Woman suitcase

How to Avoid Overpacking For Your Next Trip

Overpacking is real! Your room is an absolute mess, your bed is full of t-shirts, jeans, cardigans… You have all sorts of shoes all over the floor and you can’t close your make-up bag. I’ve been there so many times!

I love packing because it makes me feel excited about my next adventure. 

However, it used to be overwhelming at the same time because I wanted to pack too much and I didn’t have enough space (despite packing a couple of things in my boyfriend’s suitcase.)

But you don’t have to worry anymore, here are some easy tips to avoid packing more than you need.

how to stop overpacking

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How to Avoid Overpacking For Your Next Trip

Keep in mind the length of your trip

This may sound very simple to you but it’s easy to pack without thinking about how long you’ll be in a place.

Before you start putting things in your suitcase (“oh yes, I’ll take this just in case”, you end up overpacking again!), think of how many days your trip is going to last. 

For example, when I was going to travel to New York, I just wanted to take so many clothes with me that it was insane! I absolutely didn’t need 20 outfits for 5 days.

For long trips, you’ll definitely need more clothes, but remember you can reuse certain clothes like jeans!

Also, consider the weather and season of your destination. There are places like London where you need to be prepared for rainy weather, and there’s no point packing a short summer dress in early autumn.

Pick the right suitcase and handbag

Choosing the right travel luggage will make a big difference when you start packing. It can help you stop overpacking too!

Soft suitcases are better than hard ones because they’re easy to squeeze into the plane compartments, plus they aren’t as heavy as hard ones.

However, hard suitcases can be better on those occasions where you’re packing heavy things since they’re more resistant. Also, they can be better for longer adventures.

So there isn’t a right or wrong option, just choose the one you’re comfortable with!

Here are some of my favorites:

  • I use this one as my carry-on and go-to for most city breaks because it’s a cabin suitcase.
  • And this one for trips that are longer than 2 weeks.

TIP: Keep in mind your luggage size, space and weight in case you’re travelling by plane. Every airline has its own rules, so I’d recommend checking them before packing anything. You won’t want to pay extra baggage fees!

Most airlines allow you to carry a handbag with you. Empty your handbag and take only what you really need. For example, here’s what I take:

  • Water and snacks (you don’t want to pay for an expensive non-quality meal or snacks during your flight.)

This travel water bottle is amazing: simple, eco-friendly and collapsible ☺️

  • Small toiletries and make-up bag.
  • Purse and passport. 
  • My camera or any other electronics. 

I used to pack books or magazines but they occupy a lot of room! it’s better if you download an audiobook or ebook to read.

Alternatively, mini backpacks are my go-to. They are comfy and you can carry more stuff.

Have a look at your accommodation 

There are things that you don’t need to pack depending on where you’re staying.

One of the things, which I do when I book my trip, is to have a look at the accommodation facilities and amenities (if you can find them somewhere.)

Hotels often provide basic amenities (shower gel, shampoo + conditioner, etc.) so you don’t have to worry about bringing those with you.

If you’re picky (like me) and like taking the shampoo you love, buy it travel size or pour some in a travel size bottle.

13 Tips For First Time Solo Travelers Paphos room hotel

Make a packing list 

It’s time to make a packing list so you don’t forget anything!

You may not like making lists, but it’s the best way to remember what you need to take with you, and avoid those circumstances where you arrive at your destination and end up buying things you already have at home.

If you don’t like writing in a notebook or organiser, make a list on your phone! That way you make sure you take it with you.

In my packing list, I like to add different categories like: 

  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Toiletries & make-up
  • Electronics
  • Documents & money 
  • Extra

TIP: If you’re planning to go somewhere exotic or adventurous, make sure you pack a first-aid kit! You never know when you may need it.

Also, don’t forget the sun cream! I used to think you only need to use it in the summer, BUT I recently found out that you should wear sun cream every day regardless of the weather. 

It’s the only way to protect your skin and prevent ageing signs and skin imperfections. This one is my favourite because it’s oil-free and it leaves your face hydrated and smooth.

Plan your outfits

This is one of the most important points to avoid overpacking! 

You know how difficult is to choose an outfit (from shoes to accessories.) Not only will it save you time during your trip, but will it stop you from packing clothes you won’t even wear.

Think about the weather (I always check the weather forecast if I’m going somewhere, whether it’s for a weekend or a week) so you can plan on that basis. 

For example, if I go to Southern Spain in July, I know that I only need summer clothes (not even a light cardigan because it’s too hot!)

Also, pack things you can mix and match, like jeans and some neutral colours like black, white or beige.

Shoes? Maximum 3 pairs of shoes (including the ones you wear the same day you leave). You should take trainers with you ALL THE TIME! Especially if you’re planning to walk around a city. 

These trainers are one of the best I’ve ever worn: comfy and fashionable. 

You can also take some boots or a pair of flip flops, depending on the season.  I don’t usually pack a pair of heels unless I’ve planned to go somewhere very posh and special, or to a party. But if you love heels, go for it!

Tips to Plan Your Study Year Abroad

Make the most of your suitcase space

You want to make the most of your suitcase space but pack light too. When packing, it’s essential to know how to lay out your clothes.

In this case, I suggest two different ways to pack and lay out your clothes:

  1. Roll and roll! One of the most efficient ways to pack is rolling your clothes. This way you can pack even more things!
  2. Cubes. You can buy some packing cubes to have everything perfectly organised and to make the most of your suitcase space. They’re even more useful for larger bags.

SAVING SPACE TIP: when packing your shoes, make sure they’re clean inside, and use the space to put socks or other small things.

Exchange things with your partner or friend

This is a bit cheeky, but that’s what friends or partners are for!

Ask them to carry something for you if you really don’t have more space. They may have some space for you.

You can exchange clothes/shoes, etc. to balance the weight or to make more space. 

Also, you can share toiletries with the other person you’re travelling with. I normally travel with my partner so we always share shower gel, shampoo and moisturiser. 

Your packing experience will be different depending on the length of your holiday but instead of stressing about it, have fun in the process or do it with someone else if that helps! 

I remember being stressed in the shopping centre because I wanted to find the right outfit for a beauty festival in London. I finally found a nice shirt that matched my skirt and heels! 

I packed only a few things since I was going to London for the weekend. The thing is that I arrived in London and the weather was terrible: it was pouring and windy! 

The umbrella nearly broke and I had to go all the way from Buckingham Palace to the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea. Unsurprisingly, I arrived looking a mess and my feet were bleeding from the heels.

My boyfriend had to buy me some cheap trainers in Primark and bring them to me after the event. Since then, I always make sure to pack an extra pair of comfy shoes!


Did you find these tips to stop overpacking helpful? Let me know in the comments below.

Love,

Cristina xx

P.S. Liked it? Save it for later! Also, if you want some ideas on what to do on a flight, check this post.

how to stop overpacking
how to avoid overpacking

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