Summer vacation is the perfect time to de-stress and get away from it all, but being prepared and having a good packing strategy is a smart way to keep it simple from the start. By packing minimally, you’ll save time and be ready for the big trip without worry.
It’s easy to overpack when you’re getting ready for vacation because you’re worried you may need something. In reality, many of the essentials you have at home you won’t need on vacation, and if you do, you can often find them at a local store for a minimal cost. However, there are plenty of items you will need to make your vacation a success! While getting a bottle of aspirin from a local pharmacy might not pose much trouble while on vacation, finding the perfect swimsuit that fits and flatters might not be so easy when you’re away from home and in an unfamiliar location. Get prepared in advance by taking a mental look at the things you can’t live without during vacation and the things you can probably pick up if you need them.
Once you’ve become more mentally comfortable with packing minimally, it’s time to create a basic packing checklist. All the “ultimate” checklists you’ve probably seen on popular websites don’t apply here. Instead of packing everything possible, you’re honing in the most important essentials and considering how to make items multitask for you to place less focus on your packing and items and more on having fun and relaxing during your vacation. Make a list with three columns that divide items into three categories: must-have, maybe need to have, and would be nice to have. You’ll likely pack most of the items on your must-have list, but the trick is to pack less without sacrificing your style, comfort, or peace of mind.
Once you’ve divided items into your three categories, it’s time to look closely at what you can eliminate or make work better for you. Your list will vary depending on your vacation, the number of days (or weeks) you’ll be gone, what activities you have planned, and more. Keep your essentials in line with your needs. Good hiking shoes may not be necessary if you only plan short sightseeing forays, but they’ll be a necessity if you’re spending long days on the trails. Cross off anything you think you can go without, and circle those items you’ve deemed as necessities.
When it comes to minimal packing, clothing is one of the easiest ways to pare it down. Clothing can take up a lot of room, so smart clothing packing strategies can save space and stress. Consider the following tips when packing clothing:
Shoes are another essential item for vacation, but packing multiple pairs can make luggage get bulky in a hurry. Consider shoe options that can be stowed easily in small spaces, like simple flats and flip-flops. Also, consider shoes that are versatile and have multiple functions. A pair of classic canvas tennis shoes, for example, is comfortable for walking, but still looks cute with a casual skirt outfit or with a tank top and women’s shorts at the beach or park.
Packing toiletries is necessary, but these can also take up prime luggage real estate. To pare it down, keep these tips in mind:
The point of your vacation is to get away from it all, so consider going light on electronics. Skip the laptop, get a streamlined case for your phone, and organize chargers or cables neatly to save space.
Packing without going overboard isn’t out of the question when you strategize and prioritize your needs. By being thoughtful about your clothing and other personal belongings, you can pack lightly and still have a successful, relaxing vacation.