This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Master Lock. All opinions are 100% mine.
My name is Tonya.
And when it comes to packing for travel, I’m a recovering overpacker.
I have broken the zipper on several suitcases over the years. I have packed dozens of items I haven’t needed. In my haste to pack, I once packed two right foot sandals, forcing me to purchase new shoes upon arriving at my beach destination.
Today, I’m sharing my packing tips. It has taken me a lot of time to hone my packing skills and though I’m not perfect, I’ve learned a thing or two about packing lighter.
How to lighten the load and pack the essentials
- Choose a smaller suitcase.
I admit, this was a hard step for me to take, but I realized that I will fill as much space as I have available. To avoid overpacking, a smaller bag was a must.
- Create a checklist to help you pack.
The reason for my list is two-fold, it ensures I don’t forget anything that I really need and helps me stay focused on the present trip and destination.
- Don’t pack at the last minute.
This is key for me. I’m notorious for packing my bag at the last minute, which leads to overpacking. I’ve realized that when I give myself a few days, versus hours to pack, I’m much more aware of my needs and much less likely to grab anything that I think I “might” need.
- Pack outside of your suitcase first.
This goes along with choosing a smaller suitcase. If you pack outside your suitcase rather than adding to your suitcase as you go, you’re less likely to fill in “extra” space and pack only what’s needed.
- Pack clothes you can mix and match.
Pick a color palette for your trip. I typically go with darker colors because with a bit of jewelry, they transition better for evenings or dressier occasions if needed. Pack shirts, pants and shoes that match other items in your suitcase to allow you to mix and match and maximize your wardrobe.
- Pack layers.
I love, love, love my sweatshirts. But let’s face it, sweatshirts are bulky. I’ve learned to pack in layers instead and now pack tank tops, t-shirts, cardigans and scarves.
- Pretend you’re at home.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m home I tend to wear my clothes at least twice, sometimes multiple times before washings. Do the same when traveling and you can drastically reduce the amount of clothes that you’ll wear.
- Don’t allow yourself to pack options.
I choose my clothes based on my mood. In the past I’ve filled my suitcase with options. Not anymore. Nine times out of ten, the “options” would remain in my suitcase unworn, taking up space or adding weight to my suitcase. Give yourself one outfit per day and eliminate packing clothes you probably won’t wear.
- Wear your bulky items on the plane.
If I do plan to pack that sweatshirt, I wear it on the plane. I also wear my heaviest pair of shoes or boots to keep my bag lighter.
- Use the toiletries provided at the hotel.
I used to pack all of my own personal care items, but I’ve learned that for short trips, I can get by with the complimentary shampoo and conditioner offered at most hotels. And it won’t kill me to use the blow dryer provided by the hotel even though I prefer the one I own.
- Keep all your items safe and secure.
Now that you’re packed and ready for your trip, you want to make sure everything is secure while you’re traveling. Allow me to introduce Master Lock. I Travel Safe with Master Lock, an easy-to-use combination lock that affixes to my luggage giving me security o-the-go. The affordable and reliable lock keeps my valuables protected not only en route to my destination, but while stored at my hotel room as well. This is ideal for duffel bags or travel bags that don’t have a built inTSA-accepted luggage lock.
Paired with the SentrySafe Portable Combination Safe, a mini combination safe to keep your cell phone, money, keys, jewelry, credit cards, portable hard drive and extra camera cards or other valuables safe. The water-resistant construction helps protect small belongings and the durable cable can be wrapped securely around a fixed object or serve as a handle if you opt to carry the safe. For everything worth protecting, I’ve got Master Lock!
What packing tips can you share?