Are you the kind of person who is able to plan ahead and pack your life into a carry-on? Or, are you the kind of person who waits to pack until the night before, and end up bringing significantly more than you will ever use? Packing the night before might not seem like a terrible idea, in theory you’ll have everything ever needed, no matter the situation. But, the crazed manner of packing tends to be stressful, and it’s not a great way to start a vacation. Instead of stressing yourself out before your next trip, try packing all you’ll need into one carry-on bag. You’ll be amazed how much you can fit if you’re strategic.
If you are trying to successfully pack everything into one bag, you need to take time and plan it out. This is not something that can be done the night before your trip in a panicked frenzy. In order to achieve this goal, you need to think about the weather you will be encountering on your trip, the activities you have planned and how long your vacation is. One of the most important things to remember is to not focus on the what if scenarios you may think of. Many people pack items “just in case,” but in order to pack your life into your carry-on, you need to clear your mind of those thoughts and only pack what you will actually need.
When packing toiletries, most airlines only allow 3.4 ounce bottles in one quart sized, clear ziplock bag. You can buy travel-sized versions of your toiletries, buy reusable containers to fill or buy what you need when you get to your destination. Another way to ensure you don’t overpack, is to pack items that do “double duty”. For instance, shampoo can be used as laundry detergent in a pinch.
Packing clothing tends to be more of a daunting task. What if it gets cold? What if there’s unexpected rain storms? What if you’re invited to a fancy event you had no previous knowledge of? Thoughts like these can heavily influence what gets packed, but if you are only bringing a carry-on you need to cut it down solely to the essentials. If your vacation is a week long you should pack six pairs of underwear and socks. Including the pairs you are wearing when traveling, you’ll have enough for the whole week (if you need extra wash with the shampoo you packed). In order to create more room in your bag, you should wear the clothes that are the most bulky and pack the thinner clothes. For instance, if you are bringing sneakers and sandals, you should wear the sneakers and pack the sandals. If you need to have a coat, wear the coat while on route to your destination.
Packing hack: if you really want to be compact, take some advise from our beloved military. This “Ranger Roll” video below will save you an immense amount of space in your bag. Trust us, with the space you’ll save, you’ll never pack a shirt the same way again.