***GO GREEN and read between the lines! It's your Quick Reference Guide.***
Green font is disabled on mobile interfaces, desktop view is required.
So, I have a problem, I procrastinate with almost everything I do. I know I'm not the only one who has been working on improving their procrastination problems for years lol. I'm always trying to come up with methods and techniques to improve my time management skills.
I travel a lot and traveling involves packing. I hate packing, literally H A T E it. I wait until the last minute to pack for almost every trip. This used to result in me over packing. I would have checked baggage for a week trip or even three-day weekend trip. I would pay $25 or more because my baggage was overweight. Yup, it was over 50 pounds. I had major issues. I was in desperate need of alternative packing methods.
I was tired of throwing away money and I was tired of taking the extra time to wait in long lines to check a bag only to wait again at the final destination to pick up my bag at baggage claim after landing. I put myself on a mission to find a way to “Travel Light.”
This topic will be broken up into two parts: one for a week trip traveling with a carry on and the other for a weekend trip traveling with a backpack or small duffle bag. Part one will be dedicated to a week trip. Look out for part two next month.
THE ART OF PACKING LIGHT (TKOWANDERLUST METHOD):
* Decide Before You Fly
* 3oz per TSA
* Roll it Up
1. Decide Before You Fly
To ensure that I'm packing light, I should know what I'm packing for. Regardless of where I'm going I always make a tentative itinerary, or I'll request one from whoever I'm visiting. This assists with my issue of over packing. If my friends and I are planning a trip, we decide what we're doing and the attire for each activity. Some people will say "That's a lot," but trust me, it saves space and time. For example, I'm going to Aruba this month and my friend sent everyone an itinerary that included the activities for the trip along with attire suggestions.
Here's a sample:
Check in at 4:00pm
Grab a quick bite to eat (we're not changing clothes from airport attire)
Later that night: Happy Hour at Midnight Lounge (casually cute with heals)
Morning: Breakfast and snorkeling excursion (swim suit and cover up bottoms)
Night: Food Truck Hopping (wear comfortable shoes)
Morning and Afternoon: Birthday Beach Day! (white swimsuits)
Night: Birthday Dinner! (eloquent with heels)
One can make their own interpretations about the type of outfit based off the activities listed. We have two more days planned, but you get the point. If you know what you're doing, you know what to pack.
2. 3oz per TSA (Scroll down for picture examples)
If you have flown on an airplane then you're familiar with Transportation Security Administration, TSA. Everyone must go through a security checkpoint. If you're not checking a bag, then you have liquid toiletries in your possession. If you want to keep them and not get them thrown away by security, then you must follow the 3.4oz rule. Liquids and gels must be in individual containers of 3.4 ounces or less, placed in clear plastic baggie. That includes lotion, body wash, hair products, mouthwash, and even toothpaste. This may sound stressful to some and may result in someone saying "forget this, I'll just check my bag." I mean you can do that, but that will cost you time and money. So, I suggest investing your time and money in a toiletry bag and clear 3oz bottles for your liquids.
You can find toiletry bags at any department store or on Amazon. I've gotten them from both places. Click here to see the one I purchased on amazon from Premium Compartments.
I use the Premium Compartments travel bag from Amazon and clear 3oz bottles I purchased from Target to organize my toiletries. You have two options. You can either buy prefilled travel size items or you can make your own. I choose to make my own. I make my own because I can guarantee that I'm getting 3oz opposed to 2oz. Also, the bottles I buy are easy to refill and come with labels to identify each bottle’s content.
Starting from scratch with all empty bottles, it takes about 15 minutes to fill and organize, but once the toiletry bag is packed it only takes about five minutes to replenish everything for the next trip.
The pros to having a toiletry bag:
1. You save time with packing and going through security
2. Your items are organized, so it's easy to detect when you're out of something or missing something.
3. It saves space, so you can place everything in your carry on
4. It saves money. If all your liquids are less than 3oz then there's no need for a checked bag. Everything can go through security without getting tossed.
The cons to having a toiletry bag:
3. Oh! If you're traveling for longer than two weeks, then you should probably just check a bag because most likely 3oz won't last for that long. Other than that, I can't think of any cons :)
3. Roll it Up
You have your itinerary, so you know what you're packing. You have your toiletries already organized and ready to go. So now all you need to do is roll and pack your clothes. My suggestion is to roll up everything you have as tight as possible. If anything gets wrinkled, oh well, buy a travel steamer (tip for a future blog post) or use an iron where you're staying. I can fit a weekend full of clothes in a backpack. I must compromise a large shoe selection to do this, but I make it work. I wear sneakers or boots on the plane, pack a pair of sandals, and a pair of heels depending on the occasion. Aside from my shoes, everything is tightly rolled, even my toiletry bag.
I'm committed to traveling for the rest of my life lol and so far, 1 2 and 3 have worked for me. I will continue to travel on a budget and save time while doing so. Try it out and let me know if my method works for you.