How To Pack Efficiently: Packing Tips For Moving Abroad Part 1
Check Out Part 2 in this series here.
You know that guy you dated and you were like he's nice and all, but what can he really offer? So you forget and move on until years later when you realize he was a great catch and is now married with 2 children and a goldendoodle puppy? Anyone? Well that's kiiiiinda what happened with this video. I made it well over a year ago at the request of a few others who were also moving to South Korea at the same time as me. I filmed it, let the few of them know it was made, and then forgot about.
Then a month or two ago I get an email from a company asking to send me products of theirs after watching this video. My first reaction was "wha?", my second was "how did you even find this video?", and my third was "is there something special here?".
So I checked out this video again, which I had initially told to only 10ish people, and as of writing this it has received over 1200 views on YouTube. It's companion video (which I also made at the same time) has received over 1000 views. Also as of this writing, these are the only two public videos that I have posted. I know this isn't something to brag about, but this was all organic traffic with no promotion. Can we say possible missed opportunity?
You remember that guy you thought was a lost catch? This is that lost catch of a guy walking back into my life!
The only difference is now I have a chance to do something about it. I won't go into detail now, but you'll begin to see my plans unfold in the near future (can't give you all the details now - have to leave a little mystery in this rom com:).
So today I want to share with you part 1 of a 2 part video series on packing efficiently. What expertise do I have? While I wouldn't say I'm an expert I did work for the airlines for a period of time (not as a flight attendant I should state), I currently live in South Korea, and I travel whenever I can which is often. I should also mention that I love making lists and guides and so I couldn't help making a very unique Moving Abroad Checklist just for this as well.
So without further ado here's the much anticipated video (a slight exaggeration). After watching make sure to scroll down and continue reading to get more info and all the mentioned links (none of them are affiliate) and my free Travel Checklist & Planner.
My 10 Tips on How to Pack Efficiently:
1. Limit Yourself
Limit yourself, especially for large and bulkier items like jackets and shoes. For instance, bring multi-purpose shoes like boots or booties that coordinate with your wardrobe but can also double as snow/rain gear if you need it. When it comes to heating products like blow dryers & hair straighteners, coordinate with a friend to bring one or the other. You don’t need to bring one of each.
2. Use Compression Technology
If you plan to travel often invest in compression technology. I recommend using packing cubes because they keep your clothing organized, clean, and less wrinkled. You can also fit a lot in a tiny amount of space so they’re great for long term travel. When using packing cubes either roll your clothing or fold them to fit the dimensions of the bag to make the most use of space. If you’re moving overseas use space bags that all you to suck out excess air through vacuums or through rolling out the air with your hands.
3. Use Your Carry On & Personal Item Wisely
When traveling via airplane you have the option to bring a small carry-on bag and an additional personal item - like a tote, briefcase, or purse. If you do plan on checking bags make sure to bring a few clothing items as well as your personal necessities with you in the cabin (i.e. in your carry-on or personal item) in case your luggage gets lost. *Also be mindful that some airlines (especially international airlines) have strict weight restrictions for your carry-on and personal item and will weigh them at the check in counter. Sometimes the attendant at the gate and even the flight attendant will do the same. If they feel you’re carry-on is overweight they may ask you to check it or take some items out (I know this from experience because I used to work the gate and counter at a major US airline). So make sure to look up any baggage restrictions that your particular airline might have before you get to the airport.
4. Make Uneven Spaces Flat
Use the poles that structure your luggage to make uneven spaces flat. You can stuff scarves, socks, and other odds and ends to fill in spaces and maximize your space. This is a universal rule and can be applied to every bag and pouch that you pack.
5. Use Your Shoes
This is one of my favorite tips. SHOES ARE FREE SPACE INSIDE OF LUGGAGE. Stuff socks, belts, even electronics inside them. Get creative and utilize them well. Then wrap your shoes in disposable plastic shower caps to protect your other items from any dirt that they may have. Keep the shower caps and reuse them whenever you travel.
6. Utilize Bags & Pouches
Small bags and pouches help keep you organized when you travel. They also serve as a checks & balances system if you group them by purpose. For instance, pack all of your electronics together and remember how full your bag is or the shape of it. That way when you leave your destination if things don’t fit the same way you can check if you are missing an item. Use these bags in your luggage, carry-on, and personal item. Then use Tip #4 and pack it flat inside the bag to make more room. Ladies: Use you the purses/clutches that you already plan on bringing on your trip as your pouches to be efficient. Also pack your jewelry inside a pouch. (or in a pocket) to protect them.
7. Bring Your Everyday Products
This applies to personal care products for your quart size bag. I don’t like purchasing toiletries I would normally never use just for a trip. Instead I invest in a small set of refillable bottles and fill those with the products I use every day. I keep it packed at all times so I if I ever have a last minute trip I’m already prepared. Try not to use bottles that are over 2oz. even though TSA in the States currently allows up to 3.4oz. This saves more space for other products. Also use different sized bottles and play tetris with them in your quart size bag to ensure that everything fits nicely inside.
8. Pack Liquids Efficiently
Wrap your liquids in masking tape: first cover the interior hole and then seal around the cap as well. If you’re really worried about leakage, wrap plastic wrap around your products and then place them inside ziploc bags. This way if anything bursts your clothing, shoes, and electronics are protected Tip: Nail polish bottles can crack in the air so always ensure these are packed in a plastic bag.
9. Plan Ahead for the Airport
At airports make sure your quart size bag is in a handy spot - don’t zip it up in your luggage. Do the same with your laptops and tablets too (some countries require tablets be checked & some don’t - every country is different with their rules). I find most airports outside the states allow you to keep your shoes on, so see what everyone else is doing before you take yours off. Also wear your bulkier shoes on the plane - extra points if they’re easy to slip on and off. If you use a neck pillow look for one with snap closure to wrap around pole/handle of carry-on bag. Keep bags under 50lbs to avoid possible overage fees - if you’re flying internationally, checking a second bag may be less expensive.
10. Get Creative
If something doesn’t fit the way you want it to, think of a solution. Make the best use of any dead space in your luggage. Also, as you travel and gain more experience you’ll develop your own rules of thumb. That’s part of the joy of travel!
I also want to list some links to items I mentioned in the video:
Flight001 Spacepak Packing Cubes (I loooooovvvveee these bags - I think I've fit more than 16 items in the clothes bag alone! This is the set I started with - only mine are all grey.)
Flight001 Quart Size Bag (what I use to get through TSA)
Lo & Sons OMG Bag (This is the bag I use as my personal item, I have the one in army green. Make sure to sign up for their email newsletter as they have lots of amazing sales!!!)
GoToob's by Humangear (This are the tubes I use for my toiletries, and especially for my toothpaste which I carry everywhere with me. I prefer the 1.25oz & the 2oz. sizes.)
Eagle Creek Packing Bags (As of now I don't own any of these, but I hear a lot of great things)
BEFORE YOU GO...
Write in the comments below your best travel tip. I'm always on the lookout for more. If you don't have one, tell me the tip you most enjoyed!
In the meantime, me and my lost catch have some catching up to do. Until the next time...
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*On my quest to earn more & spend less I try to maximize passive income. In this post some links may be amazon affiliate links which means I may receive monetary compensation - at no cost to you - if you make a purchase through my link. Don't worry, all thoughts and experiences on my site are of course my own. Thank you for your support:)