energy up!
- Take advantage of public transportation. Whether it’s trains or buses or subways in big cities like New York City or San Francisco (or even better: bicycles), there are tons of ways to get around without needing a car or taxi cab ride every day. If you’re not sure where any of these types of transportation are located in an unfamiliar place, just ask someone!
- Do yoga poses in your hotel room—this is an especially good idea if there isn’t enough space outside the door for pushups/situps/squats etc., but even if there is then this tip might still apply because sometimes those stretches will feel more satisfying when they’re done inside instead (especially if there aren’t any other people around).
Bring a reusable water bottle.
A reusable water bottle is a great way to be eco-friendly and save money on travel. It’s also a really convenient way to stay hydrated, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar place and have no idea where the nearest public water fountain is located.
If you’re going to bring a reusable water bottle with you, it’s important that it has these features:
- Large enough capacity—you don’t want to have to fill up your bottle every few hours!
- Easy-to-clean material—no cracks or crevices that could harbor bacteria.
- A leakproof lid—so nothing gets spilled in your luggage!
Once you’ve found the perfect reusable water bottle…
Wear your heaviest pair of shoes on the plane and your other pair in your carry-on or luggage.
Wearing your heaviest pair of shoes on the plane is a good idea for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s better to wear your heavy shoes than pack them into your bag—you’ll have more room in your luggage for other things if you don’t have to worry about how much weight they’re adding. Secondly, wearing heavy shoes can help make sure that nothing gets broken or lost in transit. If you put a pair of heels in your carry-on or luggage, there’s always the chance that they might get crushed by other items or damaged during check-in/check-out. It’s better to wear them and keep accidents at bay!
If you’re traveling with just one pair of shoes (which we recommend), then it makes sense that this would be the lighter pair since they won’t be as comfortable as their larger counterparts when worn on long flights and bus rides alike. The key here is flexibility: having options makes everything easier when flying!
You’ll have a much better time if you don’t have to lug around huge suitcases wherever you go!
You’ll have a much better time if you don’t have to lug around huge suitcases wherever you go! You can pack light and still have everything you need.
You can travel carry-on only, which means you don’t check any bags and take them as carry-on luggage on the plane. This is great because it’s faster and less stressful, costs less money (as airlines often charge extra for checking bags), allows you to keep your stuff with you at all times and avoid losing things that got lost in transit once they reached their destination.
If possible, wear your heaviest shoes on the plane and your other pair in your carry-on or luggage so that weight isn’t an issue when trying to fit everything into one bag.
When it comes to traveling, a little preparation goes a long way. By following these simple packing tips, you’ll be able to travel more easily and with less stress.