Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tip: Budget Friendly Packing Process

Hallo, Alles!

So, it may seem weird to you, but before I head off on a trip, if even just for a few days, I start packing well ahead of time! Like, WEEKS! Mentally I prepare what to pack long before I physically move anything. I love packing. I mean it! I. LOVE. PACKING!
I love this bag. I got it for free on Amazon as a product tester!

I look up packing tips all the time to see if any new Pinterest style ideas come up. Not really. It's just packing, after all. There are only so many ways to fold, roll or shove clothes into a bag.

For my upcoming trip to Europe I did it all on the cheap- discount flights, no extra baggage to incur any extra fees, no carry-on. It's just me and my backpack, almost already perfectly ready to go. So I have to be sure to pack well enough so that I don't feel like I'm missing anything when I get there, and need to remind myself that some things, if I need them, can be purchased there like extra socks or ear plugs.

I'm only going to Europe for a few days- 7 in total but the whole first day will be various states of traveling, and it's all budget friendly stuff or staying with friends- which is even better! (If only I could real quick make some trusting Dubliner friends for next time! Hit me up, Dubliners!)

A lot of the time when I said I was doing everything budget friendly to others I had to explain that it means more than just airfare. To some it just means tickets; to me it means tickets, bags, rooms, food, excursions, everything! So, in an effort to try to inspire small weekenders or budget friendly trips this summer I am putting to list my ideas to help rationalize your trip planning to save a few bucks!

1. Plan your packing! I used to be a chronic over packer- like what if we go to to a fancy dinner? What if the Queen comes to town? What if I meet the Pope? None of that happens. I rarely go out to a fancy dinner at my own home- why would I be nervous about packing for it in a new place? I would also over pack so far ahead of time that I wouldn't have clothes to wear to work and I would have to UNpack things just to get through the week(s) leading up to vacation!  Rationalize ahead of time what you can live with and without so then when you set out to pack it's easy and efficient.

2. Find a sturdy bag or suitcase. It sounds silly, like, no duh, BUT accidents happen. Rips happen. Overweight bags happen! You do NOT want to get caught up at the airport with a heavy bag and have to pay to check it because the price triples! Same goes for personal items- make sure it fits the qualifications set the the airport before packing so that there are no surprises. Qualifiers are on all of your airline website's FAQ. Spending an extra $100 of your hard saved cash before you even leave for vacation is a big bummer. And you HAVE to do it; otherwise you can throw it away or not go on your trip. Your choice. Plan ahead.

3. Pick your schedule. Do you know that you want to visit a specific place or two, or more? Check out my post about City Pass for an idea. For this trip I knew I wanted to revisit Guinness Storehouse and hit up a few places I didn't have time to see last time I was in Dublin, so I bought a 2-day City Pass Dublin card again, which though not to terribly cheap, at about $45 a day it's still better priced than if I were to pay out of pocket for each destination, plus free bus tickets and discounts. I'm digressing. Plan your trip out, if even loosely. If you know, like me, that you want to visit a place, check into it. Make sure it's open, that it's affordable, kid friendly, what have you. You owe it to yourself to do a few minutes of research so that day of you're not wandering around aimlessly because you planned to spend all day at a location that is not even open during your trip. Prepare a backup plan, as well, in case of closures, weather, tantrums- you get it.

4. Finally Packing! It's funny, when packing I always plan and plan and somehow think it will still take all day, so I set hours aside to do it- nope. It takes about ten minutes. Kind of a let down, that. I typically start with the most important stuff, if even to just toss it in the bag before I fully pack so that I don't forget it- like my passport, money, phone chargers (I need THREE different plugs this time! Three!) I also plan ahead for my toiletry bag- grab my SteriPod cover for my toothbrush (a Target find), band aids, some makeup, washcloth, baby wipes, aspirin- things I know I would use but won't want to buy while there because chances are I will need or want them before I remember to buy.
It's all there- jeans, 3 tees, 3 tanks, undies, socks, Polaroid camera, passport, money, toiletries, electronics and not pictured are treats for my Dutch Sister from another Mister

Note: Cutting out over packing is when you really get to know yourself, if you don't already. I'm going away for 7 days but I know myself well enough to know that even if I packed a pair of pants for every day, or a special outfit for every day, that I would just wear the same two pairs of pants- so I'm only packing one pair of pants (and wearing the other). I don't need 4 pairs of shoes or dresses for every whim (like I have at home). I have a few shirts and tanks, always extra socks and undies, PJ pants and that's about it. I'm much more into not paying for a carry-on suitcase than I'm into being a fashionista on this trip. Bare minimum. Less is less- less to pay for, less to carry, less weight on your back, less to clean up after, less chance of leaving something behind forever.

