What do ski week on the slopes, spring break in Cancun, and a routine business trip all have in common? Packing. Wherever you go, you have to pack a suitcase. (Unless arriving in Paris without pants sounds like a good time...If so, then go for it!)
If you don't pack right, it kind of sucks. Packing for travel shouldn't take 3 hours of indecision and boredom! With a little planning, you can get ready for your next adventure faster than you can catch up on the latest not-so-great episode of Game of Thrones.
Here's how it's done.
1. Keep a list
Why rewrite the dictionary? Odds are, you need the same basics for almost any trip. Sure, your clothing choices will depend on the climate of your next destination and the length of your stay, but for the most part the list is predictable- some stuff for the bottom, some stuff for the top, underwear, outerwear, shoes, toiletries, electronics...you get the idea. Make a reusable, general checklist so you don't have to waste time wondering what obvious item you're forgetting.
2. Don't overpack
Have you ever packed like you're planning on spilling coffee on yourself 6 times a day? Just in case? Yeah, you don't need to. 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of pants, 3-5 shirts, and 7 pairs of undergarments/socks are plenty for a weeklong trip. If you'll be gone longer, remember it's cheaper to do a load of laundry than to check an extra bag.
3. Go neutral
Unless everything you wear is bright and colorful, stick with a neutral color palate. It's much easier to coordinate outfits with a limited number of options when they all go together well.
4. Lay it all out first
Pick out all the items you need and spread them out on the bed. Then, pack the largest items first. Pick out all the items you need and spread them out on the bed. Then, pack the largest items first.
Clothes can be rolled up to fit around books, cameras, and other heavy, inflexible items to maximize space. This way, you'll avoid having to repack if the biggest items don't fit on top.
5. Save electronics and personal items for last
Packing your passport and boarding pass early is helpful, don't stress about packing up all your electronics early. Refer to your packing list the night before your trip, making sure your backpack is stocked with your favorite devices, Bluetooth headphones, and all your chargers.
Before your next trip, take this list for a spin. The more times you've done it, the faster and easier it gets! The fastest I've packed for a 10-day trip is 23 minutes...what's yours?