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How to Pack Luggage Like a Pro

How to Pack Luggage Like a Pro

If you have any plans to travel over the next few months, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll be packing a suitcase or other travel case to take with you, unless you’re going to a naturist retreat or somesuch. Should your holiday plans include actually being clothed, then you can follow some of these steps to ensure that you pack everything you need.

Before you actually put anything into your suitcase, check what the weather’s going to be like at your destination of choice for the time of year that you’re heading over there, as this will give you a general idea about the clothes you should be packing. If you’re going to a tropical destination, naturally you’ll want to be prepared to dress for hot, sunny days and balmy nights, but you might also want to pack some warmer clothes for unexpected cooler, overcast days, or even rainy ones. Remember that wearing layers is optimal for any climate, as you can add more if you get cold, or take a layer or two off if you’re overheated.

Make a List

Try to plan ahead and sort out what you’ll be wearing for each day that you’re gone, and remember that the clothes you travel in count as one of the outfits. Choosing pieces that can mix and match is a smart idea, and be sure to add an extra pair or two of underwear/socks just in case.

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Once you’ve sorted out exactly what you’re going to wear, write it all down on a sheet of paper (or type it up and print it out). As you pack each item, cross it off your list—this ensures that you won’t arrive at your hotel to discover that you’d forgotten to pack something vital.

*As a side note: always, always have an extra set of clothes in your carry-on luggage. Always. You never know when/if your luggage will be misplaced, and you don’t want to be stuck in your traveling clothes until the rest of it shows up. Keep your personal medication (along with a prescription letter from your doctor, if need be) in your carry-on as well, along with your toothbrush, passport/wallet, etc.

Bottoms First

Shoes and heavy/bulky items such as hairdryers and extra handbags should be placed at the bottom of your luggage. If it’s a piece you’ll be carrying, the heaviest bits should be right next to the hinge that attaches the lid, while if it’s a luggage piece on wheels, the bulky bits should be right at the bottom, above the wheels.

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Your shoes, boots, and packed purses are ideal spots to carry smaller items within: tuck jewellery, socks, gloves, belts, extra glasses, etc. into these to maximize space. Once the heavy bits have been places where you like them, use the spaced in between them for small items like socks, underwear, rolled-up bathing suits, etc.

Fold ‘Em Up

Contrary to what some might believe, rolling your clothes to fit into your luggage is not a good idea. Items that are folded lay nice and flat, as opposed to all those rolled clothes wasting space. The first layer atop your shoes and such should be those of the thickest fabrics: jeans, khakis, woolen skirts, jackets, and sweaters. As you pack these, leave a small gap right in the center of the suitcase—this is where you’re going to nest your toiletry bag (mentioned next). If there are any spaces left around the edges, use those gaps for items like your hairbrush, an extra book, etc.

Personal Care Products

Fragile items and personal care products should be placed in a padded fabric case, and kept in the center of your luggage so they’re buffered by all of your clothes. Small bottles of perfume or cologne should be kept in zip-able freezer bags just in case they leak: you don’t want to reek of your favourite scent the whole time you’re traveling. In fact, it’s smart to pack any creams inside those bags as well to be on the safe side. Remember that if you’re flying, any liquids or gels have to be packed into travel-sized containers and stored within a clear plastic bag in your checked luggage.

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personal care product

    The Upper Layer 

    The very top layer of your luggage should be comprised of lightweight, delicate fabrics that are prone to wrinkling, such as thin cotton, linen, satin, and silk. If you want to be super careful, items like silk shirts/blouses, etc. can even be wrapped in tissue paper to protect them from any damage, and then placed between more sturdy items of clothing for extra protection. This is a smart thing to do if you’re a bridesmaid heading to a location wedding and you have a delicate dress to wear, for example. This is also the place where you’d pack a suit, unless your luggage has a special front piece that unzips into a garment bag—if it does, use that instead.

    Be sure to take a copy of the list you made with you so that you can cross things off again on your return trip: you don’t want to leave anything behind in your hotel room. When traveling, it’s best to leave your most valuable jewellery, watches, etc. at home, but if you do plan to take such items with you, either wear them, keep them in a travel belt on your own body, or store them in your hotel room safe.

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    Happy travels!

     

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    Catherine Winter

    Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

    1. Understand Yourself Better

    Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

    Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

    2. Keep Track of Small Changes

    I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

    Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

    3. Become Aware of What Matters

    As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

    You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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    4. Boost Creativity

    The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

    When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

    You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

    5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

    A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

    Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

    6. Process Life Experiences

    When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

    Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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    7. Stress Relief

    In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

    Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

    8. Provide Direction

    Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

    One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

    9. Solve Problems

    Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

    Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

    When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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    10. Find Relief From Fighting

    Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

    Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

    11. Find Meaning in Life

    Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

    12. Allow Yourself to Focus

    Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

    13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

    When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

    14. Let the Past Go

    I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

    15. Allow Freedom

    Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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    16. Enhance Your Career

    Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

    Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

    17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

    All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

    18. Catalog Your Life for Others

    No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

    We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

    Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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