Tips on Packing for NLC

Apoorva Dayananda.jpg

Tips on Packing for NLC

by Apoorva Dayananda, Secretary/Treasurer

            Packing may make or break your trip. Packing too light may lead you to forgetting an essential item, which will send you on a spree throughout the airport to purchase an overpriced toothbrush. On the other hand, overpacking will leave you with the burden of carrying heavy bags. While packing may be stressful, with these tips, you will be traveling like a pro.

There is a lot to consider when you are packing for a trip: the length of the trip, the activities you are doing, the weather and more. Therefore, it is essential that you prepare in advance for your trip. Be sure to research the place you are going. The weather in Anaheim, California is drastically different than that in Michigan; you will need to pack accordingly. Before you start packing, make a packing list to ensure that you do not leave anything behind. If you are a last-minute packer, having a packing list set will make the process a lot less stressful. Additionally, if you are flying to your destination, keep in mind the airline requirements, such as the weight of your suitcase, and TSA guidelines. Moreover, a lot of airlines let you have one personal item, like a backpack or a purse, to take with you on the flight. With this item, you may want to keep the things you will need on the flight: earbuds, a jacket in case it gets cold, a book, a charger, or anything else you may need for a comfortable flight. Also, pack one outfit in your carry on just in case something happens to your checked baggage.

Now comes the most important part: actually packing. First, be sure to chose the right suitcase. One that’s too big will leave you with an unnecessary load to carry; however, one that is too small will leave you shoving everything in your suitcase. Second, pack realistically. If you cannot picture yourself wearing or using it on your trip, do not pack it. When packing your clothes, gather all the clothes you anticipate you will need and then put half of them back. While this may seem crazy, travel experts swear by it. When choosing your outfits, make sure that you have an outfit for each day and one extra, keeping in mind that you may not need each shirt to match a different pant. Additionally, some clothes like leggings or running shorts could double as an outfit for the day and pajamas for the night. In order to use the space in your luggage effectively, roll your softer garments such as t-shirts and jeans while folding stiffer clothes like dress shirts and blazers. After you have done this, start packing your suitcase in layers. For the first layer, place your rolled clothes followed by the folded garments, and for the top layer, keep the clothes you would need first. Following the clothes, you will need to find a place for the shoes.

 Like the clothes, you will not want to overpack with the shoes; therefore, you would want to follow the rule of threes. The rule of threes encourages one casual pair of sandals, one pair of sneakers, and then one pair of dress shoes. In order to save on weight and space, wear your heaviest pair of shoes. Furthermore, in order to save even more space, you can pack your socks in your shoes. When packing the rest, pack the shoes with the sunglasses, toiletries and other accessories. In order to keep these things clean, place the shoes in bags, like reused plastic grocery bags or large Ziplocs if possible.

For your beauty products and toiletries, keep in mind where you are staying. If you are staying in a hotel or resort, chances are that they will provide shampoo, conditioner, soap, and maybe more. However, if you are not staying in a place where they provide these items, try opting for an array of travel-sized bottles to put your product into, preventing the need to bring a big, heavy bottle of shampoo. When you are choosing your bottle, keep in mind the TSA guidelines. Additionally, in order to avoid a messy spill in your suitcase, put these items into a sealable bag. Therefore, if they do spill, it will be contained. 

Now that you have your essentials packed, you can pack the rest of your miscellaneous items. If you are carrying any fragile items, pack them in the center so they have a cushion around them. For jewelry and other valuable items, do not check them. In order to reduce the risk of theft or loss, keep them on you, either in your pockets or in your bag.

After you have finished packing everything that you need, go through your packing list one more time to make sure that you have not forgotten anything. With these tips, your packing can be stress free and you will have an amazing NLC.

Maurice S. Henderson