Are you an over-packer and looking for ways to avoid overpacking for your next trip?
Overpacking my luggage was something I used to struggle with when traveling. While I tend to travel with a carry-on only, it wasn’t easy to know what to pack for every journey that I went on. After a few trials and errors, I finally came up with a solution that not only helps me avoid overpacking. This not only reduced my anxiety when I got to the airport as I didn’t want to pay overweight fees, but it also enables me to travel big with less, and just what I need, each time.
While it may not seem like a big thing, finding the balance between packing what you need and what you want to take with you can be difficult for some. I, however, enjoy breezing through the airport quickly and easily. And with airlines having weight limits on luggage, you definitely need to be able to pack without having to take things out when you get to the airport. And you also want to have some extra space for those souvenirs you may want to bring back from your trip.
You don’t want to overpack as not only will it incur additional fees, but you don’t want to be lugging heavy luggage around. There are a few things you can do to help you avoid overpacking. And it’s essential to learn the art of packing, whether it’s your checked luggage or your carry-on, as it will save you tons in the long run.
If you’re an over-packer like I used to be, here are five tips on how you can avoid overpacking for your next trip.
1. Create A Packing List
Creating a checklist of what you need to take with you helps you eliminate unnecessary items that you may be tempted to pack. Consider writing down the things you need days in advance before you start packing, to not forget any essentials that you may need. You may use it as a template for all your trips. For example, I take the same items no matter what season, except for a heavier jacket in the winter and lighter denim in the spring/summer. Everything else remains the same.
Consider mixing and matching your outfits and sticking with staple items that you can play around with. For example, tees, jeans/leggings always work, and so do primary colors such as black/blue.
2. Start Small
If you can’t help yourself, consider using a smaller suitcase, which prevents you from taking too much with you, as there’s only a certain amount that you can pack in a smaller bag. Instead of using a checked size bag where you can fill it to the brim, consider a carry-on-sized suitcase that limits how much you can take with you. Aside from the size, smaller bags are much more manageable and will make it so much easier for you to travel and move around with.
3. Use Travel-Sized Container
Consider condensing your toiletries into travel-sized containers and leave the big bottles at home. If you have a favorite fragrance, you can decant your perfume/cologne and take that with you. Those big bottles take up lots of space in your luggage, while the travel-sized containers are much smaller and also reusable.
4. Don’t Overthink It
This used to be my biggest issue and the reason I tended to overpack. I would overthink what I needed to take with me and bring items “just in case” something happened, such as the weather, and would end up packing way more than I needed. Half of the things I would take with me “just in case” ended up just taking up space and never being used. Unless you’re traveling to Antarctica, there is a good chance that there will be stores where you’re traveling to, so if you do need something extra, you can always purchase it.
5. Don’t pack at the Last-Minute
I tend to pack a few hours before my flight because I’ve been packing for many trips and have a system that I work with, and I also enjoy last-minute travel. While I consider myself to be an expert at last-minute packing, if you struggle with overpacking, you should never do so. Last-minute packing may cause you to panic pack and leave you thinking that you need more than you actually do, causing you to overpack, and in turn bringing unnecessary items with you that you may never need.
Create a packing checklist, consider the size of your luggage, preferably a carry-on size, and pack a few days before your travel begins. While overpacking can sometimes be challenging to avoid, even for the seasoned traveler, if you consider the tips we’ve shared with you above, you can reduce your chances of overpacking on your next trip.