I am packing bags again, to go on a short trip to my home country.
Packing is not tough for me, I make lists. I usually don't forget anything important. I have 2 big suitcases in which I can dump 20Kgs. Previously, I did just that. I used to dump everything into those 20KG bags. I stuffed the suitcase with everyone's clothing, gifts, food items, toiletries and literally everything that is in my list.
This kind of packing was so messy. I could hardly find anything in that big suitcase. I had to search endlessly for every simple thing. There was another problem - repacking. When I go back to my home country I travel to other cities and have to re-pack a lot of times. I would unload a lot of things from my big suitcase(like gifts, food items etc) and I ended up repacking every time. I would not have the right luggage size or the time and patience needed to re-pack. Also my husband and I usually split up to travel to different places and this needed repacking again! I need order with my things, even if it is in the form of organized mess. So I ended up by being stressed about packing and re-packing. It was about time I felt that this process needed some thought and organization.
This is how I am tackling it this time. As usual, I have made a list of all the things that I would need. I made the list as exhaustive as possible. And then I eliminated as below:
Carry only those items that you really need:
This sounds like common sense. But previously, I carried too many things 'just in case I needed'. I ended up bringing back most of those things untouched. Accessories were one such thing. This time, I am carrying only those accessories I would use for the dresses I have packed. Good-to-have, just-in-case items were ticked out of the list. I also tend to wear traditional wear back home. Western wear could be cut down to bare minimum. So I chopped off a significant portion of my wardrobe from the packing list.
Instead of carrying bulky toiletries, I bought travel sized empty bottles for my toiletries and filled those up with the things that I need. This reduced my baggage size and space significantly.
Buy things at destination:
If there are things that might be needed, see if it can be purchased at destination. If so, tick it out of the list. Items like my daughter's snacks, specific food items, toys, just-in-case diapers, our extra footwear were all ticked out of the list.
Layer and wear bulky items while flying:
Airport and airplane cabin temperature is pretty cold. I have decided to wear bulky items like Jeans, Jackets, scarfs, caps and shoes. I also carry books by hand which forms a significant portion in my luggage.
Organize the luggage:
Since there is lot of repacking required, I decided to break up my luggage into multiple small bags. All the toiletries and makeup in one bag, all our clothing separately in individual bags per person. I will stack these small bags into the big suitcase along with items that will have to be unloaded at destination(gifts, food items). This way, I will not have to repack our individual bags. We can even pick our own bags and split up and travel around without the need for repacking. Bonus, I know exactly what bag to look into for my item.
All these sounds so simple that it makes me think why didn't I do these before. Oh well, experience teaches you a lot! Hopefully, next time I wont be paying hefty price for luggage space in airfare.