Not long ago, my husband and I simplified our life. We packed it up to make a move to Thailand. We had to fit our life into a backpack that we could carry on our back. Challenge accepted. I’ll be honest, this did not come with ease. It was a learning process, but after months of unpacking and repacking it truly became a science and one that I continue to use whether I am traveling for the weekend or more.
Photo By Lee: Doi Inthanon, highest peak in Thailand
So here we are in the midst of summer. A season where we often find ourselves traveling a bit more than usual. Packing for a vacation or trip can be overwhelming. Depending on your travels, you might need to consider packing for different climates and activities that you may be planning on doing while you are away. That can be challenging!
The big question – how do you simplify packing? After months of travel in Southeast Asia, I found my secret formula that I would love to share with you all to make your summer travels feel less cluttered, more organized, and a bit more simple.
Find the Luggage that Fits You And Your Travels — Ask Yourself…
- How will you be traveling? Plane, train, boat, car, or a combination. This matters. We had to shove our belongings under beds, in tiny closets, lockers, on the back of a motorbike, and so on. Your means of travel (& transportation, for that matter!) impacts what type of luggage you pack your belongings in.
- Do you like you roll your suitcase or do you like to carry your luggage? Imagine yourself wherever you are headed. What kind of terrain will you encounter? If you know you are headed somewhere with rough roads, a rolling suitcase may not be your best bet 😉
- Consider the weight and the size of the luggage you will be using. When it is full to the brim, can you lift and move it? Empty luggage is deceiving. Consider the size of your luggage knowing that it will gain weight exponentially when packed! The larger the size doesn’t always equal better.
Create Space with Compartments
I was told by a good friend that I MUST use packing cubes. With little to no knowledge about packing cubes, I purchased them and I can admit, they revolutionized how I pack. Packing cubes come in a variety of sizes and act as mini suitcases. I label each packing cube, so each category of clothing has a designated cube (example: a “tops” cube, a “bottoms” cube). This way I don’t throw my clothes into the bottomless pit (suitcase) where it gets wrinkled. Nor do I have to sort through all of my clothes to find that one top that I want to wear that happens to be at the bottom of the suitcase.
Along with packing cubes, dry sacks are extremely handy. They are great when camping or traveling outdoors, but they also come in handy for smaller items. Dry sacks are just that; they waterproof sacks with a fold over top to protect your belongings from nature’s elements. They are great for packing socks, swimsuits, undergarments or even tech items — think, the small stuff!
My Packing Favorites
Here are some of my favorite packing essentials.
Weekender eBag: A friend recommended the Weekend eBag and it is all I prefer to use as luggage now. I love it because I can wear it as a backpack or carry it if need be.
Packing Cubes: We use eBag packing cubes. They held up well throughout our travels in Asia and come in a variety of fun colors and sizes!
Dry Sacks : Several brands sell dry bags. We found ours at our local grocery store right before we left for Thailand and they served their purpose. Choose your go-to brand!
Packing clothes and belongings into categorized and separate compartments may seem like double the work, right?! I beg to differ. Packing with a simple system saves time and space. It challenges you to bring just what you need rather than over-packing, and keeps you organized during your travels.
So, why not try it out!? Let me know how it goes or feel free to share your packing tips below in a comment!
Disclaimer: We have no arrangements with any products or companies mentioned in this article. Just sharing information that might be helpful for others.
I have packing cubes and I absolutely LOVE them!
Hi Emily! Isn’t it amazing how much time and space they save?! I can see they would help you with all of your traveling. San Fran looks awesome!