Travel Hacks: Packing right

Friday, August 26, 2016

Packing right isn't something you figure out overnight. To tell you the truth on my first few trips to Europe - way back when - I definitely had some seriously heavy bags to check. Packing is an art form, you've either mastered it or you haven't. Here's my top tips and ultimate travel hacks on packing right for an easy life and stress-free travel.

Top packing tips and tricks on how to pack for stress free travel

Do your research

First and foremost, like most areas of travel, research here is kind of crucial. When it comes to packing for any trip it's so important to do your research. Researching is always a key part of travel hacking. Nobody wants to turn up to the Amazon with a suitcase and yes, this does happen. Packing right can often be as simple as finding the appropriate style of bag for you.

I was really jealous of Jamie when he bought a new backpack that can be opened all the way round like a suitcase. It saved him from having to do that rucksack dive that we all know so well! Find the bag, case or backpack that works for you. A lot of outdoors shops are super helpful when it comes to bag fittings so you won't end up with something far too big or heavy for you.

Find the right backpack for you - one size does not fit all 

Research travel essentials for your chosen destination too. Many of the items you'll need will be obvious ones but others won't be. Double check adapters, locks, money belts and any other useful items you may need for your trip. Check customs websites too for information on any items that are prohibited. Find the travel essentials you will need. Money belts and wallets usually come top of my list. Poorly looked after travel money is so detrimental to any trip. I wrote about money belts in another of my Travel Hacks posts on Travel money done right. 

Pack light

Packing right usually starts with packing light

Packing light for travel is something I've learned to do very well and not through lack of mistakes. You don't have to be a genius for this travel hack, just know what you can carry. 

I'll never forget coming home from my 2nd summer of working in Italy and having to leave my beach towels and some of my more basic clothing items on the sinks in the airport bathroom. I had to do this to avoid costly charges. This is something I would not want to do again. I could've  definitely used with some travel hacks back then! 

I've learnt my lesson on more occasions than not. I've walked the length of the Malecon in Havana, Cuba with my rucksack on my back in 40 degree heat. Something that would be virtually impossible to do with an overweight bag. And you know what? Sometimes you don't want to take a tuk tuk or a taxi or a bus to reach your hostel when you know it's walking distance. This is why I pack light. Heavier items such as electronics always go in a hand luggage or more personal bag. Something waterproof is always a good idea for anything containing valuable electronics, especially in the tropics. A plastic wallet or folder is always a nice touch for carrying important travel documents.

Need some hand-luggage advice? Head over to The Savvy Globetrotter for the best tips

Travel hack items

Travel hack items are those items that make our lives easier. Most travel hack items are all to do with your comfort whilst travelling. Travel hack items also make our lives much easier whilst on the road too. Earplugs, headphones, eye-masks, travel pillows, portable chargers etc are all pretty standard travel hacks. Here's a couple of others to to consider;

Dry pouches and dry sacks - We got ourselves a dry sack for Latin America, something I'll 100% be using on future trips. We usually call it our water bag because that's what it is, a handy bag for when you're on the water. A dry sack is a lifesaver when it comes to travelling as a due. A travel hack like a dry sack allows two people to swim at the same time. They are great for days at the beach and keeping you money and camera dry on boat trips. A lot of people use them during water sports too. If you plan on diving during your travels then don't even hesitate to invest. 

Cable locks - Not your standard travel lock. Try getting a cable lock rather than a normal padlock. Cable locks are an amazing travel hack, we've been using one to keep two bags together or attach our bags to something that can't easily be moved. Not just a travel hack but also a really practical security measure for protecting your belongings. We found our cable lock most convenient when storing luggage in bus stations.

Be organised

Packing cubes? Laundry bags? Toiletry bags? All of these things exist to make your trip easier. I've even heard of vacuum packing and compressing clothes, although I'm yet to hear back on the success of that. The initial pack is sometimes the easy part, repacking on the road is usually where things become a little more tricky.

Organisation is a pretty obvious travel hack, like research before travel being organised always helps

I'm not saying that everything you own will always be neatly folded and packed into the correct compartments and life will be great. Because we all know that isn't true. There's times we all wake up late up and almost miss our bus. It's times like that when packing right goes out the window. Try have a system, a method to your madness. Denim at the bottom, waterproof in a handy compartment, swimwear on the top.

Usually it's what works best for you, that's your travel hack

Packing right always involves an organised system. Use your packing cubes effectively and keep your toiletry bag where you know you can grab it. A really simple and cheap travel hack I love is keeping a carrier bag or bin liner with you. Ideal for when clothes get wet and don't have time to dry properly. Stick them in your plastic bag to stop everything else you own getting stinky! 

Another key point when it comes to being organised and packing right and the most crucial travel hack for me which definitely falls under organisation. Be prepared, photocopy your documents. Especially you passport and keep them in a safe dry place you never know when you may need them.

Check out this amazing info-graphic on packing right. The best and ultimate packing tips and tricks for travel. An easy to follow step by step guide for packing right for travel.

Click here for more Travel Hacks

Packing Tips: How To Pack The Right Way Co-produced by :Rebateszone & travelsandmore

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  1. Very useful post, Bryony! We travel a lot and try to travel light, yet we still usually pack something we don't or hardly ever use. I agree with you that doing research in advance is crucial to packing for any trip. Once you know what to expect, it's much easier to pack light.

    1. Thank you! It can be such a tricky one but I always leave with the feeling I can probably get anything I forget once I arrive. But research is definitely a key to successful packing.

  2. Great post! We discovered dry bags a while back and now have 3 in varying sizes and go with us everywhere. Packing cubes are also great for keeping your bag organised. Useful tips, so I have pinned it and tweeted it.

    1. Ours came in so handy for us. We knew hey existed and tried to get one from a couple of sports shops with no luck so we just ordered one online cost us nothing really considering how useful they are. Thanks for the comment :)

  3. This is pretty cool.We are soon planning a trip to Europe and I would like to lend a few useful tips on packing light from here..definitely

  4. Thank you. I'm so glad you found this post helpful!


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