Organized Travel: What to Pack
Choosing the right clothing for a trip can be stressful, but when you choose properly, packing clothing gets easier. These Organizing Maniacs tips will help you know what to pack for more organized travel.
For more organized travel, minimize the clothing you take
A common rule for less-experienced travelers is to choose everything you think you might want to take with you – and then put half of it back. Seriously, put half of it back. You still might have too much clothing at that point, but you will be much closer to what you actually need.
Choose clothing that is appropriate in multiple settings
Unless you are going to spend all of your travel time in one location doing one activity (like a work conference all day and working evenings in a hotel room, or ten days on the beach in your bathing suit), select clothing that will be appropriate in multiple settings. As a general rule, it is better to dress a little more than a little less, especially when traveling abroad. This does not mean wearing a sweater on an African safari; rather, it means packing a clothing that passes for dressy, casual, and in between depending on what you put with it. A great example is a maxi dress, which you can throw on over a bathing suit at the beach, pair with a jacket or cardigan at a conference, or wear as a tourist just about anywhere but hiking.
Flexible matching outfits
Pack items that can be mixed and matched to make multiple outfits. Taking a dress or two is fine, but more than that takes up space that can be used better by taking more pants and shirts/blouses and having more combinations available throughout your travel. Don’t worry about people seeing the same items multiple times; most people don’t see different outfits as the same clothing – and the savviest travelers will be doing the exact same thing.
Avoid bulky clothing
Avoid taking bulky items unless absolutely necessary. Coats are important in cold climates, but there are lighter, more foldable options for all travel except the most extreme winter climates. Choose as many items that can be rolled tightly as possible, rather than items that are stiffer and require folding. If you like wearing jeans, take only one pair, since they are more durable and can be washed less often. Take as few shoes as possible. Take one comfortable pair of walking shoes and one pair of casual shoes as the base, with one pair of dress shoes or heavy boots only if required for specific events. When traveling, shoes should be chosen based on functionality. They never should be taken based on style alone. They also should be kept in zippered plastic bags, with excess air squeezed away when packed.
Take clothing that dries quickly
Washing and drying clothing while traveling can be difficult and expensive. The best option (and the only option in many situations) is to hand wash and hang dry your clothing. This makes your choice of material critical. Nylon, polyester, and cotton are standard choices, but according to Her Packing List, Merino wool is ideal for travel.
Finally, consider the replacement cost of everything you are thinking of taking with you. If you lose your luggage or something is stolen or lost, is it quickly and easily replaceable? Will it ruin your trip? Generally, it is better to travel with clothing you don’t mind replacing and that won’t break your bank account to replace.
Finally, enjoy your travel! Breathe, relax, plan, and pack with excitement. You don’t need to be anxious about this part of your adventure. These suggestions can help make your travel the wonderful experience you hope it will be.