Hey there, OTBT wanderers!
Getting ready for another big summer vacation off the beaten track? Whether it’s a simple weekend trip with friends or a several-week journey overseas, traveling gives you a way to find yourself, visit new places, and enjoy tasty new foods. But along with all the fun and excitement of traveling also comes the mundane and not-so-fun tasks – like packing! Not only is packing a time-consuming activity, but it can often be downright stressful deciding what you need to bring, and whether it should go in your backpack or suitcase. While everyone’s packing needs may be different, there are definitely some common packing slip-ups that even the most seasoned travelers have made at some point in their wanderings. Here’s a brief list of the top five biggest packing mistakes – and what you can do to avoid them!
Before you even begin packing, it’s essential to make sure you have the right luggage for your trip. If you are traveling overseas, we recommend a large hard-case suitcase. Heavy-duty suitcases like these provide better protection for your items, which is especially useful when flying – considering how things can get tossed around during a turbulent flight. However, if you tend to overstuff your suitcase, you might want to stick with soft-shelled cases for their added flexibility. For smaller weekend or day trips, a simple suitcase, backpack, or even just a large handbag like our Copa tote should be sufficient. Having a large tote bag is especially great for trips to the beach - and is definitely more stylish and practical than lugging around a small suitcase everywhere you go! Once you have decided what type of luggage is best for your trip, you can begin the real fun deciding what to bring.
As you begin your packing, it’s important to remember your mode of transportation. For example, if you’re flying, keep in mind that airlines often have extra charges for checked or overweight baggage. Make sure you check with your airline before packing to see what their particular regulations are. The last thing you want is to have to pay extra for your luggage! It’s also a good idea to double-check what you’re allowed you to pack in your carry-on. Be sure to read the TSA’s list of carry-on restrictions so you know what can and cannot be placed in your carry-on bags. For example, we recommend packing your hair and makeup products in your checked bag to avoid any problems with liquid restrictions. If you are driving to your destination, then you obviously won’t have to worry about such restrictions. However, you should consider the type of car you are taking and the number of friends going with you. An SUV can hold a lot more luggage than a sedan, and four people have a lot more luggage than two. Be considerate of the people you are traveling with, and avoid overloading the car by bringing only what you’ll need for the trip.
When it’s crunch time and travelers can’t wait to get on the road, they tend to just throw everything into their suitcase. When that happens, they either overpack or forget to toss in the essentials. We recommend taking your time to pack and rolling your clothes while you pack. Rolling your clothes is a great way to save space and prevent wrinkles. When you take your time to pack, you can also consider where you’re going and what you need to bring. For example, if you are taking a weekend trip to the beach, then you’ll want to make sure to pack a big beach towel, but if you are making a quick trip to New York, then a beach towel isn’t something you need to worry about. By taking the time to roll your clothes and think about what you’re bringing, you are less likely to forget the essentials and will have more space to bring back souvenirs.
You don’t want to overpack and you certainly don’t have to pack for every possible scenario, but it is still important to consider the weather for your destination. If you are going to Orlando in January, you won’t need to pack a big winter coat, but if you are traveling to Denver in April, then a heavy jacket is a must! Consider the typical local climate for where you will be staying and make sure to check sites like AccuWeather a few days before your trip for the projected forecast. Even if you are going to have perfect weather for your trip, it is always a good idea to pack an extra jacket, because you never know when it might suddenly get cold. If space allows, you should also pack a travel size umbrella. It’s better to have these few extra things and not need them, than to not bring them and wish you had!
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes most travelers make is not packing the right type of footwear for their journey. We recommend packing at least two or three pairs of shoes for every excursion. Which types of footwear you bring depends on the circumstances of your trip. For example, if you are flying, you’ll want stylish yet comfy slip-on shoes for airport security, like the Universe, or versatile, comfortable women’s sneakers, like the Nebula. If you’re headed to the beach, a pair of stylish sandals like the Souvenir is an absolute must. And if you decide you might want to go on a spontaneous hike or walk, make sure you throw in a pair of closed-toe shoes or boots like the Commuter. Packing an extra pair of shoes is also a great way to spice up your travel outfits without overfilling your suitcase. You can mix and match your shoes with multiple outfits to give them that finishing touch while still packing light. And while we’re on the subject – make sure you pack each of your travel shoes in a shower cap or plastic bag. This will help your shoes stay clean and prevent dirt from getting on your clothes.
So there you have it – the five biggest packing mistakes most travelers make, and how to avoid them! Are there any great packing tips that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
And if you’re on the lookout for stylish yet comfortable travel shoes for your next summer vacay, be sure to check out the newest arrivals from OTBT!
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