Top 10 Packing Essentials and Tips

Written while listening to Jordan Rakei’s Wallflower album at the Starbucks on Delmar/North & South Road. I’m pleasantly surprised by how good it is!

I’m always in the mood to travel and constantly think about all of the places I want to visit. Next stop: Toronto! This upcoming weekend is my birthday weekend and I will be spending it in Canada. I’m beyond excited and a little nervous, just because this is my first time actually flying abroad on my own. All of my other out-of-country visits have been via cruise ships.

Also, I don’t know about y’all but I always get slightly stressed before traveling for many reasons. Most of these are due to the procrastination issues that I’m trying to tackle. Never underestimate my ability to pack just a few hours before I need to leave. However, this time around I’m being super organized and making sure I have everything in order. Here are a few of my packing essentials and tips for you all to try next time you’re traveling.

1. Make a packing list

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Before I get started with tackling any big task, I make a list (Y’all know how much I love writing things down). Lists help with organization and also ensures that you don’t forget a single item. There have been so many times when I’ve traveled and I forgot the smallest things like my toothbrush. Make sure you don’t forget the essentials by simply writing it down!

2. Plan outfits for each day 

Prevent the possibility of overpacking by packing just the right amount. I know we all have it in our minds that we need options when picking out outfits, but life will be so much easier if you pack what you love and what you already know looks good.

3. Use the rolling method 

I’m not sure when this exactly started for me, but it’s something I’ve been doing for years. Rolling your clothes and placing them in your suitcase saves space in your luggage and allows you to be more organized in the process. If a particular item is too bulky to roll, there should be plenty of room for you to lay it on top of your other rolled items.

4. Always pack needed items in your personal bag & extras in your carry-on bag

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For all of you flyers out there, always have needed items in your personal bag. This can include a number of things, but here are a few to consider:

  • Pain medications
  • A book
  • iPad
  • Lotion/chapstick

Also, your carry-on bag is the perfect opportunity to place items that couldn’t quite fit in your regular suitcase.

5. Have an at-home luggage scale 

These are extremely clutch when you want to make sure that your luggage is not overweight. I know that Southwest for sure requires your bag to be under 50lbs to avoid an extra fee. Invest in a luggage scale so that you know the weight of your suitcase well before you reach the airport. Also, pack it in your bag so that you can weigh your bag before you head back as well! We all love to shop when we’re out of town and this will reduce the stress of worrying how much your bag weighs with all of your new goodies added to the mix.

6. Pack travel size toiletries, even if you’re checking your bag

A lot of the time, travelers only use travel-sized bottles for when they’re taking just a carry-on for flights. However, I think everyone should get travel-sized for any type of travel. Chances are you’re not going to need that whole bottle of shampoo or mouthwash when you’re only going to be gone for a week or less.

7. Passport cases make international flight travel convenient 

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I found my marble passport case on Amazon for a reasonable price and I am in LOVE. Passport cases allow you to carry your passport, boarding pass, cash, and credit cards all in one place. Going through airport security is a breeze when you have everything all in one place. Highly recommend.

8. Print everything 

Everything is made easier with digital versions of travel documents, but it doesn’t hurt to print out a copy for backup. Cellphones can goof up and paper doesn’t run out of battery. Make sure you have a second plan by printing out the itinerary, hotel confirmations, and a boarding pass when you get to the airport. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

9. Bring your empty water bottle 

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Travelling is exhausting. Make sure you’re energized throughout your travel by keeping a water bottle on you. I love using my refillable water bottle because it’s cute and can be filled up anywhere for free. Stay hydrated, y’all.

10. Don’t pack an extra outfit for the flight back 

Packing an outfit for the trip back can be a waste of space, especially for short weekend trips. Save yourself the trouble and wear the same thing back that you wore there. No one will notice, I promise.

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