If you’ve ever traveled with a group, you’ve probably worried about having enough space for everyone’s luggage, even if you’ve rented a large vehicle. This happened to me on a recent trip traveling with a group of six friends. Luckily, I packed everything I needed in one small bag so my belongings wouldn’t take up much space.
Avoid overpacking for your group trip with these suitcase packing tips for traveling light on a one-week vacation:
1. The No. 1 thing to do is research.
Determine what the weather’s going to be like and what type of activities you’ll be doing. Knowing these things will help you plan efficiently so you only bring what you need.
2. Next, plan your travel wardrobe based on your research.
For example, it may be snowing where you live but sunny in your destination, or vice versa. It’s important to avoid surprises by being prepared with the right shoes and clothing. This is one of the most important, but often overlooked, suitcase packing tips.
3. Create a capsule wardrobe.
This consists of 10-15 pieces of clothing that mix and match. If all your tops and bottoms are interchangeable, you can make more outfits with less clothing. This is key to avoiding overpacking. It also enables you to travel carry-on-only anywhere you go. Remember to do your travel fashion math: if you take three bottoms and seven tops that can all mix and match, that equals twenty one outfits.
4. Wear your heaviest items on the flight.
This is especially important if you’re traveling to a cold destination. Don’t pack your jacket and boots; wear them on the plane instead. Save space by not doubling up on any bulky items. Take a neutral coat and accessories that can be worn with everything so you don’t have to pack any more of these items in your suitcase.
5. Leave your electronics at home.
Try to only bring the gadgets you really need. There are many helpful apps and adapters to transform your smartphone into various devices. Many people don’t even travel with a camera since you can easily use attachments such as the ExoLens Wide Angle and Telephoto Lens with your phone for improved photography. A smartphone can also be used as an e-reader by downloading the free Kindle reading app.
6. Narrow down your shoes to three pairs.
Shoes are always the most difficult item to minimize. Try to bring only three pairs of shoes in neutral colors and make sure they can be worn with all your clothing. For example, if traveling in winter, bring one pair of boots, one pair of sneakers and one pair of dress shoes. For summer, opt for one pair of walking sandals, one pair of sneakers, and a pair of strappy sandals for women or boat shoes for men.
7. Don't bring any just-in-case items.
Only bring what you need. Determine the exact activities you’ll do on your trip so you can plan your outfits and gear based only on those things. Leave behind any items that are not absolutely necessary such as a second toothbrush. You can easily purchase “just in case” items once you’ve arrived at your destination if needed.
8. Share the knowledge.
The last step is to share these suitcase packing tips with all the people coming on your trip to ensure you’re all on the same page. Being open and upfront about your expectation makes group trips more enjoyable. You’ll appreciate it later on when everything fits very nicely in your rental car and there are no surprises when you arrive in the airport.