Packing smart for Spring Break

For many people it is next to impossible to go on a trip and only take one piece of luggage.

If you’re like me, you may already be trying to figure out how you can stuff the entire contents of your neglected summer wardrobe into one carry-on. Fret no more; there are ways to take everything you ‘need’ on your spring break trip without exceeding the baggage limits.

Make sure you check the weather of the city you’re going to. That way there’s no guessing when it comes to how many layers you will need to bring. Most people migrate South for spring break, so should most likely only bring one jacket, sweater and pair of jeans for the trip.

In order to become a master packer you’re going to have to start planning a couple weeks in advance. As horrible as that sounds, it will make packing, traveling, unpacking and repacking much easier.

Jake Johnson/Photographer How you pack for Spring Break can make or break your travel experience.

Jake Johnson/Photographer
How you pack for Spring Break can make or break your travel experience.

Before you even touch your clothes, start preparing a list of items that you think you might need. Creating a list in advance will give you time to eliminate things that may not be as essential as you originally thought. Plus, packing will go much faster if you know what you need.

Once you’ve figured out what is to be packed and what you’re leaving behind, you can begin putting your bag together. Here is the first and most important rule of packing: roll your clothing. It wards off wrinkles and defies the laws of physics at the same time. You can get almost a fourth more into your suitcase if you roll your items. I didn’t believe it either, but it’s true.

Another important matter when it comes to packing is where you place your items. Shoes, for instance, are often bulky, heavy and oddly shaped.

Try to spread them out within your suitcase, then fill in the awkward spaces with a bundle of bikinis or a roll of socks. You can even shove undergarments or smaller objects inside close-toed shoes to be more space efficient.

While you’re packing also try to bring items that can be used for multiple purposes. If you’re flying, pick a carry-on tote that can also be used as a beach bag. Jewelry takes up much less room than actual clothing, so pack a few trusty basics and a bunch of bling. That way you can pile on the accessories and wear the top multiple times. A single white tee can be worn with a chunky necklace one day and scarf the other.

However you pack, just be sure to double-check all the travel essentials before you leave. You don’t want to get to the airport only to realize that you left the proper documentation at home and that they’re not going to let you on the plane. Make sure you get all the important items like chargers, identification, tickets and house keys.

After following all these rules, you’re probably still struggling to fit everything you think you need into your bag. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but in order to pack lightly, you actually have to pack lightly. Here comes the final and worst step: remove at least four more things.

Take a second look at everything in your bag and eliminate a few things that you don’t absolutely need, preferably anything bulky or that you’ll only use one time. Because let’s face it, you’re going to shop once you get there, and you don’t want to buy another suitcase too.

Packing as little as possible and cramming into tiny spaces is going to make traveling a lot easier this spring break, especially when you have to repack for the trip home. And if you can’t, go buy yourself a new one. That’s what vacation is for.

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