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How to Pack for a Long Trip

Long journeys require careful planning. Interestingly, it’s the exact opposite of what you anticipate. You may be thinking, “Dear God, I’ll need a suitcase just for the underwear,” after spending months traveling. But in reality, less is more when it comes to lengthy getaways. Watch our comprehensive packing instructions using the link on the right, or read the advice below.

One week at a time, pack. You never need more clothing than you’ll need for a week. By that time, depending on where you are, you will either a) have located a laundromat or b) be so distant from civilization that no one will care if you stink. You conserve trunk space in either case.

Don’t fold; roll. Although it seems counterintuitive, rolling your garments rather than folding them will allow you to fit more in. Use every inch of the room, including stuffing socks and undergarments into bare shoes.

Wear coordinated outfits. Choose clothes that will already match because you’re packing more intelligently rather than more diligently. A few t-shirts that go with your pants and an all-purpose pair of neutral shorts. A pair of flip-flops and shoes for all weather (or at least as many climates as possible). All you need is that.

Consider the weather when choosing your clothing. Long distances may require you to travel across many climatic regions. Layers are, therefore, your friend. Layers made of thin, breathable fleece or wool can keep you warm without taking up a lot of room in your bag. The three jackets should be left at home. It should just require one watertight option.

Purchase quality luggage and use it consistently. You need to plan when you have a lengthy journey. You’ll be tempted to buy trinkets and other items everywhere you go, but if you don’t want to bankrupt your chiropractor, resist the urge. Don’t fill up your life with stuff. Likewise, spend money on a lock and a decent, lightweight bag.