Tip 7: Do not overpack
I’m sure we have all been there, returning home from a trip with half of the items you’ve packed still unused. I certainly know I’ve done this more times than I care to remember. Do you know that “what if” feeling while you are packing? What if I want to dress up one night? What if I want to wear heels? With if I want to hit the gym? What if there’s a chance to go swimming? And the list goes on…
Forget the what-ifs and focus on the essentials when you are packing. What the essentials are, varies a lot from one person to another so I’m not going to give you a packing list. I suggest starting with the no-brainers like underwear, possible sleepwear, toiletries, tops and bottoms, and shoes. I tend to pack a change of underwear for each day and a couple of extras just to be on the safe side. I select one top for every day and a couple of bottoms. Instead of tops and bottoms I may pack a few dresses. Shoes are always a big issue. Depending on the climate I may pack two to three pairs of shoes but the third is usually a pair of flip-flops. I wear trainers when traveling and usually pack a pair of flats (sandals, ballerinas) and one pair of heels (sandals, booties, pumps).
As far as toiletries go, I often leave some bulkier items at home and buy what I need when I arrive. For example, if I do not happen to have a small bottle of hairspray at home, I don’t pack the big one but buy something at the destination. For most toiletries I use small travel bottles and jars that I can refill from my bigger bottles that I use at home.
As I tend to mostly travel to cities my philosophy is if you forgot something or realize that you didn’t pack something you suddenly need you can always buy it at the destination. You should also always leave a little room for possible purchases you might make. I’ve found having a luggage scale at home is a good idea, that way you can always ensure there is also room for souvenirs weight wise.