Constant over packing used to be my reality when travelling with my family! Countless were the times when we arrived at the check in counter (hoping and praying to get a lenient check-in assistant) to discover just how much over weight our luggage was.
And then the rummaging starts: what do we need to keep and what can we send back home with a friend?
I’m sure many people have been guilty of this, particularly if you’re visiting family and friends and want to take them back some trinkets. Maybe you’ve packed a few extra pairs of sandals because, you know, just in case? Or maybe you’ve brought your entire office with you, your iPhone, iPad and laptop - even though you’re on holiday!
Limit your toiletries
It’s so importance to maintain your skincare routine, especially while travelling.
Too often the go-to response is to purchase travel sized products or rely on hotel amenities which all contribute to increasing waste produced while travelling. Consider buying products which can serve more than one purpose.
Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap can triple as body soap, shampoo and conditioner! There is an added bonus of no leakages during transit, simply let it dry, place into a tin or snap lock bag and pack.
Bring a shimmery eye shadow that can double as a highlighter for a sun-kissed glow or a shade of lipstick which can also act as a blush.
I like to take a little of my favourite face mask, May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver with me on my travels. This powder face mask is very easy to travel with, place a small amount into a travel sized container and when its time to pamper yourself, mix it with equal parts water and have a DIY spa night. There is no better time to relax and indulge in your favourite face mask then when on holiday; after all, your skin may be in need of some TLC post-flight.
While it may be tempting to purchase travel-size products for your trip, it’s better to stick to the products that work for your skin. After all, you’ve spent time and money discovering these are your favourites.
Siphon your daily necessities into quality bottles and tubs and re-use them each time you travel. This way you’ll reduce space and reduce the waste of buying ‘cheaper’ alternatives simply due to size.
Portion out your medication and take a few days extra worth, there’s no need to take the entire bottle or packet.
Carry on only
Oftentimes we have more weight allowance than we need… and we will use it! Limiting the amount of luggage space you have means you will think more critically about what you need with you at your destination. And you won’t even need to wait for your suitcase at baggage claim!
Pack versatile clothing
Looking back on old travel photos I often shudder at the fashion choices of the past.
Do an inventory of the clothes you have in your wardrobe and make it easy on yourself by sticking to one colour palette: choosing items that can be worn in different ways, and more than once. Also, choose clothing and materials that don’t wrinkle easily. That dress that can be fancied-up or -down with accessories, pack it!
Avoid last minute packing
Packing isn’t fun for most people and procrastinating till the very last moment is tempting. The problem with this is during the rush to make sure you’ve got everything, you may very well (accidentally) pack too many things, thinking that you might need that book you’ve been meaning to read or that hat that you never wear.
You don’t want to do that.
By allowing yourself to pack over a few days just before you leave you can think and plan ahead on what you really will need and reduce your packing stress significantly. For those who are more planning inclined work off our Checklists - which should get easier to refine the more you’ve travelled - simply ticking things off as you pack and make sure to stick to it!
Use packing cubes
This is easily my favourite.
As a hyper-organiser I like to know where things are in my luggage at all times. By purchasing packing cubes in different colours and sizes you can allocate a cube for everything, keeping things organised and you will also know where everything is without needing to destroy all of your packing in the process. Also, having a specific number of cubes restricts the amount you can take with you.
Coordinate with your travel buddy
In general, the things which people pack for their travels are the same. If you’re travelling with someone why not coordinate so you don’t both bring a shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. With a little extra planning and shared Checklists, you can allocate things for each of you to bring and share at your destination to lighten the load.
Try it yourself! Over packing just isn’t fun: the stress over whether you’ve exceeded the weight limit after you’ve done some shopping or fretting over how you’ll manage to lug around a heavy bag. For your next trip why not try some or all of these tips and see how you go. It only takes a bit of extra time and planning but the rewards are far greater!