The Fine Art of Packing for a Trip

Are you more of a pack rat, or are you the first one running to local convenience stores for items that you accidentally left at home? Either way, we’re confident that you can find the Goldilocks porridge of luggage packing if you plan it just right. It just takes a little practice, (and a few tips from your trusty travel managers couldn’t hurt either).

Out Traveler also liked our packing advice and picked it up in their leading publication, if you’d like to read it here. This article specifically focuses on preparing for a two-week trip.

If you’re prone to packing too much:

Remember this: Think in terms of outfits instead of individual items. If you consider packing materials with bonded pairs and coordinating colors in mind, you’re less likely to throw a few too many items into your suitcase. Plus, you’ll be glad to find that all your clothes match when you arrive.

Also, a general rule for those who are too pack-happy is this: Only prepare a week’s worth of clothing, and plan to do some laundry on the trip. If you pack with that mindset, you’re much less likely to grab too many clothes.

Think practical! You only need one, neutral-colored business suit for most corporate travel. You can dress it up or down by adding/taking off the jacket, utilizing accessories, etc. Besides, a gray suit is a gray suit–Honestly, no one will notice if you wear it twice.

If you absolutely cannot break your bad habit of over-packing, invest in some compression bags. If you’re boarding a plane, though, be careful. These “Space Bags” help you store more in your luggage, but they fail to make your stuff weightless when you fly.

And, the standby: Roll your clothes instead of folding them. They generally look just as good or better than folded clothes, which tend to wrinkle more easily while taking up more space in your suitcase.

If you never pack enough:

Make yourself a list. It’s no fun, but it will only take a few minutes.

Then add one to everything in that list. Accidents happen.

Make notes about anything you need to buy before your trip. Then go buy it BEFORE you travel so you don’t fall prey to the overpriced convenience store trap. Who wants to pay $5 for a travel sized deodorant?

Before you pack, make a list based on your body from top to bottom. First: What do you need for your head? Are you going to a cold place where you’ll need a hat? What about noise-cancelling headphones? Continue to the neck, etc.

What medications do you need? Never forget medications. They are perhaps the most difficult items to replace.

Also: Don’t forget your passport if you’re traveling outside the United States.

If you’re often forgetting items because of your, um… free-spirited nature, keep your checklist for departure. That way, you’ll be able to double check any items you may leave behind in your hotel room.

  • Carl
    Posted at 16:56h, 11 September Reply

    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info.
    I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Darla Mason
    Posted at 14:52h, 13 October Reply

    I definitely never pack enough. This why I never can’t measure my luggage. Thanks for the great suggestions. I will try to follow them in order to be more organized and to use less space in the baggage.

    • Maggie McCombs
      Posted at 19:50h, 22 October Reply

      I have the opposite problem: I typically travel with too much luggage! We’re really happy to help you with these tips. Please reach me at if you have any questions, Darla!

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