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How to Avoid Overpacking with 10 Tips

22 Apr

How to Avoid Overpacking with 10 Tips

If you consider yourself an overpacker, you're not alone! However, that doesn't take away from the difficulty of avoiding overpacking when your space or finances limit how much you can bring on a trip. 

In this helpful blog, you'll explore the tips and tricks to avoid overpacking for your next vacation. Continue reading to learn how to be a better, more efficient, and– best of all– lighter packer! 

What's Behind the Urge to Overpack? 

Being a perfect packer is a rarity. Usually, people tend to underestimate and underpack or overestimate and overpack. Finding the balance between the two often takes time and experience. For instance, if you travel frequently, you may have a strategy or system that you have developed through trial and error. 

However, more commonly, people tend to overpack. This is due to multiple truths, like how humans think ahead and anticipate all possibilities to be best prepared for a situation. We especially prepare for things that are unfamiliar to us. And if you're taking a vacation, more likely than not, it is a new place. Traveling to a place you've never been to is undoubtedly exciting, but it can also cause stress, particularly while packing and anticipating the trip. 

Most find comfort in bringing more than they need when vacationing somewhere new. However, only some have the luxury of paying for extra luggage on a flight or filling their SUV to the brim for a road trip. In many cases, we must avoid overpacking and be as strategic as possible.  

10 Tips to Not Overpack for Your Next Vacation 

It may be a challenge, but this blog will help you discover how to pack efficiently and avoid overpacking when space or finances are limited! Below are ten tips to guide you through the packing process. 

1 | Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Pack 

Packing in in a hurry doesn't give you the time to strategically choose what you need and what to leave behind. The best thing you can do to avoid overpacking for a trip is to start the packing process as early as possible.  

Set out your luggage and give yourself plenty of time to pack. If you're preparing for a longer trip, split the task into more than one day to ensure you have the space to consider what you bring to your upcoming adventure! 

2 | Understand Your Destination 

Another critical factor in packing efficiently and lightly is to get familiar with your destination. For instance, it's easy to overpack when guessing about the weather. You add shorts and short-sleeved shirts to your bag, then toss in some jackets and sweaters in case you're cold. Before you know it, you've taken up all the space in your suitcase with unnecessary items, and you will likely only use a small percentage of it once you reach your destination. 

Instead, check the weather, research the terrain, and know what activities you'll be doing on your trip. That way, you can pack precisely and avoid bringing more than you need. 

Prot Tip: Check if your destination has laundry services nearby. If you can do a load of laundry part-way through your vacation, you can save tons of space by only bringing enough clothing for half the time! 

3 | Break it Up 

Especially for trips longer than a week, breaking up the packing process into multiple sessions will help you be efficient and avoid overpacking. Initially, back your bags with everything you think you may need. The next day, sift through your chosen items and determine what you can leave behind and what must come with you. Then, continue the process of adding and subtracting until you have the ultimate set of clothes, toiletries, and other necessities. 

Returning to your luggage with a fresh mind will help you make better decisions about what you truly need for your vacation. 

4 | Resist Adding Last-Minute Items 

If you're an overpacker, you're very familiar with the final packing stage, where you add all the "just in case" items. To avoid overpacking, you need to overcome the urge to toss in those small items. It may not seem like it takes up too much space at the time. However, after adding a few more last-minute things, you'll quickly find yourself in a position where you're having trouble zipping up your luggage! 

5 | Pack a Smaller Bag 

Choosing a smaller bag is one of the most effective ways to avoid overpacking for a trip. If you have the option, go with the smaller luggage set. The limited space will force you to make those tough decisions and pack lighter than if you chose the biggest suitcase you have. 

6 | Use Travel-Size Beauty and Hygiene Products 

Using travel-sized products clears significant space in your bag. Nobody needs an entire shampoo bottle for a week-long trip. Instead, buy small, travel-sized bottles and containers to transfer your regular products into.  

Pro Tip: Have a travel set ready to go– Many top beauty and hygiene products have travel-sized containers available. Collect a set of miniature versions of all your necessities to bring on every vacation and replace the items when they run low. This is especially helpful if you travel often. 

7 | Skip the Entertainment Items 

We can be tempted to bring entertainment items and extra electronics we are used to having around, like iPads, books, a laptop, and extra chargers. Remember that you are traveling somewhere brand new– There will be plenty to do! You'll likely find yourself hardly scrolling through your phone, so there's certainly no need for tablets, books, and other go-to forms of entertainment. 

8 | Use Packing Organizers 

Packing organizers help you stay organized and limit what you bring by category. Plus, they save space!  

9 | Pack Multipurpose Items 

Perhaps the ultimate tip to avoid overpacking is to bring multipurpose items. Accessorize with things that can be worn in several different ways. Bring casual clothes that can be dressed up with a simple addition of jewelry or a well-done hairstyle. Bring shoes that can be worn for multiple things, not a pair to match every outfit.  

10 | Mix and Match 

People who have mastered packing light usually have a collection of clothes that are easy to mix and match. This is best done with neutral clothing items, like solid-colored shirts, plain jeans, and simple outer layers.  

Instead of setting out an outfit for each vacation day, grab some of your most versatile items and find the best ways to re-wear them. For example, your daytime outfit for a tropical vacation may be a bathing suit and sundress. In the evening, wear the same dress with heels and a little extra makeup, and be ready for a fancy dinner or fun night out! 



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