Over packing is trap that most of us have fallen into more than once. I believe it is a mentality that is some part of our psyche. Like when your are taking your young children anywhere they have a basic need to take half their things just to feel secure. Blankets, 4 toys, 2 changes of clothes, 5 snacks, drink cups; it goes on and on. As travelers, we have that urge to attach our identity and comfort with objects. So, how can you overcome it? Be organized and focused!
- Focus on Logistics: Fight the urge to pack outfits and jewelry; that should be done later. Start your vacation planning off with things you can and should do early. Do you have the right travel documents? Do you have all your reservation confirmations? Are you stocked up on medications, bug sprays, ear plugs? Have you squared away your excursions? Have a digital and physical copy of all these things. Make a list of things that HAVE to be done and a time line to have them done by.
- Do your research: Research where you are going. What kinds of things do you want to do? Are there festivals or events? Book tours, find online reviews by people who have been there. What is the exchange rate/where is the best place to get local currency? Read up on local customs and history, local hot spots and must try foods.
- Keep a budget. You probably already have a travel budget, add a clothing/jewelry/shoe budget to the mix. There is nothing I like better than new outfits when I travel. It’s amazing! So, to keep my addiction in check I write down a budget and item limit on paper and treat in like a Commandment!
- Learn packing hacks. Pinterest has many great ideas for making the most of you packing space. Find the best spill proof bottles to bring smaller portion of your beauty products. Some of the best sites are Trip Savvy and Choosy Traveler and Armchair Empire.com. If you can use the freebies from your hotel or cruise ship, do so. I have freakishly sensitive skin and Merida type hair but the complimentary shampoo, hand lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes are good enough. So figure what items you can use that are freebies so that you don’t have to pack and buy them.
- Clothes: So now here we are; the moment of truth. Gather all the clothes, shoes and jewelry you plan on packing. Now get rid of half of it. No cheating! Do it! There are some ways to make it less painful. 1) Pick a color palette. I usually end up with green, blue and brown. It’s easier to pack less if most of your items go together. 2) Use accessories wisely. A scarf and cardigan can change a look without having to have h whole new one. 3)Think about the usefulness of your choices. If you have a 5 day cruise with 1 formal night do you need 3 formal dresses? If you are spending 2 days hiking and 1 night in a nice hotel do you need 3 pairs of glittery spiked heels?
This advice may seem harsh but having less really is more and you can focus on having fun not figuring which of your 7 purple sundresses to wear to a show.
So, fellow Roamers, find your inner packing guru and go have fun!