Do you ever feel like you’re packing for a week-long vacation when you’re only going away for the weekend? Are you constantly checking how much weight your bag adds to the scale? You might be a victim of overpacking. While it may not seem like a big deal to throw in an extra shirt or two “just in case,” the truth is that overpacking can add unnecessary stress to your trip. It can also be a pain to lug around a heavy bag and even cost you money if your bag is over the weight limit.
Here are some tips on how to avoid overpacking.
1. Make a list of what you need to bring.
This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s often overlooked. Write down everything you need to bring, then cross off items you can live without. For example, if you’re going on a beach vacation, you might not need your formal clothes or heavy winter coat. If you’re traveling for business, you might not need as many casual clothes. A list can help you be more mindful of what you’re packing and ensure you only bring what you need.
2. Choose versatile clothing items.
Opt for clothes that can be worn in multiple ways. A sundress can be worn as a cover-up during the day and dressier attire at night. A blazer can be dressed up or down. And, of course, jeans are always a good choice. The more versatile your clothing items are, the fewer clothes you’ll need to pack.
3. Pack lightweight and space-saving items.
Whenever possible, choose lightweight and space-saving items. For example, instead of packing a heavy towel, you can pack a sarong or beach towel. Similarly, instead of packing a full-size bottle of shampoo, you can opt for travel-sized bottles. These small changes can significantly affect the amount of space your bag takes up.
4. Use a smaller bag.
Opt for a smaller bag if you’re only going away for a short trip. A smaller bag will force you to pack light and only bring the essentials. But if you choose to bring a larger bag, you’ll be forced to fill it up so it doesn’t look empty and saggy. That will likely result in packing items you don’t really need.
5. Go digital.
In today’s day and age, there’s no need to pack physical books or magazines. You can read eBooks on your tablet and listen to audiobooks or podcasts on your phone. If you need to bring documents with you, consider scanning them and storing them electronically to save a lot of space in your bag.
6. Understand your destination.
The place you’re going may already have the items you want to carry. For example, if you’re staying at a hotel, there’s no need to pack your own shampoo, soap, and other toiletries as these items will be provided. You should also research the climate of your destination to pack the appropriate clothing items and avoid overpacking.
Is overpacking real? Overpacking is a very real thing, and it’s something that affects many people. If you find yourself constantly packing more than you need, it’s time to take a step back and reassess your packing habits. With a bit of planning, you can avoid overpacking and make your trips a lot more enjoyable.