Have you ever started packing and realised there’s absolutely no way everything you want to take on your trip will fit into your bag? Yeah me too… I’m a self-proclaimed overpacker, and will admit to times of shame where I’ve resorted to sitting on my case!
You could say I like to travel prepared for any situation and is that really a bad thing? Well yes (god damn weight restrictions). Still, over my recent travel adventures, I’ve managed to curb my chronic overpacking using the following 8 handy tips below. 🙂
1) Take everything out you think you’ll need and half it –
One tip to avoid overpacking is to take out everything you think you’ll need and half it…
Okay, so this may be a little extreme! But, look at everything you’ve got out and decide whether you really need it all! A 5th bikini may be nice but in the scheme of things it’s taking up valuable space for shopping at your arrival destination!!
2) Plan your outfits –
Most females feel the pressure of ‘not wearing an outfit more than once’, especially if we’re planning to flaunt our days abroad on social media – and let’s be honest aren’t we all?
Although we shouldn’t be bothered by this ‘re-wearing stigma’! If like me, you must have as many outfits as possible, your best packing policy should be to plan, plan plan!
What I mean by this, is that you should pack strategically… Buy and pack clothing items that can all be worn with each other. This equal’s different combinations, thus more outfits!
(men, you should not take for granted the ability to wear the same top all week and not feel judged)
3) Borrow clothes/outfits –
Following on from my last point, the easiest way to reduce the number of clothes you’re attempting to squeeze into your case/backpack is by offering to swap items with friends during your trip together. This is a very easy way for you to get a fresh outfit for those Instagram pics 😉
Granted this is won’t be an option when solo travelling… Unless you’re confident enough to ask your new hostel bestie, but that could be pushing it.
4) Plan Laundry stops –
On longer trips, people (my past self-included) tend to take the approach of cramming as many clothes into their bag as possible and hoping to bump into a laundry facility before they run out of underwear.
Unless you want value bag space to be taken up with an unnecessary amount of pants, think ahead! Plan/book accommodation that you know has laundry facilities available or near-by.
For example, on my recent all American Road trip, my family and I stopped in the small (off season) ski resort of Mammoth Lakes. Knowing exactly when I would be able to wash my clothes meant I could reduce my packing accordingly!
5) Remember foreign countries have supermarkets too –
We’re all guilty of cramming as many cosmetic products into our bags as possible, seemingly forgetting that foreign countries have perfectly good stores and supermarkets selling exactly the same things!
Thus a tip to avoid overpacking is to buy your cosmetics once you land because let’s be honest any old body-wash will do the trick! This said you’ll be surprised by the familiar brands you’ll spot…
6) Travel minis –
Despite my previous tip, there’s still bound to be certain products you can’t live without. I for one am very picky about shampoo and face wash…. I know what I like what can I say. 😉
Luckily many brands have helpful travel sizes of their products. Sure they might be expensive, but they can fit in your carry on and take up less space than their full-sized counterparts. Plus everything’s cuter when small – so there’s that.
7) Buy and leave –
In the past, I’ve packed my case to perfection and then remember I’ve left out the mother f**ker of all items – the beach towel. If this happens, leave the towel (or similar big item) at home! There’s no point trying to cram it in. It’s far easier to find a cheap replacement in your arrival destination!
When its time to go home, you can simply leave your cheaply purchased item behind. Because one things for sure, if you couldn’t get it to fit on the way out, no way in hell are you squeezing it into your overpacked case on the way home. 😉
8) Roll, don’t fold –
You’ve most probably heard my final tip to avoid overpacking before, but its honestly life changing! Rolling your clothes towels and anything else capable of being packed in such a way saves soooo much space! It’s a miracle…
Hopefully after following these tips the bag for your next trip won’t be quite so full to the brim. This said, packing for my recent trip to Bali I followed my own advice and still took to much stuff – it seems once an overpacker, always an overpacker…
(any overpacker will appreciate this Buzzfeed Post)
Have any packing tips to share? or horror packing stories? comment below 🙂