Summer is here, which means you're probably excited about vacations in sunny beach locales. Maybe you're planning an overseas excursion, heading out on a camping trip or looking forward to a relaxing cruise. In all of these situations, you are going to have to be smart about packing.
Overhead bins are getting smaller, leg room is practically non-existent on flights, and baggage claim seems to take forever once your flight actually lands. What's more, after you arrive at your destination, you might have to carry your luggage on public transportation or in a rental car, which requires even more effort.
One easy way to alleviate these travel headaches? Pack light. If you need some insight on how to make the most of your suitcase space, read below for some excellent tips:
It All Starts With the Luggage Itself
If you haven't yet, invest in a multi-pocketed, lightweight, sleek carry-on bag with wheels. These are easy to handle, fit into overhead bins effortlessly, and have loads of interior space that can fit clothes, toiletries, travel essentials and tech gadgets in one secure spot. One bag is much easier to keep track of than two (or more).
Airports are busy, bustling, cramped, and fast-paced. Having a huge bag weighing you down is going to make you exhausted once you land. A light carry-on that is multi-functional can allow you to zip through the terminal and make it to your destination without any major problems.
Assess Your Shoe Situation
Footwear can take up a lot of space in a suitcase, much more so than other wardrobe items. Oftentimes, travelers will toss six or seven pairs into their luggage, only to realize that they only wore two or three pairs during the trip. Before you head out, really think about what shoes you're going to need. This can vary depending on your vacation activities.
For instance, sturdy walking shoes will make more sense if you plan on touring European cities on foot this summer. A pair of amazing heels might make more sense if you are planning on hitting the clubs in Miami or Las Vegas, while a couple pairs of sandals work perfectly for coastal destinations full of beaches.
Pack Heavier Things First
Another major obstacle that heavy packers face is actually lugging suitcases through the city. Imagine hauling a 50-pound bag (even with rollers) up the steep hills of San Francisco or through the windy, cobblestone side streets in Paris or the fast-paced streets of NYC, London, or Tokyo-- doesn't sound like much fun, huh?
Many times, your heaviest items are going to be toiletries. Thankfully, there are travel-size portions you can buy that also keep up with TSA carry-on regulations. Tech gear like laptops or tablets can also become quite heavy, so be sure to account for things like this when you're traveling.
If you plan on working while on the road, bringing a computer might make sense. But if you're traveling for fun, many of the tasks and features you do on a laptop for travel (such as booking a dinner reservation, reserving a cab, looking up public transport options, or reading Yelp reviews) can be easily done from a smartphone.
Be Smart About Packing Clothes
Be sure to pack clothing items that can pull double duty and be worn several times, such as neutral tanks and tees or cardigans. One or two pairs of well-made jeans can usually help you last throughout your trip as well. Bringing along things that mix and match easily helps keep your suitcase that much lighter.
While you're at it, you should make sure to roll every clothing item in your suitcase. This way, you can easily fit all of the essentials you need in a carry-on bag, even for up to a week-long trip. Who has time to sit and waste precious vacation minutes at baggage claim anyway?
There you have it! With all of these tips, you can lighten your load during summer vacation.