How to Pack for Travel

One of the most difficult and often confusing aspects of any travel adventure lies in determining how to pack possessions that will be necessary to enable a fun and trouble-free excursion. While this task may not seem so very important to many individuals, experienced travelers understand the correlation between properly packed belongings and the peace of mind that can be derived from good organization.

Before ever leaving home it is a prudent move to take a long, hard look at the upcoming trip and the itinerary that is unique to a specific location or the locations to be visited. Packing items of any kind that will be minimally used is in essence a foolish waste of valuable space, and it needs to be remembered that in today’s world of travel every piece of luggage or extra pound of total weight can result in an accompanying baggage fee. Travel light but travel with a good idea of expected activities in order to make the most efficient use of luggage space.

In most travel circumstances the selection of the luggage to be used plays a critical role in determining the number of items taken and the manner in which they are packed. Generally a single suitcase, a carry on bag and a purse or carry all represents the perfect amount of space for the vacation or business trip of average duration. For a volume of business clothing such as suits or clothing that can easily be wrinkled, a travel wardrobe bag offers the best option for protection and when used can reduce the size of the conventional suitcase needed considerably.

Once the luggage to be used and the items to be taken on a trip have been determined the time arrives to actually begin packing. The best place to accomplish this is either on a large bed or a dining room table, where items can be laid out to gain visual perspective and objective comparision between the available luggage space and the volume of personal possessions. This simple act will almost immediately signal a discrepancy that requires an alteration to packing plans before anything actually goes into the baggage.

The most common way to pack is to fill the suitcase with the most common items of daily use such as casual wear clothing, undergarments, shoes and hygiene products. By doing this there is nothing in the suitcase that cannot be replaced at a nominal cost should it become misplaced or stolen. Clothing is best packed by laying it flat on a level surface and rolling it into a rounded shape, thereby preventing any possibility of wrinkles. Shoes should always be thoroughly cleaned prior to packing with a clean pair of socks placed inside to conserve packing space, and each individual shoe should face it’s partner in a toe to heel fashion and placed in a small plastic bag. Hygiene products should be stored inside of a small shower bag and then wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent possible leakage from ruining clothing.

The next step is to pack the carry on bag, which should be used to house items of moderate importance that are frequently utilized on most travel occasions. Personal electronic devices and comfort items can be kept within close reach by doing so and well protected from rough treatment when packed with extra padding such as a few bath towels and wash cloths.

The last items to pack are a woman’s purse or a carry all (for men) and they should contain the most important and difficult to replace items taken on the journey. Cash, credit cards, identification, passports and transportation tickets should always be closely guarded against loss and theft. Copies of this information should be made and left at home with a family member or close friend so that in the event of an emergency it can be retrieved with a single telephone call. It is also critical to pack any prescription medications or medical devices that cannot be easily replaced in this manner, kept with the traveler at all times.

The final step to packing for travel is to always remember to leave a little space in each piece of baggage so items can be rearranged to accommodate for souvenirs purchased.