I am not a great packer. So why would someone like me be writing a blog post on packing if I admit I’m not great at it? Well, because while I still may not be great at it, I’ve learned a lot and am a lot better than what I used to be. For example, back in college I spent a summer in Australia. Going there and coming back I packed two full-size suitcases. Sound excessive? It gets better. A lot of the space and weight were taken up by the shoes I brought… unfortunately I can’t remember the exact number of pairs now but there were approximately 12-15 pairs. Yes, that’s right. Some of them I never wore at all, some of them I only wore once or twice, and the rest I actually wore – I ended up wearing less than half of them regularly.
Thankfully, I truly have improved since then. This summer has been a good test of that – my husband and I have spent a total of three weeks traveling and I’ve loved every minute of it. However, it taken time and effort to pack well, especially for a long overseas trip we took earlier in the summer. I was determined not to have overweight luggage and not to overpack. It was mostly successful – there were some articles of clothing I didn’t end up wearing but I did wear every pair of shoes I brought (because I didn’t bring that many!) and the luggage wasn’t overweight going there or coming back, so overall it was a success. Here are some personal tips I implemented:
–How heavy is it? If it’s a lightweight article of clothing I’m not sure if I’ll wear or not, I’m more inclined to pack it just in case as opposed to a heavier weight article of clothing which will take up more weight and space.
–Do I just want to wear this, or will I actually wear this? For example, I’ve found that most of the dresses I pack for trips, while packed with good intentions, go unworn because they’re just not practical for a day of sightseeing.
–All shoes need to be good for lots and lots of walking – with two exceptions: dress shoes and flip flops. Any shoes outside of this rule can stay home.
–Pack pants over shorts. Not only are shorts less common in other countries, pants are usually a safer bet in case it’s cooler outside.
–When in doubt, don’t pack it!
-Pack a lot of solid colors for easy mix and match outfits that can be worn multiple ways over a long trip.