I know how it goes. You’re going on a trip and you’re stressing about what to pack only to procrastinate doing it at all. In the end, you end up forgetting those things that you needed most. Are you making these 5 packing mistakes? Here’s how to prevent making them.
1. You don’t check the weather
While there are some people that always check the weather before travelling, there are many out there who don’t. No need to deny, you know you’ve done it at least once. The way to prevent this is very easy: just check the weather before you leave! Only bringing shorts on your way to Siberia would be horrible, right? Many forget it goes the other way round as well; you probably won’t like wearing sweaters when it’s hot outside.
My tip: to get a sense of what kind of weather conditions await you at your destination, set a forecast alert on your iPhone and monitor the weather patterns in the days preceding your departure!
2. You pack too many clothes
This is one of the packing mistakes that I’ve personally made over and over again. The most notable instance was on my trip to Portugal and Spain this May. At first, it seemed like it was going the right way; my plan was to bring hand luggage only. However, I changed my plans last minute and I ended up bringing both checked luggage and hand luggage. Of course, I only wore half of all the clothes I’d brought. Having to drag my heavy luggage everywhere was the worst!
My tip: for every piece of clothing, ask yourself whether you’ll wear it or not. Be honest with yourself and it’ll save you from having to drag heavy luggage.
3. You don’t weigh your luggage
This one gets more and more relevant wth time. Airlines are becoming less flexible with allowed luggage every single day. Not only does this mistake result in you experiencing a lot of stress at the airport, but it can also end you end up in paying a lot of money and I mean A LOT. If your luggage is too heavy, you can expect to pay anything from 10 to 15 euros per kilogram. Of all packing mistakes, this one will definitely cost you the most.
My tip: get yourself a luggage scale. They are generally very cheap and they can save you a lot of stress and money. I personally recommend using this Dr.meter scale. It’s portable, it’s cheap and it’s accurate. Click on the image below to get yours!
4. You don’t factor in souvenirs
Nobody goes on a trip without bringing back some kind of souvenirs for themselves or for family and friends. You might get your neighbour some limoncello from Italy or you mother some Belgian chocolate. What many travellers forget, however, is that you have to be able to bring these souvenirs home. I’ve seen many cases in which one’s suitcase didn’t zip up on their way home.
My tip: to be safe, make sure to leave some space empty when packing your bags. It’s hard but it will save you a lot of frustration. Now, if you’re not able to hold yourself back when shopping, you won’t have to worry that you can’t take it home.
5. You don’t consider local culture
Yes, this a very important thing. Sure, dressing athletic may be a hip thing to do, but in Asian countries such as Japan or South Korea, it’s not only perceived as sloppy, it’s also offensive. Wearing flip flops in Buddhist and Arabian countries should also be avoided, just like wearing revealing clothing in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
My tip: you obviously wouldn’t want to cause offence, so do your research on a country’s dress code. Buying an oversized scarf or shawl is a smart thing to do if you’re going to visit culturally conservative countries.
I hope this article will prevent you from making these packing mistakes again! Oh and now that you’re here, check out my article on travel photography as well.