The Expat Diaries | Packing Woes

Expat Diaries

Today, I’m linking up with The Expat Diaries! This link up is done once a month and is a place for travelers to share stories about their time abroad. It can be travel tips, photos, awkward moments, whatever!

Even though I’m no longer living abroad, (darn) sometimes living 2,500 miles from home feels like being abroad.  I’m going to share one of the less glamorous parts of living and traveling abroad or for long periods of time. Packing.

Oh, Packing. One of the least thought about and yet most frustrating parts of travel.

Over the years, I’ve pretty much named myself as a master packer. I can make everything I own fit into my car, everything for a year fit into a 50 pound suitcase, and month’s worth of clothing fit into a carry on bag. Like magic.

I’m also a chronic over-packer. The question of “what if I need this?” is always at the back of my mind. Did I really need my hair straightener in India? Nope. Do I need more than one nice dress any time I’m abroad? Not at all. However, knowing how to pack effectively means that sometimes I can slide the straightener into the edge of my suitcase and fold that dress into the bottom of my purse.

Let me share 5 of my best packing tips with you!

  1. Roll those clothes! Rolling them makes clothes take up less space. If you have space bags, use those too! They are super helpful for making more things fit. You can also use gallon Ziploc bags to put clothes in and then squeeze the air out and seal them! They work great!
  2. For your flight: Baby/face wipes are a must have! They can be used to clean things or freshen up your face and body when you’ve been on a plane for hours. You’d be amazed at how much better you’ll feel with a clean face!
    Note- For your ziplock bag of liquids- lotion, eye drops, contact solution (if you wear them) hand sanitizer. Tried and true needed things.
  3. Check the baggage rules in EVERY country you will be stopping in. Even if your plane is just touching down somewhere make sure you check the limits. You don’t want to get stuck halfway to your destination having to pay hundreds of dollars to get your bags the rest of the way there! It will suck, and you will cry.
  4. You need less shoes than you think you do. I promise. Take a couple of pairs out of your bag and you’ll still be fine.
  5. Don’t be afraid to wash your clothes on your trip! Learn to hand wash your clothes in a bathtub or sink and you won’t need to bring as much.

What are your best travel tips? How do you make sure you don’t over pack or under pack? How do you make it fit?

Want to join in on The Expat Diaries? Link up over here.

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6 thoughts on “The Expat Diaries | Packing Woes

  1. I am a chronic overpacker but I have gotten better. Too many shoes is the worst problem… and I am always telling myself that a vacation is the time that I am actually going to wear that one outfit that has been hanging unworn in my closet (no I’m not).
    Great tips!
    Clicking over from the Expat Diaries link up!

    Like

    • Rolling saves my suitcase every time! And yes! I didn’t check every country on the way to Uganda and had to pay an extra couple hundred dollars. Broke my heart a bit!

      Like

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