I have traveled with lots of different types of people, but, no one knows packing organization like my main travel companion, Nicholas Scott. He is an experienced traveler and backpacker and something of a packing prodigy.
I, on the other hand, am more of a free-spirited packer. I usually pack in about 5 minutes, throw things in a bag, and go. I like to be surprised when I land and see what is in my bag. The thrown pile method is great and works across all sorts of platforms in life. Butttt, I have been looking to up my travel organizational game. Recently, on a trip to Belize, I sat down with Nicholas to share and compare our different packing methods and hopefully learn some helpful tips and tricks. Here are our 12 Packing Tips for Keeping Things Organized While on the Go! Links are in pink to help you out! Check it all out:
1. Plan Ahead
- Know the weather of both your final destination and your connecting flights (in case of cancellations). This way, you know what to bring for your trip. Know your plans for your trip. Have a good idea of what you will be doing and therefore what you will be needing to pack.
2. Start Packing Early
- Packing early helps insure that you don't forget things. It give you the time and brain space you need to pack and edit and repack if needed.
3. Use a Packing List
- Use a packing list! This is super helpful for those little things that you forget like sunscreen or q-tips. We have a starter packing list that we use. You can download it here. This is a great launching pad to get started and then you can add and personalize things to the list for you!
4. Don’t Over Pack
- It is always best and easiest to only pack what you need, especially in terms of clothing. Packing light makes you more mobile with less weight to lug around. Also, you have fewer items to keep track of which means less things you are likely to misplace or lose.
5. Choose a Good Packing Method
- The most widely excepted best practice is rolling. Rolling your clothing saves space. It also allows you to rubber band clothing items to keep things more organized. After you roll and band, organize things into categories to go into their designated vacuum sealed bags.
6. Use Compartments Wisely
- The compartments in your bag are there for a reason so use them. It helps to fit as much as you need into the bag. The compartments are also great for smaller items or maybe even items that you won't be using often but want to keep on you like a travel sewing kit.
7. Plastic Bag It
- Double and triple bag anything that may leak in your luggage. Put everything into zip-locks. Then, put the zip-locks into sealable plastic containers like these and these from Madewell. And, bring extra zip-locks with you in case something does leak and you need to re-pack.
8. Buy Sealed Travel Items
- Use store-bought travel items. They almost always are already sealed which helps protect against leaking. If you bring opened bottles, add a layer of cling wrap. Then, screw the bottle cap back on. And, now you have a little bit more protection.
9. Dirty Laundry
- Bring a large plastic bag or use a built-in separate compartment for your dirty laundry. This makes unpacking easier and keeps your fresh clothes separate. If you are bringing a bag for dirty clothes, then make sure it is waterproof for wet items.
10. Unpacking Methods
- If you have chosen the roll, band, vacuum seal method, then unpacking will take a bit of time. But, everything is organized into compartments making this process a bit more efficient. Don't leave dirty laundry in your bag because any smells will transfer to your luggage.
11. Carry On Bags
- Organize your carry-on as much as possible into separate pouches. Madewell has the best ones. These make it easier once on the plane and looking for something in a confined space. It also cuts down on your time spent going through TSA security.
12. Choose a Good Checked Bag
- Choose a bag that is versatile for all different types of travel and will keep you well organized like Nick's Backpack. You want one with great compartments and one that is convertible for different environments. I highly recommend my Osprey luggage.
If you would rather watch Netflix and chill versus packing, then, girl, find you someone you who will just pack for you. Pour a glass of wine or a cup of coffee if it's too early for wine, sit back, and get into full on pre-vacation mode and just relax.