It doesn't matter if you're going on an overnight trip or away for several weeks or months, there can always be a certain amount of trepidation when it comes to deciding what to take. Are you one of those people that knows exactly what they want they will need or pack one or two extra things just in case! Lets get real here - I bet most people will get back from a trip and find at least one thing in their bag that didn't get to see the light of day!
So what's the best way to take as little as possible! You could try one of the following:
- take the smallest bag possible - this one doesn't work so well for me, as those who either travel with me, or have had to accomodate one of my bags will attest to! I am getting better though - don't always take the big suitcase anymore!! This is a great way to make sure you take as little as possible, and especially if you're on an overnighter, or a couple of days, the extra time you get by not having checked in luggage can be fabulous - it can even be the difference between making a flight and missing it!!
- leave your packing to the last minute!! - a personal favourite, especially when going overseas!! Staying up as much of the night before as possible assists in getting the time zones right and you get really focussed on what you want to take! So far so good, haven't left anything too important behind! Let's face it, unless you're heading to the wilderness, you can usually buy any little things you forgot to pack! So two most important travel items - passport (or ID if staying in the country!) and money (either paper or plastic, whichever suits best!!) If you have them, then it really doesn't matter what you forget, so don't stress!
- make it a game! On a recent trip I made a committment that I had to pay $10 for each article of clothing not worn on the trip!! I got really creative whilst I was away, and maybe had an extra change of clothing during the day, but it made me think a bit before putting it in the bag to start with!
- have someone pack for you! - Not one of my favourites, but it can work!! One of these days I may try it on a long trip, works well for short trips!
- do your homework! Know a bit about the weather where you are travelling to - it is very easy to get weather forecasts for all over the country and all over the world - so don't pack the winter woollies if it's going to be the middle of summer. If you are going to the middle of winter - what is winter for you, may be autumn for another part of the world.
- mix and match - that little black top can be worn during the day, or out at night! Less is more - get creative and get pack accordingly!
It also helps to know your weight limits when travelling and weigh your bag before hand - rather than getting to the airport and having to waste spending money on excess luggage - this also goes for hand luggage! Some airlines get very militant on this, its not always enough for you to make it look like you're carrying something very light, when in fact it's closer to 15kgs!! (Hiding heavy things in pockets is one of my favourites - at least until you get to the security screening!)
Until next time - remember whilst planning almost always helps, flexibility and humour will work when all else fails! :-)