While most people know a couple of handy tips on how to save on travel, truly savvy travelers know that smart packing can save you big bucks too. So we put together eight easy tips to help you pack for your next vacation without breaking the bank.
1. Organize. Set aside some time to organize, plan, and strategize. Take a piece of paper, or in this digitally savvy age, create an excel spreadsheet. Write down each day of your trip across the top, making sure to include your day of departure and day of return. Under each day, write down every type of activity you’ll be participating in on that day.
Next to each activity, write down all the clothing and accessories you will need (and we mean everything, including undies and socks). Do this for each day of your trip. Look through your list and cross off anything that can be worn more than once. For example, you can wear the same flip flops to the beach and site seeing the next day. The result should be the list of items you need for the trip. Here’s my own trusty travel wardrobe list.
Pack items you can wear at least two times. Remember: packing lightly is the key to saving time, money, and grief from travel hassles.
2. Don’t forget the little things! Even the smallest item can cost you big bucks if you forget it, and trust us, you don’t want to spend $5 on a tiny tube of toothpaste at the hotel gift shop. So spend some time thinking of what you use every day, especially the obvious items like toothbrush, lotion, etc.
3. Check your airline requirements first. Most airlines want your liquids or gels in a 3 oz. container or less, and all liquids or gels together should fit in a quart sized Ziplock bag. Even if your container is half full, we still recommend transferring your product to an empty bottle so that you don’t have to hand it over to airline employees. Seriously, there’s nothing sadder than giving up half full bottle of Chanel perfume to the TSA.
For your convenience, there are also purposely-created airline-approved beauty products designed for jetsetter fashionistas.
4. Stop. Drop. Roll. We know the feeling. You’re jetting off to Tahiti, and you want to pack all the cute sun dresses in your closet. Yet now is the time to pick and choose because packing just one bag is the most budget friendly way to travel. It limits the amount of fees you have to pay to the airline and in your hotel. Who needs to tip a bellhop if you can roll just one bag on your own? That being said, choose items that can be rolled tightly to take up less space in your bag. Also, select items you can wear again and again. In other words, think khaki shorts as opposed to zebra print pants.
5. Weigh in! Check the stats on your airline’s website for baggage weight limits. Break out the tape measure and/or place your bag on the scale to make sure it’s not overweight. Yes, it’s annoying, and we know you’d rather spend the time dreaming about working on your tan in Hawaii, but taking the time to complete these tasks ahead of time can save you from those pesky airline fees.
6. Bring Washing Powder. A small bag of washing powder for your clothes can be a godsend when traveling, as it allows you to pack less clothes. You can also use body soap and/or shampoo to wash your clothes as well. If you’re going somewhere extremely hot, you’ll thank us for this tip.
7. Keep it Neat! We’ve all had various items break in our bags. Yea, it sucks, but try controlling the sucky factor. Take anything that’s a liquid (lotion, foundation, lip gloss, etc.) and place it in its own zip bag. That way, if it breaks in your bag, it won’t leak and ruin your clothes.
8. Zip it up! Some airports may ban carry-on bags, leaving you juggling your phone, long wallets and other bulky stuff. (Or worse, sporting clothes with large, ugly pockets to hold them in). You may want to opt for a small zip travel bag from stores (like those that I buy in Lands End and Target) instead.
9. Be both comfy and cute. When traveling, try to pack fabrics that stretch, such as cotton knits or blends (nylon/lycra/spandex). You don’t necessary have to wear sweats or tank tops and shorts to be comfortable on a flight. Just throw on a plain white t-shirt, jeans, and a cool cardigan to have a chic, relaxed look that you can reuse while you’re out on the town.
10. Take the little black dress. A great black dress will always take you far. Depending on how you style it, this all-around dress can easily be transitioned from day to night, making you the ultimate fashionista.
With these tips at hand, you’ll find more reasons to enjoy your time away from it all. Bon voyage!
This guest post is brought to you by fashion expert and founder of The Budget Fashionista, Kathryn Finney. Kathryn Finney is also CEO of TBF Group, LLC, parent company of Simply Good Media, an information network with the sole mission to teach you how to live your best on less. A Minneapolis native, Kathryn lives in New York City with her husband and 35 shoes. For more budget fashion tips, please check out The Budget Fashionista.