We're pretty spontaneous when it comes to travel planning. Most of our "big" international trips are planned at least a month or two in advance, but when it comes to domestic travel and weekend trips, sometimes we book those the week of! For many travelers, packing last minute is cause for panic, stress, and an extra strong cocktail. Here's some of our tips for efficiently packing on a time crunch - with a cocktail in hand. ;)
1. WRITE A QUICK LIST
This point is probably pretty elementary, but making a list really does help us. Whether we're heading to the Bahamas or backpacking Africa, it's helpful to write down what you need. We start our list at least a week before we leave, giving us plenty of time to mull over it, buy what we need to, and make any last minute additions. If it's truly "last minute", then we start making a list as soon as we know we're going. We recommend sticking your list somewhere you'll see it regularly, like the fridge or the bathroom mirror. That way what you need to get/do beforehand will stay on your radar!
2. KNOW YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS
Camping? Cruising? Staying in the penthouse suite? Research where you'll be, what kind of accommodations they have, and what you'll need to bring. If it's somewhere international, chances are you'll need at least one converter. (We recommend bringing at least two - but we have a lot of equipment). If you're staying in a nice hotel, you probably won't need to pack a hair dryer. And if you're roughing it in the Sahara, you might want to pack extra face wipes... You get the picture. ;) We always ask our friends that have been to the destinations before us for packing advice, or even reach out to someone that's a local! You can never be too prepared!
3. LESS IS MORE
Let's be real... Bobby is definitely better at sticking to this motto than Alli, but it's something we both stand behind. Do your BEST not to overpack. Chances are, no matter what location you're adventuring to, you'll be able to buy what you need there. We've never been in a bind where we wished we would have brought something that we couldn't purchase later in that destination (knock on wood). Do yourself a favor and get a medium sized suitcase, not the biggest one you can find. If it's not huge, you can't overpack it (well you're at least less likely). Our current favorites are Delsey's Bastille Lite and Shadow 3.0.
4. USE A LUGGAGE SCALE
If you've never had one, you probably don't think you need one. We got one as a gift a couple years back and have used it on every trip since. Definitely gives you peace of mind as your packing. Something simple like this. It doesn't have to be digital and pricey.
5. ALWAYS BRING A DECK OF CARDS
There will be times when a flight gets canceled, the power goes out at Hertz and you're stuck without a car (this happened to us in South Africa), or you're waiting in line for a museum to open. You always need a deck of cards.
6. DO YOUR REALLY NEED 4 BATHING SUITS?
This is a HUGE struggle when packing, but we never regret it (so far). Lay out everything you want to take, and then try to start picking items to leave at home. For Bobby this mostly includes shirts. For Alli it's outfits. And shoes. And bathing suits. You are taking 7 t-shirts? How hard would it really be to take 4? Try to halve what your bringing and you'll never overpack.
7. DON'T CHECK IMPORTANT ITEMS
This may be obvious, but you should carry-on your passport, cash, credit cards, identification, jewelry, electronics, etc. Keep this stuff in your carry-on. It's not worth the hassle if/when an airline loses your luggage.
8. BULK UP ON THE PLANE
If you have time to kill, scroll through our blog our Instagram and find any and all photos where we are at the airport. We'd bet you money that Bobby is wearing boots, jeans, and probably even a jacket. That's because we always where are bulky items to the airport so we don't have to pack them. We've literally been flying home from Italy in 100 degree heat wearing layers upon layers so we can get one extra bottle of wine home. Wear your bulky items through security so you don't have to check them, and then peel off some layers once on the plane. Worth it!
Do you have any tips for us? We would love to hear!