Top Travel and Packing Tips for Men
It's not the rule of thumb, but most men tend to wait until the last minute to start packing for a trip and usually end up in a state of panic while other family members watch them in horror, or go about packing in a disorganised way so they forget something essential. Or even both.
It’s high time to turn things around and start packing smartly. This takes some clever thinking and preparation in advance that will certainly save you a lot of hassle and frustration. The following tips might seem very common but they’re actually common sense and will help you travel and pack like a pro.
Choose your bag
It's not the rule of thumb, but most men tend to wait until the last minute to start packing for a trip and usually end up in a state
The first step in the packing process is assessing your baggage situation. You’ll need to bear a few factors in mind when picking your bag – the style (do you need a luxury case or you’re backpacking?), the size (will you be able to carry it around when you’re sightseeing?) and the destination (it’s not the same if you’re travelling to New York or India).
If you are going to be roughing it, visiting rural regions and staying in hostels, then a practical backpack is the best choice as it’ll be easy to manage when you’re hopping on local buses and trains, hiking through cobbled streets and going up and down multiple staircases.
On the other hand, if you'll be staying in more upscale places, and travelling to urban areas or even for business purposes, a hard-sided suitcase with wheels is a much more suitable choice. And if you're somewhere in between, a travel bag that easily converts from a suitcase to a backpack offers benefits of both worlds.
Do your laundry in time
The easiest way to force yourself to start preparations in time is to do the laundry in advance. Wash your designated travel wardrobe at least three days before the trip and pack them directly from the basket. You don’t want to find yourself a day before you leave in a situation where you don’t have clean underwear or shirts for your business meetings. This will also give you enough time to have some items dry-cleaned if necessary.
Prepare the essentials
Preparing and laying out your essentials is very useful, particularly if you have an early flight. On the evening before, lay out your documents, wallet, key, essential clothing and other important items. Make sure your travel documents are on the top so they don't get misplaced and you don't have to dig through a pile of stuff to get to them.
It's a good idea to travel light but this doesn't mean you should lack anything. Things happen on travel such as rain, stains and tears, so pack a few extras – socks, underwear, and T-shirts. All kinds of unexpected mishaps occur and you don't want to be caught off guard. On the other hand, you don't want to overpack either. For a business trip, one well-tailored suit is sufficient combined with a few nice shirts. For more casual trips, a comfy terry cloth polo shirt, one pair of jeans and shorts will do. Whatever you pick, bear in mind that they should be comfortable, durable and versatile.
Check the weather forecast
Leave the actual packing for the day before you leave so that you can check the weather forecast for your destination. This will dictate your attire to some extent as weather can be quite unpredictable, particularly in certain regions. One clever hack is to use your easily accessible pockets on your carry-on to pack things such as a light winter jacket, hat or gloves.
In addition to those bare essentials you need, it’s advisable to pack a few other practical items. This would include a comfortable sweater for sightseeing that can also be quite suitable for a dinner date as well, a pair of shoes that can work for a business meeting but are also great with jeans and a T-shirt when you go to a bar.
Save space in your bag
One simple travel packing rule is roll, don't fold. This is so because folding creases your clothes and rolling doesn't. So, roll up your ties like a spool of tape instead of just balling them up and chucking them into your luggage. As for the shoes, roll up your socks and stuff them inside the shoes. This will save space and protect the shape of your shoes so they don’t get crushed and bent in transit.
Finer items such as dress shirts, knit sweaters, dress pants and blazers should be packed last and placed on the top folded so they take the entire width of your bag. This will minimize the creasing and they'll be the first thing you unpack when you arrive giving it the chance to hang and straighten out.
Don’t forget the toiletries
Toiletries should be packed properly so you don’t end up with a messy bag and stained clothes because the toothpaste got loose or the shampoo pilled. Get a simple, inexpensive toiletry bag or a dopp kit and pack all your things in it. Buy what you typically like to use – a deodorant, toothpaste, and crèmes - it’s a minimal expense that will save you the fuss of having to open your perfectly packed bag on the morning when you need to leave because you need the only deodorant you have that you had already packed.
Pack an extra charger
It’s quite likely you have close to 15 chargers all over your house shoved in various corners and drawers. Pack at least two, one in the baggage and one in your carry-on. Phone chargers are most commonly left behind, and you certainly won’t be thrilled to have to go shopping for new chargers on your vacation. With several chargers for multiple devices, you’ll also need to be careful with the cords. It’s best to tie them together with a drawstring and pack them in their own dopp kit. Proper organization means you’re less likely to get frustrated because you’ve lost something.
Hopefully, the tips listed here can help you get prepared for your trip smoother, but you also need to avoid living from your suitcase. Now that you've made sure you have packed everything you need, put in some extra effort and unpack as soon as you arrive. Hang your clothes, fold the rest in the drawers and put the shoes in the closet. This will keep you organised throughout your vacation so you’ll be free to focus on having fun!