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5 tips on how to beat the urge to over pack

Giving yourself more time to pack allows you to be more organised. Picture: Pexels / Vlada Karpovich

Giving yourself more time to pack allows you to be more organised. Picture: Pexels / Vlada Karpovich

Published Mar 31, 2022


The idea of a vacation may be relaxing, but packing for one is not, especially for those who are over packers.

Whether you would like to admit it or not, over packing will slow you down, hurt your back and shoulders, and cost you unnecessary fees when checking in at airports.

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In the age of budget airlines, plus more choice on ticket types than ever before, you may want to avoid over packing, which is where excess baggage fees begin to creep up on you.

Chances are, if you are a male reading this, you have the popular travel stereotype at the back of your head that women tend to pack more than men, which is an old cliché that Fielding suspects originated nearly a century ago when women wore more elaborate outfits.

Women are also more accustomed to carrying some sort of bag since women’s clothing tends to have small, inadequate pockets. Although those expectations have changed, it takes a while for these stereotypes to dissipate, Fielding added.

Besides the comfort and lightness of being, travelling light has so many benefits that you should not take for granted. Once you’ve mastered packing and planning the stuff you will bring, you’ll never go back to your old habit of packing again.

Farirai Sanyika, founder of Gophari and a certified South African travel specialist, teaching about the destinations she visits, shared a helpful video with five tips to beat the urge to over pack.

1. Pack ahead of time - Giving yourself more time to pack allows you to be more organised and intentional about each item you pack. Last-minute panic packing tends to bring out the urge to just throw everything in.

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2. Prepare outfits instead of individual items - This helps identify which pieces of clothing you won’t end up wearing.

3. Opt for travel-sized toiletries - leave that huge tub of Vaseline that lives besides your bathroom sink.

4. Get a portable scale - know how much your luggage weighs because dealing with a problem starts with knowing you have a problem.

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5. Use a smaller bag - this point is all about putting controls in place. If there is no space for it, you can’t take it.

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