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Too Much Baggage? How to Avoid Overpacking

Posted on: September 3rd, 2014 by Leah No Comments

We’ve all had the experience where we’ve packed too much, too little, or none of the right clothing. The art of traveling comes down to concise and organized packing. Here are some tips on mastering jet setting while not forgetting style in the rush to catch a plane.

Pack in Advance

A key component to packing is to do so in advance. I recommend starting the packing process one week prior to your trip. This will give you time to make sure your items are clean before you leave. There is nothing worse than packing the night before an early morning flight only to realize your favorite dress is at the cleaners.

Make a List

Start by making a list by the number of days you’ll be traveling. You’ll likely want a different outfit for each day and night of your trip. If traveling for fun, you’ll need casual outfits with comfortable shoes for day while sightseeing and dressier outfits at night for dinners and entertainment. While writing down each outfit on your list, it’s important to try everything on. This will make you think about the type of undergarments and accessories that need to be packed in addition to making sure that the garment doesn’t need any repairs. Also, check the weather, it’s no fun to arrive at your destination only to realize that its much colder than you realized and you didn’t bring a jacket.

What to Wear

Wear comfortable clothing on the flight. You never know when you’ll be delayed or miss a flight and end up spending extra hours in the airport. However, this does not mean you should wear sweat pants. Instead opt for layers such as a maxi skirt with tank and sweater. I also recommend a scarf (to keep warm in cold airports and airplanes), minimal jewelry (more to take off when you go through security), and comfortable shoes (you’ll be doing a lot of walking). I once made the mistake of wearing a dress with a lot of embellishments on it while traveling. As I went through security the scanner lit up like a Christmas tree and I had to be padded down and searched in the back. This was an uncomfortable situation that could have been easily avoided by simply wearing the right clothing. Also, no one looks good after a long flight wearing a full face of makeup. Instead, slip on a stylish pair of sunglasses and a little lipstick and you’ll look fabulous! They also can help hide tired, blood-shot eyes after a red-eye flight.

How to Pack

Roll it, don’t fold it. Rolling clothing will create fewer wrinkles and more space for other items. In addition, stuff workout clothing and socks into shoes to help them keep their shape while also saving space. As you’re laying items into your luggage, place a dryer sheet between clothing. This will make everything smell fresh when you unpack. Also, never check anything valuable. Your carry-on luggage should include your jewelry, cosmetics, swimsuit, one casual and one formal outfit, and anything that you couldn’t live without.   In addition, your carry-on luggage should include socks (flights are cold), lip balm, antibacterial wipes, tissues, advil, toothbrush/toothpaste and a tide pen (for erasing spills and dirt from clothing when traveling). All leakable products should be packed in resealable plastic bags to minimize spillage on clothing and other items in your suitcase. Clearly mark your bag using a bright tag or a ribbon. Black luggage all looks the same at baggage claim.

Roll your clothing for less wrinkles and more space when traveling

Roll your clothing for less wrinkles and more space when traveling

More is not better

Just because you own it doesn’t mean you should pack it. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot carry your own luggage then you’ve packed too much. It’s not your husband’s job to be the bag man and you should not need to see a chiropractor or masseuse after traveling.

Pack clothing and accessories that you will wear more than once. A dress can be worn at night with heels and then worn again later in trip with sandals for a more casual day look. On my last trip, my husband commented on the number of shoes I pulled out of my luggage asking whether I really needed seven pairs of heels for a 10-day trip. I explained that I did as they each matched a different handbag that went with a specific outfit. Alright, point taken, perhaps packing seven pairs of shoes with matching handbags was a bit much but I would rather have fewer outfits and more accessories. A simple black dress can look like a completely different outfit when accessorized with different shoes, jewelry, scarves, or a jacket.

Also, keep in mind that hotels offer dry cleaning and laundry service for relatively inexpensive fee. When considering that most airlines charge between $25 and $50 for a checked bag, using the hotel’s laundry service isn’t a bad option. Hotels also have a laundry machine which you can use for around $.75 per load.

On your next trip, use a few of these tips to help you stay stylish while traveling. And if you forget something, it’s the perfect opportunity to do a little shopping! Bon voyage!