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Tips on How To Avoid Overpacking

Berty and I are flying to Spokane this morning. We are staying for about a week and will visit with my family and friends. It’s fun to come back to my home (Emily’s) for the holidays because we’re almost always guaranteed a white Christmas! This is our first Christmas married, and we are bringing lots of goodies and presents home with us. However, this creates a challenge for us when packing…how do we bring everything we need and avoid overpacking? Preparing for this trip, Berty and I sat down and discussed what tricks we use when packing for the Pacific Northwest winter and also hard lessons we’ve learned while packing this year. Here is our best attempt in helping save you overweight charges at the airport!

Here are Tips on How To Avoid Overpacking:

Start with a size smaller suitcase

If you have a problem with bringing too much stuff, choosing a smaller suitcase forces you to prioritize. On short trips, Berty and I like to challenge ourselves to bring ONE carry-on for the both of us. We especially love Away’s luggage sizes and their dual compartments within the bag. This way, Berty and I can each claim a side, and only have to roll one suitcase to the airport! By the way, did you know this luggage can also charge your phone?!

Packing Cubes

I’ve told you about packing cubes in an earlier post during our trip to Indonesia, but I feel it’s worth mentioning again. We have 2 sets of REI’s expandable packing cubes, and we still use them every single time we travel. Often, I will separate clothes or other items in packing cubes for easy locating. For instance: shirts in one cube, pants in the other, and socks and misc. in yet another. This way, if you are looking for a specific item, you don’t have to go around digging in your suitcase. Packing cubes also have only so much space, so if you are packing cubes by category (shirts, pants, etc) you are forced to only bring as many as the cube can fit!

Consider doing laundry during your trip

If you are going to see family over the holidays, someone will evidently help you out with laundry. Another option would be to take an afternoon and visit a laundromat (or even drop off clothes and pick them up later). Consider bringing outfits that can be repeated or mixed with other pieces and worn again if washed. This will cut down significantly on bulk! When it comes to clothes, we like to pack fabric in basic colors and use a ratio of 1 pair of pants per 2 tops.

Coordinate with a buddy

Are you traveling with others? If you are staying in the same place, consider coordinating items so that there are no doubles among bags. For example, sometimes on short trips, Berty and I will pack one laptop instead of bringing both. (Because mine weighs like 100lbs *kidding…but really it’s heavy*) This will help avoid overpacking on double items and save you a sore back!

Sample size toiletries

Avoid packing full bottles of product. This is especially important for carry-on only travelers, because full bottles will get taken away at airport security. Pack smart and bring sample sizes of your favorite beauty products. In a carry-on, TSA will only allow you one quart-sized bag with as many 3.4oz or less (100ml) bottles that it will fitMy favorite tip: Clinique does a promotion every once in a while where if you spend over X amount of dollars, you get a free cosmetic bag full of tiny beauty samples. I usually keep an eye on their website, and once the promotion happens I splurge on a nice moisturizer or something, and get the free goodies too! I save all my little samples in a clear plastic container in our bathroom. Then, when Berty and I are packing for our next adventure, I pick and choose the samples I need and we’re all set! If you’re not into promos, you can also buy small reusable containers like GoToobs or Nalgene’s Travel Kit (the kind we own) and fill it with your own products at home.

 

How do you avoid overpacking? Did we miss any strategies? Leave some suggestions in the comments below and tell us!

 

READ MORE TRAVEL TIPS

Packing Regrets and MVPs

How To Make A Car Emergency Kit

Do This Before You Leave on Vacation

How to Pack For a PNW Weekend

Things You Forget To Pack For Peru

 

Thanks for reading!

Love,

 

 

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