Packing Tips: Lessons I’ve Learned

September 29, 2014

packing tips

You’ve picked your destination, you’ve booked your flight and the excitement grows more each day. The only point left on your to-do-list is: packing. A lot of people dread this moment and procrastinate it to the very last minute, but you can’t avoid it. Here are my top packing tips that I’ve learned over the years:

Make a list!
I have a huge fear of forgetting to pack something essential, so I always make sure to write everything down that comes to my mind (and that I hopefully will need). To have a better overview of the list (especially if you’re traveling longer than two weeks), classify each thing into a category. I usually have categories like clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, tech gear and other stuff. This helps me to stay organized and it prevents any unpleasant surprises while unpacking.

Do not overpack!
I am guilty of it. You are probably, too. Do not fully pack your suitcase, particularly while traveling long term. I arrived with two huge and fully packed suitcases for my year abroad and ten months later I had problems to fit everything in there again. I acquired a lot of stuff during my time in the US, but the things that I’ve brought with me have to fit in the suitcases as well. The end of the story: I had to throw a lot of things away and still had to pay $300 for my too-heavy suitcases.

Vary your outerwear!
If you are traveling during winter time or traveling to places with cooler climates, then take more than one coat or jacket with you. Otherwise you will look the same on each picture taken. And which girl would like to wear the “same” outfit everyday on each picture? Probably none. So take more than one coat or you can vary your outerwear with different scarves, hats and other accessories.

Take your most comfortable shoes with you!
Shoes are key. Always. I’ve learned this lesson a few times already. For a trip to Rome I brought several pairs of shoes with me, but unfortunately almost all of them were not quite comfortable for long walks through the old streets of Rome. You want to know how I solved this problem? Well, firstly I rushed to a bunch of stores in a desperate attempt to find comfortable shoes. I was not lucky. Eventually, I discovered the eternal city in flip flops and got a lot of weird looks of other tourists because it was quite chilly in Rome. Don’t be that flip flop girl!

Over to you: what are your packing mistakes and tips? 

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  • Reply Tobias February 6, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Hey Laura,

    nice tips! I remember my first time in Asia with a 70l+ backpack and a separate daypack… haha… now I have all my baggage in one 40l backpack… So – don´t overpack is the best tip, if you urge for something you can buy it on the road…


    • Reply February 6, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Tobias! Thank you for your comment 🙂 Seems like you’ve learned the hard way in Asia!

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