If you’re excited to jet off on a vacation somewhere far away soon, you’re probably concentrating on what you’ll do when you arrive, what you’ll see, and how good it will feel to explore somewhere different and take some time off from work.

However, before you make your way to your destination, it’s essential to pack carefully, so you make the most of your luggage. Consider the following common packing mistakes that many travelers make that you want to avoid as you tick this task off your to-do list.


Mistake: Choosing Too Big a Suitcase

While it’s natural to pick a suitcase that’s large so you can easily fit in your gear and have room left over to buy clothes or souvenirs, etc., be wary of going too big. Remember that you’ll have to lug a suitcase around while you travel, which can be annoying and cause dramas.

Plus, you may only be allowed to take a suitcase that’s a specific size and weight onboard planes and other transport, meaning a large bag may be declined or leave you having to pay for excess luggage due to the weight you accumulate. Pick the next size down from your initial choice of a suitcase, and you’re sure to be able to make that size work with a bit of planning and culling. The smaller the bag you take with you, the easier you should find your trip.

Mistake: Failing to Pack Versatile Clothing

Another common mistake many travelers make when packing is not thinking and planning which clothing items will go with others. You want to select gear that will match with multiple other pieces so that you can get numerous outfits out of just a few things. For instance, a couple of fun graphic tees can be paired with shorts or a skirt for a day out sightseeing, jeans for a casual night out or barbecue occasion, or with leggings for comfort in transit.

You also want to choose clothes that are versatile to work for numerous occasions, in that they can be dressed up with accessories, heels, a nice bag, and the like or dressed down for more casual times as needed. Think about versatility when it comes to the weather and temperature, too.

Mistake: Rushing the Packing Process

We’re all busy and in the lead up to a vacation, often doubly so, as we try to get more work and other jobs done than normal before we head away. However, regardless of how much you have on your plate, try to start determining what to pack well before you’re due to leave. A common mistake people make is rushing the packing process and forgetting items or packing things they just didn’t need.

The more time you can allow yourself to create a checklist, choose gear, pack it in your bag, and then go through everything again to find things that you can leave out on second thoughts, the better. Give yourself the time you need to be smart, detail-oriented, and thoughtful in your packing, so you don’t waste space in your bag or get caught without crucial items when away.

Mistake: Not Learning About Local Culture and Customs at Destinations

Before you head off to a new place, especially one known for having a culture and customs very different from your own, stop and think about how the differences might translate when it comes to clothing. That is, will you need to have your shoulders, arms, neck, legs, or other parts covered to enter buildings or avoid causing scenes or even being arrested?

Do you need to pack a shawl or other covering for some destinations and not others, or ensure you have some long trousers or a long skirt just in case, etc.? It’s better and easier to plan for these needs upfront when packing than to face issues once you’ve arrived at your destination.

Mistake: Taking Brand New Shoes Away with You

Most of us enjoy buying new shoes, and going on a vacation can be a great excuse to add to our stockpile. However, it’s not wise to take shoes away with you that you’ve never worn before. The last thing you want is your trip ruined by painful blisters or squished toes, etc., from shoes that aren’t as comfortable as you’d hope. As such, always take at least a few days, or longer where possible, to wear in footwear before you pack it.

The better you can avoid these mistakes and other ones related to packing for a trip away, the smoother things will go for you, and the more you can concentrate on having a blast while you’re exploring a different destination.

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