Packing can be a stressful task and it can especially get a little overwhelming if you are sitting on a pile of clothes and can't decide what to take with you. One of the first things we do is, print out a packing list and then we ask ourselves these 5 questions:
1. Is it heavy?
Sometimes I pack things and don't even realize how heavy they are. For example, one time I tossed my favorite jar of lotion in my suitcase and later decided it was way too heavy. I usually take with me my favorite travel size lotion from L'Occitane. I also like to pack shoes that are lightweight. During the warmer months, I always pack a pair of BearPaw shoes from their amazing BearlyThere Collection. The shoes are SUPER lightweight and we give it extra bonus points for their cushioned memory-foam footbed.
2. Do I really need it?
Whenever I put something in my suitcase I ask myself, "Do I really need this?" It actually helps to ask this question and not just mindlessly pack my stuff. I'm always tempted to pack my dressier shoes, but on my last few trips, I should have left them at home. My travel itineraries had a ton of walking and not much lounging so it was not a good call to bring them.
3. Can I buy it there?
I am fortunate that I don't have to take any prescribed medications, but I do check to see if over-the-counter medications are readily available in the country I am visiting. For example, when I went to Cuba last year, it was recommended that visitors bring their own prescribed and over-the-counter medications as they are hard to come by.
4. Have you traveled with it before?
I bought this eye mask and brought it along on several trips and have never actually used it. I think this eye mask was an impulse buy and I really thought I was going to use it. However, after three trips and never wearing it on my flights, I've decided that it no longer needs to come along on my travels.
5. Can you share with your travel partner?
Whenever Crystal and I are traveling together, we make sure that we aren't both packing things we can share. We generally share hair styling appliances and if you happen to have the same electric toothbrush all you have to do is switch-out the brush head and you can share that too.
One more thing...
I always make sure to leave some extra room in my bag for souvenirs. I typically don't go souvenir shopping, but sometimes extra things happen to make their way into my luggage.