Your Packing Strategy
Your Packing Strategy
Joel Widzer (Travel Strategist) gives expert video advice on: When should I start to pack for a trip?; Should I pack extra accessories on a trip?; What tools could I use to help me pack? and more...
When should I start to pack for a trip?
When you should pack for a trip really depends on the type of trip you're taking, and also how long you're going to go. When I take a trip, if it's a simple business trip, I usually start figuring out what I'm going to take about a day in advance, and maybe I'll hang up my shirts and suit that I'm going to take, leave my shoes out so I know that I have everything ready. Also, one thing that I do is write out a little list to make sure that I remember things like my cell phone adapter so I can charge it on the road, and things like my razor, toothpaste, and so forth. So I have a little bit of a list that I write out, and I do that usually aday in advance. If I'm going for a longer trip, and also if it's a leisure type trip and I'm going to bring more items and a variety of clothes, then I might think about it two or three days in advance. And I'll just start figuring out in my mind, ok, what clothes do I want to take, how am I going to use them? One of the things I do is make sure I don't bring too many clothes. So it's good to give yourself at least 2 or 3 days in advance to think about how you're going to pack.
Should I pack extra accessories on a trip?
You should, and I think one of the things that you want to do is think about ways that you can pack light, and one of the ways that I do that, if I'm going to a business meeting I might just bring one suit, but what I'll do is mix it up with different shirts, I'll also have different ties that I can mix it up with, and I know women a lot of times, what they'll do is they'll wear a different blouse, they can also wear a silk scarf, they can kind of mix up their outfit a little bit, maybe I'll wear a shirt that has cuff links, so that I can kind of mix up my wardrobe, but still wear the same basic suit, or same basic attire. If you're going on a leisure vacation, a golf vacation, then of course you're going to have more and more accessories, so think about the type of vacation you're taking, or type of trip and what's going to fit in, but think also light.
What tools could I use to help me pack?
One thing is you can go online and look at the temperature for the cities that you're going to visit, because that way you know what type of clothing to pack. If it's going to be warm then you want to bring lighter clothing. If it's going to be cold then of course you want to have something a little bit heavier. You can also use a list. One of the things I do is write everything out in a list -- that way I'm organized. I think one of the things where people can really make a mistake is by not being organized. If you have everything on your list written out in paper and pencil, then you have a good idea of exactly what you need to pack.
What's the best packing method?
What I do is I just typically fold them once. I've tried rolling them before but for me what happens when I roll them up it takes up more space. So I find that if I take my hanging clothes, like my dress shirts or those type of things and I fold those into three. So I'll take them one, then one on top and put that at the very bottom of my roller board. And then what I'll do is I'll just take my tee shirt, fold them over, or maybe my pants if I have jeans or whatnot, I'll fold those over as well. Typically I can fit that into a nice twenty-two inch roller board. And by folding them over it doesn't seem to take up as much space as if I rolled them. In addition, it seems like when I roll my clothes they come out a little bit more wrinkly then if I just kind of fold them over.
What should I do with the little items I need to pack?
A lot of times what you will find in your suitcases or your bags, is you will find these extra bags on the side. For instance in my suitcase there are two side bags. And what I do is I will use those for my accessories. For instance if I need a cell phone adaptor, or if I need an electrical adaptor, I will put those in those bags so that they are kind of nice, in a nice, secure spot. What you want to do particularly with the smaller gadgets that you have, you don't want to have them running around in your suitcase because they can get lost easily. So if you use those side bags or the inner pockets that you should have in your suitcases, you can pack them in there and that will keep them secure and safe for you.
How many pairs of shoes should I bring on vacation?
Shoes are always a tricky subject when you are packing for a vacation, because a lot of people want to have different shoes for a variety of clothing they can wear. But a lot of travelers have learned that shoes take up a lot of space in your suitcase. So what many of them do is they'll have one pair of dress shoes, or one pair of casual shoes, and maybe a pair of tennis shoes. Depending on where they're going, if it's a resort maybe they'll have a pair of sandas, which typically don't take up that much space, and then a main pair of casual shoes and tennis shoes in case they want to work out. And the good thing is that when you're traveling you're already wearing a pair of shoes. So think of those shoes on your feet as something you're going to wear throughout your trip, and maybe have one additional pair in your bag so youu're not taking up too much space.
Should I carry-on my bags or check them?
The question about carrying on and checking is really up to the individual traveler. One of the things about carrying on is that it is convenient. However, you do have to take all of your stuff through security, so it depends on what you have in your bag. For instance, if you have a bottle of wine, just one bottle, if you have just a small bag, you're not going to be able to get through security, so then you're going to have to check in your bags. It depends, also, on how long your trip is. If you're going away for two weeks, you're probably going to have a lot of stuff in your bags, and probably a bigger bag, so then you're going to want to check in. But if it's a simple trip, maybe getting away for the weekend, or if it's a short business trip, try to get everything into that one bag so that you can carry it on, so that you can get on the plane and off the plane very quickly.
What items are unnecessary when traveling?
What you don't want to bring with you are sharp items. You don't want to bring liquid if you're going to carry your bags. You don't want to bring any type of gunpowder, ammunition. And you also don't want to bring things that you might be able to have at your destination. For instance, a lot of hotels these days offer umbrellas. So instead of packing a big, bulky umbrella, you can realize that the hotel is going to have it for you. One of the things that a lot of people worry about is being able to use electrical currency. Because if you're taking international trips, they operate on a different voltage, a different currency, and a lot of people will bring a whole bag of adapters. But what a lot of hotels today, what they offer are adapters in the room, or you can call the front desk and get adapters. So what I suggest is, calling the hotel in advance or even emailing the hotel, and seeing if they do make adapters available for you, because that will save you some space in your luggage.