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10 Tips to Avoid Overpacking For a Trip

Time to use the KonMari method on your suitcase.
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One of the greatest pains when it comes to traveling is packing. Filipinos, in general, tend to fill their suitcases with too many clothes, toiletries, and shoes in an attempt to be prepared for any situation.

If you correctly trim down the items in your suitcase, however, you'll realize how much stress you'll be saving yourself from in the long run. Here are some top packing tips to help you save on luggage space:

1. Bring a smaller piece of luggage.

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As a traveler, you will tend to be warier of what you bring when you know you have limited luggage space. However long your trip may be, make it a point to take only one handy carry-on and one check-in bag with you when you fly. And, however big your suitcase might be, fill it only halfway to save the other half for any souvenirs or shopping that you might take home. (As easy as it is to pop into a department store and just buy an additional suitcase on your trip, this can be avoided by packing correctly).

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More: Fashion Icon Iris Apfel Shares Her Best Packing Tip

2. Choose your clothes wisely.


Apart from the obvious reason of meticulously picking the clothes that don’t wrinkle so easily, travelers must also choose the options that are easier to fold and if needed, roll up. For example, leave that thick knitted sweater behind and replace it with a lighter HeatTech sweater instead. If you’re going to a destination where rain is expected, then opt for a jacket with a breathable shell, which is usually less bulky.

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If wrinkles are an issue, then take a page from Jackie Kennedy Onassis's travel books and use packing paper to separate each article of clothing.

3. Make a must-pack list.

Before starting to pack, list down the essentials. The exact number of outfits you need according to each day you’re away, undergarments, sleepwear, footwear should go first. Then proceed with other smaller items such as headgear, toiletries, and socks. Add another section for non-negotiables such as daily vitamins and emergency medication. This list will act as your guide, as well as a reminder, not to take anything that is not needed.

4. Think twice and declutter after packing.


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After placing everything in your suitcase, take another look at everything you’ve packed. Evaluate whether there is anything that wasn’t on your list originally and if there is anything you can do without. Some things you likely won’t be needing include a hairdryer as most hotels already provide one, a laptop if you can survive with just your tablet or your smartphone, and more than one travel adaptor.

5. Get organized and use packing cubes.

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Packing cubes will also help regulate the items that you put in your bag. Apart from keeping clothes wrinkle-free and from shifting around due to flight turbulence, packing cubes will keep your garments compressed. You can also take comfort in knowing that these handy travel accessories will help you navigate through your luggage when unpacking.

6. Make use of laundry services.

Packing an ensemble a day becomes impractical when you’re going on a long holiday or planning to be away for a month or more. After deciding on the essentials you want to take, it will be much more convenient for you to make use of the laundry services available at the hotel you’re checked into. You can even have an online concierge take care of your dirty laundry if you aren’t staying at a hotel. That way, you wouldn’t need to worry about washing, drying, and pressing yourself.

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7. Limit yourself to two pairs of shoes.


Footwear, especially men’s shoes, is typically the culprit taking up the majority of your luggage space. Aside from the shoes you wear on your flight, pack only one other pair of shoes in your carry-on luggage and a handy pair of sandals or flip-flops. If you’re considering taking a pair of shoes that you intend to wear only once during the trip, then save that place in your bag for other items.

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More: Things You Must Pack in Your Travel Carry-On Bag

8. Trim down on toiletries.


If you’re staying at a hotel that will likely offer quality lotions and potions, then you can leave your own products at home. You can survive without your beauty staples for a few days. At the very least, try to pack travel-sized versions of your toiletries and other skincare products.

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More: Who Hoards Those Toiletries From Five-Star Hotels?

9. Consider shipping some items home.

If your worry is that you have too many things to lug around, especially if you're coming from a colder location and heading to a hotter destination, you can always have some of the more bulky items like winter jackets or boots, sent home. If convenience is on your mind, then this is definitely a more helpful option.

More: What to Pack for Every Type of Holiday Trip

10. Coordinate your colors.

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There's always a battle between packing what is needed and packing the more sartorial options. But it might be best to stick with neutrals or muted colors for quicker mixing and matching. If there's an article of clothing that might not be paired with more than one item in your bag (e.g. statement pieces), then leave it at home.

And lastly, if you don't overthink it, everything should be fine.

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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Features Editor
Hannah is originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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