With the summer solstice just days away, our thoughts turn toward traveling. Maybe for just a long weekend, or perhaps an extended holiday. No matter how long you’ll be away from home, an enjoyable trip requires having your tried-and-true favorites with you. Creature comforts that suit your style and ground you, even in faraway places, make travel more memorable. There’s only one problem … packing!
Here are some of our favorite packing pointers from the pros:
1. Make a List
Even seasoned travelers forget things on occasion, and you don’t want to be searching for the right shampoo in an unfamiliar city after dark. A checklist ensures you have all the necessities plus the nice-to-haves that remind you of home. Include the basics, like clothing and medication, as well as cell phone chargers, sunscreen, and motion sickness pills. Tip: Be especially realistic about what shoes you’ll need because they take up precious packing space and add extra weight to your bag.
2. Pack Light
If you’ve ever over-packed, and who hasn’t, this tip will seem obvious, but it’s a biggie. Once you’ve selected everything you want to take with you, put it into your carry-on bag, pick it up, and walk around your house for a few minutes. What seems light initially quickly grows heavy with each passing minute. And don’t dismiss your bag’s weight just because it has wheels. You may need to carry it up a set of stairs when boarding (depending on the plane) and lift it up into the overhead bin. Surprise bonus: leaving a little extra room inside gives you space for souvenirs.
3. Create or Buy Travel-Size Versions of Your Personal Care Items
If your plans include air travel, current TSA guidelines limit passengers to a single “quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes” in their carry-on luggage. That means finding smaller-sized versions of your favorites, so everything fits in a 6” x 9” bag.
Since hotel amenities occasionally leave a lot to be desired, pack your favorite personal care items. Plain hotel soap can leave your skin dry, especially if you’re accustomed to using a moisturizing body wash. Even if you’ll only be away from home for a few days, your skin may revolt, so pack your faves just in case.
4. Reconsider Your Makeup Approach
Depending on your personal style and your travel plans, you may want to leave your makeup bag at home. If not, pack multiuse products instead. Lipstick can double for blush, and bronzer can sub in for eye shadow. And if you regularly use liquid- or cream-based products, consider switching to powder versions to save space in that quart-sized bag.
5. Pack Your Purse with Purpose
One mistake travelers often make is packing everything in their luggage and forgetting the daily must-haves. Parfum, lip balm, and hand lotion make getting to your destination a little easier. And don’t forget to put your travel-sized hair brush in your purse. It’ll make touching up before touching down quick and efficient.