8 Expert Packing Tips for the Savvy Traveller

Hey everyone! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I was recently in Arizona and am on my way to Asia (Hong Kong and Vietnam) next week! I’m also heading to Berlin to visit my sister in June, and me and Stefan have another Euro trip planned for the summer! Needless to say, I have a year FULL of travel and in every spot I have SUCH a fun itinerary planned. I can’t wait to share it all with you guys here!

Every year I travel at least once or twice- it’s such a big part of my life! So I thought I’d put together a list of expert packing tips for my fellow jet-setters!

Whether you’re packing a carry on or a suitcase, or traveling to Europe or Asia, these are my best packing tips for the savvy traveller!

Although I love travelling, packing isn’t always fun. I always end up over-packing like crazy! I mean, what if I need 5 pairs of shoes? What if I’m in the mood to wear a dress I don’t bring? What if 20 tops just isn’t enough?! But I’ve learned when it comes to packing, I need to CHILL. It’s better not to pack up your whole life.

PLUS you can be more creative when it comes to your travel style. Figuring out how to style the pieces you brought with you in different ways opens the doors to looks you haven’t tried before! Trust me, it’s outfit-making GOLD!

Want to be a savvy traveller? Check out my 8 expert packing tips below!

1. PACK COMFY SHOES

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to keep in mind, especially for stylish travelers. We’re usually thinking of style over comfort, but comfort NEEDS to come first when traveling.

Even more, make sure your shoes are comfortable AND worn in. I remember one year I went to New York City and we had a full day planned walking around. I wore my new Birkenstocks because they are known to be the comfiest shoes, like, ever. But they weren’t worn in. I had no problems with the sole, but the leather strap was killing the top of my foot in the first half an hour. No Bueno.

Don’t pack shoes you haven’t worn yet and don’t bring shoes that you know hurt your feet. Traveling usually comes with lots and lots of walking around, so keep that in mind.

Luckily there are lots of stylish and comfortable shoes these days that are perfect for exploring new cities! My faves? Birks (worn in, of course!), Adidas and Converse!

expert packing tips

2. BRING A RE-FILLABLE WATER BOTTLE

I don’t know how much money I’ve spent buying water bottle after water bottle when walking around a new city. But it’s a lot. Save money (and the environment!) by packing a re-fillable water bottle you can fill up at your accommodation and water-filling stations around town.

3. PACK AN EXTRA SET OF CLOTHES/SHOES IN YOUR CARRY ON

If you’re checking your luggage, don’t forget to pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on. I learned this the hard way when my luggage came two (or three) days late in Istanbul (I can’t remember now, but it felt like ages!!).

It was hot and I wore faux leather leggings on the plane, which was all I could wear until my luggage arrived. Losing your luggage sucks, no matter what, but it’s much better when you at least have a change of clothes suitable for your destination!

4. PLAN AHEAD

Even if you don’t know your EXACT itinerary, have a good idea of the activities you’re going to be doing on your travels. Do you have a hike planned? Make sure you pack running shoes, athletic wear and a back pack. Are you going somewhere that’s hot in the day but cools way down at night and know you’ll be doing nighttime activities? Make sure to pack a warm jacket and sweaters.

On the flip side, if you’re going to a hot destination where it’s pretty much always HOT, don’t pack five sweaters and five pairs of jeans. I did this the first time I went to Hawaii and it was SUCH a waste of space. Pack one sweater and one pair of longer pants in case it’s randomly chilly one evening, but otherwise, pack for the destination.

Planning ahead also saves you from over packing. When you don’t have a plan you end up bringing too much because you think “hmm, what if we do this, or what if we do that?” Knowing what you’ll be doing makes it easier to know the exact pieces you need to pack and the ones you can leave at home.

RELATED POST: What to Wear (and Pack) to Survive a Long Flight

5. BRING A CARRY ON WHEN YOU CAN

Depending how long your trip is, packing only a carry-on can be extremely beneficial. You don’t have to worry about checking (or losing) your bags, which saves lots of time! If you’re going for a few weeks this may not be possible, but if you’re traveling for a week or less, try to fit your things into a carryon!

6. KEEP ACCESSORIES TO A MINIMUM

I know, I know, we all want to look good when we travel, but packing lots of accessories and jewelry isn’t the way to go. Things can easily get lost in transit, and to be honest, you probably won’t wear half the things you bring anyways. Pack your necessities and leave the rest at home.

My must have travel accessories? A watch, sunglasses, a couple necklace and some dainty rings. That’s it!

7. ROLL UP YOUR CLOTHES

I first learned this trick from one of my best friend’s Julia when I was in university! By rolling your clothes, you’re able to fit SO much more into your suitcase or travel bag. Instead of folding your tops and bottoms, next time you’re packing for a trip, roll them. You’ll be amazed how much space you’ll save! This is especially great when you’re just packing a carry-on with limited space!

8. DON’T FORGET SUNSCREEN

No matter where you’re traveling to, or what time of year, don’t forget sunscreen!! Even if it’s the middle of winter, if you’re going to be outside, you need to wear sunscreen. The sun doesn’t go away just because it’s cold outside and we tend to forget that. If you’re traveling to a new place, chances are you aren’t going to be spending time in your hotel room – you’re going to be exploring! So make sure your skin is protected!

Do you know any more awesome packing tips I may have missed? Where are you travelling to this year? Let me know in the comments below!

And if you loved these expert packing tips, make sure to share the love on Pinterest!

Whether you’re packing a carry on or a suitcase, or traveling to Europe or Asia, these are my best packing tips for the savvy traveller!
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9 Comments

  1. Reply

    Nadalie Bardowell

    February 15, 2017

    Great list here Kate. Good call with carrying extra clothing in your carry on, if I can I try to just have a carry on. Which is hard when your curls need so much hair product.

    • Reply

      Kate

      February 15, 2017

      Thanks so much Nadalie! Carry ons can definitely be tough when you need hair and beauty products, but it;s so great if you can make it work! So much less of a hassle 🙂 thanks for stopping by! xo

  2. Reply

    Dawn

    February 15, 2017

    Great thoughts, Katie. I learned the rolling thing recently and got to test it on a month long October trip to South Africa. My husband and I were able to fit ALL our clothes for the entire trip into one suitcase! It really works. 🙂

    One tip I would add is considering matching all your clothes. That way, you can pack less stuff and just mix and match while you’re there. Better for a long trip than a short one, but it definitely saves space. You don’t have to plan for a separate outfit every day.

    • Reply

      Kate

      February 16, 2017

      Thanks so much Dawn! Wow! That’s amazing you were able to fit everything for a month long trip with the rolling technique. And thanks for the extra tip, such good advice 🙂

  3. Reply

    Kami @Faithfullymeblog

    February 16, 2017

    Awesome post Kate. I agree plan ahead and comfortable shoes are a must. Gosh I envy you right now I’m stuck in chilly MN Have fun and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

    • Reply

      Kate

      February 21, 2017

      Thanks Kami! Yes and Yes! Uncomfortable shoes can definitely ruin an entire trip! I am back in the cold now too, so I feel your pain 😛

  4. Reply

    Abhijith

    October 16, 2018

    Great information, thanks for sharing this post with us which is useful for many.

  5. Reply

    Sarah Winton

    April 16, 2019

    These are such useful tips! Thank you!

    • Reply

      Kate

      April 25, 2019

      You’re so welcome!

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