Most people love to get away; it’s an opportunity to escape the day to day routine of everyday life and have the chance to try something different.  Packing to go away is one of the most common stresses for travelers, and many people make the same common mistakes. Traveling should be an enjoyable experience, a time to let your hair down and escape the stresses of daily life; it should not be a time when your stress levels are off the charts. Making packing mistakes is more common than you might think, and you can easily avoid these with some care and attention. If you tend to throw your clothes into a suitcase in the morning you are due to travel, likely; you don’t pack all the things you need. These are some common travel mistakes and how to avoid them in the future. It is all about planning and preparation when it comes to smart packing.

Over Packing

Many airlines are charging more for extra baggage these days, and if you don’t want to be hit with some hefty charges or find yourself trying to stuff shoes into your handbag before you check-in, it is worth putting some thought into your packing. Make sure you only take what you need and have a plan of what to wear for each day. Most people end up taking far too many clothes and don’t end up wearing them, and it’s not worth the extra hassle of worrying about your case being too heavy. If you are only going away for a few days, a small cabin bag should be enough. Organizing your packing is well worth it in the long run. Only take those outfits which are necessary.

Wasting Space

One way to lose space in your suitcase is by folding your clothes instead of rolling them. Rolling clothes is a great space saver, as you can squeeze much more into your suitcase. It’s incredible how much more you can roll into your case than you can if you fold them. Iron your clothes first, then roll them, and you may be able to get away without any creases when you unpack. Try not to take outfits which are going to take up a lot of space in your suitcase. If you want to take a big jacket, for example, it might be better to wear it or carry it.

Leaking Toiletries

If you are taking toiletries in your suitcase, make sure the lids are on correctly, and it is also worthwhile wrapping toiletries in a bag if you are checking them in. Suitcases are usually not handled with care and attention, so you need to do what you can to ensure your toiletries don’t leak all over your clothes. On the note of toiletries, you also need to ensure you have the toiletries you need with you, as you never know if you’ll be able to pick them up. The last thing you want to do is scour the streets of an unknown city looking for toiletries. If you’ve done a bit of traveling, you’ll understand that supermarkets are often not as readily available in other countries, as they are at home, or at least, it can be a struggle to find them if there are any. Always remember the rules though, your liquids must be maximum 3oz/100ml. If your liquids are over this size, they will probably end up in the airport bin!

Separate Suitcases

If you are paying for your suitcases and traveling with someone else, it makes sense to try and fit everything into the one case, instead of having the additional expenditure. There is bound to be one person who takes more than the other, and if you pack well, you’ll probably find that you can fit most of your clothes into one case. If you do decide to take separate suitcases, it is a good idea to split your belongings into each case, just in case, either of them goes missing.

Forgetting about the Weather

Even the sunniest places have times when the weather is terrible, and many travelers make the mistake of failing to check the weather before they pack. As you can imagine, this can end in disaster. If you pack only summer clothes and there is rain your entire trip, you’ll either need to stay indoors or face the expense of buying heavier clothing. In contrast, you might have a suitcase of hoodies and jackets, when the expected weather is over 20 degrees. As a traveler, you should always check the weather report before you decide what clothes to pack.

Too Many Books

Even the most avid reader won’t be able to get through 2 or 3 books on a five day holiday, but most bookworms will take far too many books on holiday with them. It would be difficult to get through one full novel, never mind two, so don’t cause yourself more stress by taking too many. Carrying too many books is a common and unnecessary mistake to make when packing your bags for traveling. If you have an electronic device to read your books, this is even more efficient as it takes up very little space, you can go between different books, and it will just slip into your handbag.

Inappropriate Footwear

Consider your footwear before you pack. If you are planning on a city break, you’ll probably be doing a fair amount of walking, so high heels will end up just causing you pain. If you are going on a beach holiday and plan to do nothing but relaxing, flip flops will be enough. Make sure you take appropriate footwear with you on holiday, as otherwise, you will spend your holiday feeling uncomfortable.

All the Shoes

You don’t need to take all your shoes with you, as footwear can take up a lot of space and they can also be quite heavy. Consider the weather but also try to aim to take only one or two pairs with you. The footwear you wear while traveling and another couple in your case is more than enough. If your choice of shoes is appropriate for the climate, you won’t have any issues.

