Packing tips for every traveler

Elsie Godwin with her Jansport Backpack at the airport - elsieisy blog

I am sitting at a table in my hotel room at Stone City, Zanzibar, Tanzania, under this really fancy reading light and I feel refreshed. It’s a much needed 7 day vacation. When I was planning for my trip, I had a bit of panic attack. Not because I was scared or didn’t want to go, not for the fear of not getting cheap flights, but because, as much as I love traveling and seeing new places, I dread packing. I usually feel like I would love to move my wardrobe to wherever I am headed in order to have that home feel. I don’t like being restricted even though my life has too many restrictions…LOL I am weird like that.

However, thankfully, in the midst of my panic, worries and indecision, I got a very cute looking Laptop backpack from Jansport Nigeria, thanks to TravelStart (Travelstart is Africa’s leading online travel agency. You can get cheap flights from Lagos to New York or anywhere from them). The backpack looks really classy and suddenly made everything feel easier.

After checking through the Backpack, I realised it was sure going to be a safety home for my laptop and was big enough to contain so many other things. That way, I could decide to travel with just the Jansport backpack.

padded laptop sleeve backpack from jansport - elsieisy blog

Though, I still needed to apply the everyday packing tips to get the most out of my backpack. Packing is crucial. Forget an essential item and you’re left disappointed and scrambling to find the nearest store in your destination. Pack too much and you end up disorganized, burdened with heavy bags (this is always my problem), pack too small, you are filled with regret (I think I’m facing this right now).

So here are some basic packing tips or strategies that every traveler should learn;

Make a Packing List

In order not to forget anything, it’s best to start compiling your list a week before your actual packing. If you can afford packing from the day you start compiling your list, then do. This makes sure you don’t forget anything. So you write down and fit in as it comes to mind. Start your packing process days or even weeks ahead of your departure date; this gives you time to craft a complete list, plus purchase any additional items you might need for your vacation.

Roll, don’t fold.

I learnt this from my cousin MIMI. Babe can pack! Oh she can pack! If I can fit in 10 clothes in a particular travel bag, she can fit in 30. And her trick is rolling stylishly and compressing. Because I have seen this work amazingly, I completely agree that rolling is superior to folding. Tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Plus, they’re less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases. Laundry facilities are one of my favorite parts about staying in vacation rentals. If you know your accommodations will have free laundry facilities, you’re golden. You can wash and wear just a handful of outfits for the duration of even very long trips. So you don’t have to pack too much.

Pack “must haves,” not “just in case” items

Pack enough outfits for one week of travel and re-wear clothes on a longer trip

Choose the right fabrics

Find out your airline rules

Before you begin packing, take a peek at your airline’s website and read its baggage policy. This is something you might even want to do prior to buying your plane ticket, especially if you’re set on bringing a checked bag or two. It’s standard for airlines to permit each traveler to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard planes. This personal item is subject to specific size requirements (these vary by airline), but something like a purse, laptop bag, or backpack is generally acceptable.

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Pack dual-purpose garments

If it’s two-in-one, it’s one less thing to pack. Dual-purpose items, such as pants that turn into shorts or a jacket that turns into a travel pillow

Never check essential items

It’s terribly important to keep your valuable and essential belongings in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage. Your passport, identification, money, laptop, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, and other valuables should always be brought onto the plane with you. We probably don’t need to tell you why you need to keep your passport and wallet on your person. But if the airline loses your luggage you’ll regret stowing your expensive watch in a checked bag.

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