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The Art of packing

Open grey suitcase with different clothes packed for journey at home. Nordic style minimalism. woman packing bags for holidays and preparing things for vacations getting ready for travel

The Art of packing

Are you ready to embark on an incredible adventure, but dread the thought of dragging around a heavy suitcase? Fear not. With the right strategies, you can pack everything you need for a month-long journey into a compact carry-on suitcase. Say goodbye to luggage fees, bulky bags, and unnecessary stress. 

  • Plan Your Wardrobe: Choose versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched, allowing you to create different outfits throughout your trip. Opt for lightweight fabrics that are easy to fold and don’t wrinkle easily. Consider the weather and activities you’ll be engaging in to pack accordingly. Remember, less is more.
  • Roll with It: Once you’ve selected your outfits, it’s time to start packing. Say goodbye to old-fashioned folding and roll your clothes instead. Rolling minimizes wrinkles, saves space, and helps you fit more items into your suitcase. 
  • Essential Toiletries: Travel-sized items are your best friends. Invest in refillable travel bottles to carry your favorite shampoos and lotions. Remember to check airline regulations for liquid quantities, so you stay within the limits. Don’t forget to pack a small first aid kit and any prescription medications you may need. You can also pick up many toiletries and OTC medications in the country you’re traveling to, so you’ll only need to worry about bringing things for your first night (if the hotel or Airbnb don’t supply them). 
  • Be Smart About Your Footwear: Shoes can quickly devour precious suitcase space. Be selective and choose a maximum of three pairs of shoes that can cover all your needs. Opt for versatile footwear, such as a comfortable pair of walking shoes, stylish sandals, and perhaps some dressier shoes for special occasions. Wear your bulkiest pair during transit to save even more space. I traveled through much of Europe for four months, with one pair of shoes – my handy dandy Skechers.
  • Dual-Purpose Items: To maximize space efficiency, pack items that serve multiple purposes. A sarong can double as a beach cover-up, picnic blanket or even a makeshift curtain. A versatile scarf can instantly transform a basic outfit into a fashion statement or keep you warm on chilly evenings. 
  • Digital Documents: In this digital age, there’s no need to carry around stacks of paper. Digitize your travel documents, including passport copies (though you will need to bring the original as well), itineraries, and accommodation details. Store them securely on your smartphone or in the cloud, ensuring easy access and peace of mind. 
  • Leave room for souvenirs: Be sure to leave room for those inevitable treasures you’ll pick up along the way. Remember, a strategically placed snow globe can double as a decorative cushion for delicate items, and a miniature Eiffel Tower can become a makeshift coat hanger. 

By following these packing tips, you’ll be able to savor the freedom of traveling without the burden of excess baggage. Embrace the simplicity, convenience, and joy of minimalist packing. 

Bon voyage and safe travels!

Jackie Shelton, APR, is a strategic communications veteran who, after 30 years still has a hard time focusing on one particular aspect, so she has stopped trying.

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