5. Double Checking Everything. Check in to your flights when applicable. Make sure your ride to the airport is still on board. Grab your book/gum/candy/snacks. Portable phone charger. Make sure that you either have access to your email for flight reservations or, like me, a folder in your phone's  photo album of screencaps of ALL of your trip information in case you need to present it at a moment's notice. After countless viewings of Friends, I refuse to be Rachel Green here, forgetting my passport and telling the lady at the ticket counter that it's on my nightstand at home then having to race home to get it. It's the first thing I pack and I keep it in an accessible (by me) pocket for easy grabbing until I pass security.


6. MOST IMPORTANTLY! Kiss the cats goodbye for an absurdly extended period of time to make up for time away. They love it.
Not pictured: Dave

So, that's that. Just a few tips on helping avoid over packing and baggage fees. Plus, this way there's no waiting around at the luggage carousal for sometimes two hours (it happened to me) waiting for your luggage to drop! I don't know about you, but until I actually see my bag rolling past I am in a state of panic that it's lost. No matter what. And, for some reason, it's always one of the LAST to fall! .
Honestly, it's a liiiiiittle jam packed and could do with some repositioning.

Do you have any other tips? Let me know- I'm always down for learning something new!

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25 comments:

  1. First of, love the grey bag and pouch. I love the tips and process you shared.... Thanks

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  2. Love the bag! I recently went to San Francisco and only took carry on luggage. Easily doable if you plan your outfits ahead of time. We always take way more than we think we'll need!

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  3. The packing process is always hard for me, I always tend to pack too much :( Your kitties are so adorable!

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  4. I used to be a chronic over packer too!! And I’ve just recently transitioned to just having a carry on and it makes life so much easier. I’m totally impressed with your ability to pack just a backpack!! These are awesome tips and I’m going to have to try it out sometime soon!

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  5. Great tips! I'm so bad about overpacking, but I've gotten so much better about it. I've never packed in just a backpack before though!

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  6. I do the same, I start thinking about what I need weeks before, even on a short trip. I also like to make a list so I don't forget anything. I didn't make a list for my trip yesterday and almost forgot my makeup!

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  7. I really don't undertand people which don't like packing, beacause as you, I love it! Unpacking as well lol
    And of course double checking is important, it is the best to have a list of things written before, it makes packing easier.

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  8. I do not want to wear many things on my shoulder every trip. Therefore, the preparation of the furniture needed is very important. Thanks for your tips

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  9. These are great ideas, we always taking short road trips and this is perfect for packing ideas!!

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  10. I travel a lot, very often with my two littles in tow. It has taken a bit of refining but I'm now pretty good at packing the minimum.

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  11. These are great tips! I love how compact you can get things so that you don't need like 4 bags. When ever we travel I try to compact stuff as much as I can!

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  12. You are so right that cutting down on packing you do get to know yourself, it never works with me haha x

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  13. Haha you are such an eager packer! :P I hate packing so I mostly let my husband do it! But I always double check and pick the cutest suitcases :)

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  14. Some more tips to consider. I have now packed light for 2 trips to Europe. For me the keys are laying out everything you are planning to take to look at how things will go together and then doing a test pack at least three to four weeks ahead of your trip.

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  15. These are great tips. Thank you so much for this information. That is so helpful.

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  16. Love your bag, and kudos to you for planning your packing! I'm the 2 minutes before we leave kind of packer and it definitely adds a lot of stress to any trip. Thank you for the tips, i'm going to try them for sure!

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  17. This is perfect. I am always over packing. I may look in to this!

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  18. Great bag! It is so easy to over-pack when you don't have a good plan. Sounds like you have this well in hand!

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  19. Important tips! and obsessed with your bag too! Need to get something like this for when I fly back home because long hauled flights are so exhausting need to always pack extra clothes with me...

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  20. I love packing as I go. Usually, the day before or the day of our trip, I'll just gather things as I get ready, thow them in a pile, and then into a bag right before we go. Stress-free!

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  21. I am going to Europe for the first time this summer, but we are staying in one place the whole time, so I am packing quite a bit haha. However, I am curious how you find the best budget spots to eat when you travel in Europe.

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    1. I typicaly just look online, like pull up google for the city I'm in and select the lower fared places and it pulls up map. Also i look for markets for things to carry in my bag while I walk- snacks and things, which helps as well. If I'm solo traveling I mostly just eat on the go in shops and hole in the wall places, no real sit down kind of stuff-I'm not fancy. But if my hubby is there we typically go to one fancy dinner together- because he's fancier than i. But typically we just read the menu at the door (a lot of sit down places will have the menu presented outside so you can look it over before getting a table)

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  22. These are great tips! And I LOVE my kitties and always miss them, too. I love that you included that. <3

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  23. Great tips! I usually mentally pick out what I am going to bring, ensure that all my laundry is done, then I pack a couple hours before leaving. I think the more you travel, the faster this process becomes.

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    1. I think you're right, I've packed so much just for May that I know what to even just keep in my carry on when not in use and things.

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