Packing for a long trip can be stressful. You know you want to have everything you’ll need, but will you be able to lift your luggage when you get it packed? Then you also have to consider what to pack for your return trip. Is there some way to pack for the entire trip that will make packing for your return home easier?
Think of where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone before you start packing. If it’s winter and you’ll need warm clothes, consider carrying lighter weight items that can be layered. This way, if you get too warm, you can take a layer off. It’s easier to start out warm and get cool than to start out cold and get warm.
Another benefit to using lightweight clothes is that they’re easier to carry because they take up less room. And since you don’t want to be loaded down with too many suitcases, especially if you’re flying, lighter suitcases are desirable. Remember to take at least one full change of clothes in your carry-on bag just in case your luggage gets lost.
Will you have access to a washer and dryer at a family member’s home? Can you make it to a laundromat if you’re going to be away from home for more than a week? If you can wash your clothes at least once while you’re gone, you can avoid having to take so many clothes to begin with.
What will you do if you pack light and the weather changes dramatically while you’re gone, and it’s gets colder than you’re prepared for? It’s easy enough to purchase an inexpensive sweater or coat and then leave it someplace if the weather is warmer when you head home. Wear your bulkiest clothes while you’re in transit so you don’t have to pack as much.
If you’ve chosen your clothes well when you first packed, everything in your suitcase should do double or triple duty. Pack things that can be mixed and matched so you can create different looks if you will be gone more than one week. Choose 4-7 tops and 3-4 bottoms and by mixing and matching you’ll have at least 21 outfits for a longer trip.
Make sure there is extra room in each suitcase to hold anything you receive as gifts. Unless you’re driving, having more than one suitcase per person may cost you money. Take only one suitcase but pack it so there is room to bring home extra items you didn’t leave with to start your journey.
It really shouldn’t be difficult to figure out what to pack for your long trip home. Unless you have received so many gifts that they won’t fit into the suitcase you brought with you, you should be alright. In that case, it would be necessary to take one extra bag to hold all gifts. It may end up costing you more in the end, but you’ll keep the peace in the family by being able to take the gifts home with you.