Every time I travel, I pick up more tips on how to make the routine for planning and preparing a trip even more simple. Having adventures is great, and a passion of mine, but packing and planning a trip doesn’t have to be an adventure. Today I’m sharing tips on how to simplify your travel routine based on my own experiences.
How to Travel Simply
Before you even begin to decide what and how to pack your bags, you need to plan and strategize your travel plans first.
Plan Just a Few Must-Have Adventures
Probably the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to make sure you don’t over-plan or over- schedule your trip. The point of a vacation is to reduce stress, not add to it!
We all want to see and do as much as we can in the short amount of time we do have, but shuffling and scurrying from the hotel to breakfast to a museum to lunch to another museum to dinner to another tourist attraction, only to collapse into the bed once you get back to the hotel room is as stressful as it was to read that sentence. And all that stress is because you wanted to make sure you saw and did everything on your list.
How do you solve this problem? Make a shorter list! Prioritize your adventures. What do you absolutely want to see? Next, scrap everything else from your list. Don’t go somewhere just because it’s where everyone else goes–make sure you’re seeing what *you* want to see. Make your travel plans something you can reasonably adhere to and accomplish. The beauty of having adventures is that you can always add more once you arrive at your destination. It is worth considering a day tour if you’re short on time–make sure you do your research into if a particular tour is the right call for you.
Oh, and this should be obvious, but it’s still super important: Take time to sleep.
What to do about your method of travel
If flying is in your travel plans, and it fits into your budget, choose non-stop flights. This reduces the chances of flight delays affecting connecting flights and the potential and frustrating loss of your luggage. Depending on the length of a flight, non-stop flights are not terribly more expensive than flights with layovers.
It is always a good idea to check in with the airline the night/day before you leave. This allows you to download your boarding ticket to your phone and skip the annoying kiosks before you’re even allowed to get to the check-in counter.
Many airlines will let you choose your seats. Some let you choose them when you purchase tickets, and others let you choose them upon check-in. This is another argument for the importance of checking in the day before your flight.
If you’ll need to rent a car in Europe, check out my Tips and Tricks for Renting a Car in Europe!
Planning and preparing for travel can be stressful, just as stressful as our everyday lives, both professional and personal. But the point of a vacation is to take a break, so don’t take the stress with you!
How and What to Pack
If you take away nothing else from this section, it should be this: As you pack your bags, only take what you absolutely need.
To make sure you don’t overpack, make a checklist. (Be sure to also check the weather forecast to make sure you can plan as well as possible.)
Don’t be a last-minute, day-of-packer. Using your checklist, plan and pack as much as you can the night before. This way when you get ready in the morning all you need to do is pack the remainder of your suitcase.
As you travel, save the toiletries from hotels for future travel. They are already manufactured and produced, and many hotels do not recycle and reuse them if a guest chooses not to use them. Usually, they get thrown in the trash anyway.
Finally, I would argue that one of the most important toiletry items you should pack is dry shampoo. It goes a long way to helping you stay stylish while you travel.
Get a Quality Suitcase
Get yourself a suitcase that has 4 spinner wheels. It might be an added expense if you don’t already have one, but it can make the difference between having a stress-free vacation and one where you are fighting your suitcase down the airline terminal. Business Insider offers reviews of the most popular rolling suitcases.
While you are at it, get a luggage scale like this one so that you can weigh your bag at home. This will reduce the stress of weighing your bag at the check-in counter only to find that it is over the limit, and being charged even more for luggage fees.
Pack in Cubes
Get a set of packing cubes that will save your space and make it easy to quickly find what you are looking for. Your clothes stay neat and folded, too. I know they seem trendy, but I’m a convert and swear by them. My favorite are these packing cubes from Red Oxx. I had the chance to visit their factory in Billings and these are the most solid packing cubes I’ve ever used.
An alternative to packing in cubes is to roll your clothes instead of folding them. This will prevent wrinkles and folding lines and save you some space. While we’re on the topic of clothes, only pack at most a week’s worth of clothes. Almost anywhere you travel you can find a laundromat or laundry service.
Some Additional Packing Tips
Here are a few last tips:
- Store your liquid foundation and moisturizer in a contact lens case to save space
- Instead of traveling with those bulky noise-canceling headphones, purchase a pair of AirPods or earbuds.
- Instead of bringing your phone charger, and charger for everything else, pack a portable battery charger that way you aren’t shackled to a wall outlet.
Traveling (and crafts) has been a passion of mine for a long time, and I love to share my adventures, treasures, and tips and tricks with you along the way. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about how I try to pack and travel simply. I’ve found that the simpler my packing routine, the happier I am during my travels. I hope you have found at least a few nuggets to help you simplify your travel routine. If you have any additional tips or tricks, share with us below!