As an out of state student, I have to travel quite a distance to get to school and to visit my hometown, so packing efficiently is a priority! That being said, I’ve come across a few travel tips along the way that help me during the (what can be) very stressful travel season.
1. Use a lightweight suitcase or rolling duffel.
When I turned 12, I received a nice luggage set that was very sturdy. Unfortunately, sturdiness results in heaviness. Now that airlines charge for “overweight” suitcases, I was at a huge loss when it came to flying out for my first semester of college. My advice to you – invest in a lightweight suitcase! If you opt for a duffel, make sure it has an underside compartment for shoes and books so in case your liquids spill, your clothes will be safe.
2. Roll, don’t fold.
There is an art to packing effectively. Throwing your clothes into a suitcase and sitting on it to force it to close, isn’t practical. Pick your outfits then roll your shirts, jeans, sweaters, etc. individually. Rolling your clothes makes it easier to fit more pieces into the suitcase, and it avoids those weird creases that you get from folding. Plus, no one likes having clothes spill all over the place once you open your suitcase! It looks silly.
3. Put your shoes at the bottom of your luggage
Separate your shoes from your clothes by putting them at the bottom of your luggage. You can lay a trash bag over them or wrap them individually in grocery bags (shower caps work great, too) to avoid your shoes from stinking up anything you put on top. I have canvas shoe bags to make packing my variety of shoes a breeze! Also, ALWAYS wear your heaviest shoes on the plane! It saves you some precious cargo weight!
4. Create an awesome playlist
Creating a playlist eliminates needing to skip a million songs to find a good one and gives you an awesome jamming atmosphere for your (uncomfortable) travels. Also make sure your phone/device is charged before you fly!
5. Have properly working headphones
My favorite pair of headphones recently broke and I definitely didn’t want to be stuck on a 6 hour flight without properly working headphones! If you can, even bring another pair to be on the safe side! If you don’t want to listen to music, than pack some earplugs so that you can nap comfortably!
6. Pack an extra outfit in your carry on
Sometimes your luggage can get lost or delayed, so packing an extra complete outfit in your carry on is essential! I usually pack an outfit that compliments the shoes I am already wearing, so I don’t have to tug around another pair of shoes.
7. Leave room in your suitcase
Make sure you have space in your luggage to bring back any items. This is important if you’re going on vacation and want to bring back souvenirs, or if you are an out of state student (like me) and want to bring back long lost goodies with you.
8. Have your laptop easily accessible
Trust me, this is important (particularly when going through security)! If possible, give it its own pocket in your suitcase, otherwise just make sure it is easy to remove from your backpack or carryon luggage. It can be a hassle having to find and remove your laptop from your nicely packed suitcase, and messing everything up in the process.
9. Wear something warm on the plane
Wear a sweater or bring a hoodie on the plane because it’s always chilly and you definitely want to be comfortable for your flight! A small roll up blanket is also a good idea, even though some airlines supply you with one – scrunch up the extra one to use as a pillow!
10. Wrap liquids securely!
Always put bottles of shampoo, face wash, and any other liquids in a plastic baggie or put saran wrap over the top under the cap. Be sure to do this in case something opens and starts to leak. You would much rather have shampoo all over the bag then your nice clothes.
Featured image source: travelsmartblog.com and blog.nightswapping.com
A Junior at Arizona State University Tempe Campus Pursuing a degree in Geological Sciences. She loves to hike, paint, and explore new places.