What To Take And What To Keep – 6 Tips For The Smart Traveller

Whether you are going on a long trip or a short one, you will need to pack your bags, and you will have to pack them light. Over-packing is always a rookie mistake, or to put it more clearly, a much costly rookie mistake!

One of the biggest questions we ask ourselves before packing for a trip is: “What should I pack?” When you look at the wardrobe, you will be tempted to load up on a bunch of your favorites. The dilemma, always, is – whether to pack your favorites or pack only the essentials. The answer, always, should be “to pack only the essentials”.

“Pack only the essentials” is like a rule, and most of the travelers learn it the hard way. Of course, having an unplanned trip is fun in all its essence, but then you should also be prepared to have countless detours to the local drugstore or the supermarket. So, it’s always better to have a proper packing plan, to save time as well as money. 

If you are a frequent traveler, you will know that there is nothing more satisfying than a good travel tip. So, on this blog we have for you a few of the most efficient packing tips that you can always rely on.

1. Smaller is always Better

‘The smaller the suitcase, the less things you will try to put into it’. It’s the truth. And it’s the simplest way to pack light. If you have a larger suitcase, you would end up loading it with everything. If you find more space, your greedy mind would even convince you to stuff that induction cooker into it! So, it is always better to opt for a smaller suitcase with less space into which you can’t squeeze in any extras.

2. Selecting Clothes

It’s always a challenge when it comes to selecting the number of clothes for your trip. Have you heard of the 5,4,3,2,1 rule in packing? It actually makes a lot of sense, especially if you are planning for a weeklong trip. The rule goes like this: 5 sets of socks and underwear, 4 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 pairs of shoes, and 1 hat. This can be altered according to your needs, but always try to limit everything within these numbers. 

3. Roll up or Fold in?

Now that the clothes are selected, it’s time to start stuffing them in the suitcase. There are two popular methodologies when it comes to packing your clothes – Rolling and Folding. Let’s find out which one is better:


Pros: Rolling, though takes a bit of time, saves a lot of space. Rolled clothes can be easily seen when compared to the folded ones, which are usually stacked on top of each other. This can be very useful if you are staying somewhere where you can’t unpack.

Cons:  If you roll up something bulkier like a sweater, it’s probably going to take more space. Rolling can also cause wrinkles.


Pros: Saves time, and gives out a much organized feel. It works well for clothes like dress pants, jeans, sweaters, and button down shirts. The dresses will remain wrinkle-free and neat.

Cons: Takes up a lot of space compared to rolling. The dresses are most likely to get the creases, especially if it’s a t-shirt or other thin clothing. It is also harder to spot a specific dress when all the dresses are folded and stacked on top of each other.

Both are equally effective, and both have their own flaws. So, it is always better to use both methods. Like wrinkle resistant materials like knits, wool and cotton can be rolled up whereas garments like collared shirts and dressier items can be folded.

4. Stack your shoes at the bottom

Before you set the shoes, pack as many socks and, maybe a few undergarments, into the shoes as you can. Then, cover it with a plastic bag, and lay it at the bottom of your suitcase. It is always better to lay the shoes at the bottom, near to the wheels, as it will distribute the weight equally, and your bag will not fall over. Also, limit yourself with carrying only two shoes.

5. What about the toiletries?

Toiletries must be the last addition to your bag. That is, they must always be kept at the top. It is also a great idea that you keep a separate toiletry kit for traveling to ensure that you won’t miss out on stuff like toothbrushes or sunscreen. Keep them in a small transparent bag or pouch, and leave it at the top while you are packing. Just make sure that it is always at your reach.

6. What about my jackets?

Alright! So, you can’t go anywhere without your favorite jacket. Even though it feels excessive, you just can’t leave it behind. If such a case ever happens (happens almost all the time), instead of trying to stuff it in the suitcase, wear it. This will help you sort out whether to actually take the jacket or not. Stacking up your sweater and jacket will take up almost an entire half of your suitcase. So, pack wisely!

Avoid last minute packing

Always keep this in your mind. You can look up all the other points on the internet anytime, but this is something that you must always remember. When you pack at the last minute, you don’t roll up or fold clothes, you simply pile them up. You don’t choose the essentials, you just pop in whatever you find around you. And before you know it, you will find yourself jumping on top of that overflowing suitcase, in order to get it closed!

So, it’s better you lay out a proper plan on what to pack, at least a week before.

Pack Wisely!

Curated by: Kiran Reghunath