As you may know, I travel a lot between work, visiting friends, and going to MN to visit family and friends. Add in a couple weekend trips in Colorado, and I was pretty booked for this summer and into fall. These travels made for crazy and busy weeks when I was in town, but I really enjoy all of it. I just got back from an amazing wedding weekend in MN. My two friends met at Madison, so it was a really fun college reunion. I also was able to see my family and good friends in the cities!
Moving on… over the past couple years I’ve kind of mastered how to pack and make this part of travel less miserable. Here are my tips for traveling light.
- Use a carry on if possible. Unless I’m traveling for over 5 days, I do everything I can to use a carry on. This saves so much time- time you need to be early to the airport, time waiting for your suitcase, and on many airlines, it saves about $50 round trip.
- Be a minimalist, and only pack as many outfits as you think you will need. No one will judge if you reuse a sweatshirt, jacket, or sweater throughout the trip.
- Keep your travel toiletries in one place. My everyday toiletries sit in a box on my bathroom counter, and my travel toiletries stay in a similar box under my sink. This saves time when packing your bag.
- Multipurpose your shoes. I always wear my largest shoes on the plane. I use my tennis shoes for walking around cities during the day.
- TSA Precheck. Seriously, I’m obsessed with precheck, it has saved me so many times at the airport. It saves me a lot of anxiety while traveling, and its nice to put your laptop and toiletries away in your bag and not have to get them out.
- Often times I use a backpack with my computer, but I will use the extra space in this bag for personal items. I even save space for little items I will buy on my trip and need to bring back with me.
- Pre-packing: Before a trip, I start doing my laundry. Instead of putting all of this laundry away, I will start to make a pile of things I think I will need for the next week. Athletic clothes, undergarments, socks, basic shirts, jeans, etc. Once I’m ready to pack, I have a lot of the basics set aside already.
- If you are know for getting hangry like me, pack a couple granola bars or trail mix in your travel bag.
- Pack a water bottle to save $ (and waste) in the airport.
- When I get home, I try to unpack my bag as soon as possible. This makes it easier to adjust to the real world. I feel like my trip is over once I have my apartment back together.
Once you overcome, the dread of packing, trips will become a lot more fun. Your packing time will decrease, and it may start to become a pattern like mine.