Failing to Plan

Although you don’t want to plan your full itinerary before you go on holiday, it is worthwhile looking at the local area and find out the top sites to see. If you don’t plan anything at all, you may miss out on the hotspots. Travel books are an ideal way to find out a bit more about the local culture and the attractions which will appeal to you. The last thing you want is to get home and realize you’ve missed out on some places you would have loved to see.

Mixing up Clothes

Even if you pack only the essentials, you’ll probably still end up not wearing some of the clothes, and one of the most common packing mistakes to make is not having a separate bag for your dirty clothes. It is not much fun coming home to a pile of laundry after your holiday break, even worse if the clean clothes and dirty clothes become mixed up! You can fold a small laundry bag into your suitcase, and it won’t take up too much space. It will save you time and energy in the long run.

Packing the Wrong Clothing

As well as considering the local weather wherever you are traveling, you must also find out more about the culture before you start packing. If you do this, you will ensure you wear the appropriate clothing. Some countries have strict dress codes, and it is essential to respect that. Countries in the Middle East, for example, are conservative with their dress codes, so you need to pack appropriately. Awareness of the dress code is something many travelers forget, and it is crucial. In some more severe cases, you could even face criminal charges if you wear inappropriate clothing.

Plug Adapter

One of the essential items most people forget to take with them is a plug adapter that is appropriate for the country. Plug adapters vary depending on the country, and it can be challenging to find these in local shops. They are also extremely expensive if you buy them at the airport. The UK, for example, has a different plug adapter to other countries in Europe. Australia has a separate plug adapter to European countries. It is also worth taking more than one plug adapter or may end up arguing with your travel companion if you have one. Most of us have numerous items we need to charge up, including phones, tablets, and laptops. It’s not worth an argument over it, so make sure you have enough that everyone in your travel party has one to themselves. If you are traveling alone, don’t need to worry about this, though.

No Checklist

Even if you are the type of person who seems just to get off one plane and straight onto another, don’t make the mistake of forgetting your checklist. It might seem that you know what you need, but without a list, it is very easy to forget essential items. Your checklist should include your sunglasses, toiletries, sun cream, etc. You may also want to write a list of the outfits you plan to wear each day. It might seem like an unnecessary task, but it is well worth it in the long run.

Unrecognizable Suitcase

Waiting for your suitcase after a long flight can be frustrating, especially if you find that there are another 100 suitcases which look identical to yours. The more outlandish your suitcase is, the better, as you’ll instantly know it’s yours and you won’t make the mistake of picking up someone else’s luggage. If you can, stay away from black suitcases as most people use these, so they are hard to recognize. Take a case that has something recognizable on it, even if it’s just a simple red bow or tie.

Unorganized Mess

Would it not seem much easier if you knew where the items of clothing you need are in your suitcase without having to rummage around? Most people who travel make the mistake of just piling everything on without any due care and attention. The most effective way to approach packing is to organize your items of clothing into different sections, depending on the type of clothing. You may want to use separate bags to divide your outfits. Organizing clothes might seem like a hassle at the time, but it’ll make things a lot easier when you’re hunting for your outfits. When you land at your destination, unpack your clothes and put them away so it will be easier to find them. It is always good to be organized and not have to go through piles of clothes to find the outfit you want each day.

Travelling is one of the most enjoyable things you can do; you get the opportunity to relax, unwind, forget about day to day stresses and explore different cultures. However, the reality of traveling is that it can also be stressful. You need to follow itineraries; you are trying to make the most use of your time, and you may be spending more time than you usually would with someone else or a group of people. You may even be traveling alone, which can still be a stressful experience or with people, you don’t know. These things can lead to arguments and stresses, and the last thing you need is to have packing problems on top of that! If you organize your suitcase well, it will save you a lot of stress in the long run, so pack wisely and strategically, don’t leave it until the last minute or you’ll regret it. If you really can’t get your packing in order, ask a super organized person you know to take care of it for you. Believe it or not, some people enjoy packing! Packing is not much fun for the disorganized!

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