If you’ve travelled with Your Spouse before, you may have run into some luggage-related stress along the way. Here are some ways you can both pack your way to happier vacation memories as suggested by some experienced Travelers.
Maybe you over-packed your one checked bag and had to scramble at the counter to stuff the extra weight into your carry-on. (“Did you really need to pack five pairs of shoes?”)
If you want to fight less on your next trip, the key is to pack less. It’s a simple concept but is easier said than done. The result of this is that your bag becomes lighter, you aren’t as preoccupied with keeping track of everything, and it’s easier to simply enjoy the present moment.
Packing cubes are a must
If you’re unfamiliar, packing cubes are zip-up fabric containers, typically rectangular, which can help you better organize the contents of your luggage by compressing your clothes as you pack them. If you’re not already using them, you’re trading less packing space for more travel stress.
Packing cubes are small, inexpensive, and make packing and unpacking remarkably less stressful.”
And they are particularly useful for couples who share bags by making it easier to see whose things are where.
If you’re sharing a suitcase you can assign different colours to each person so you easily know whose underwear is whose.
Consider a new bag
If avoiding checked luggage is your goal, you may want to house your new packing cubes in a new piece of carry-on luggage.
For most travellers, we recommend the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 for its balance of size, price and reliability. Frequent travellers may also want to upgrade to the Briggs & Riley Baseline 22-Inch Domestic which carries extra features, including the expandable room. Both fit most standard overhead size regulations.
But the right bag depends on the type of trip as well.
We have backpacks for hiking trips, suitcases for urban city travel and day bags for weekend trips or short one-nighters.
For journeys to remote locations, versatility is the most important attribute. Osprey wheeled backpack for such trips.
“We rarely use the backpack straps and instead opt for the wheels but it’s great to have the option of backpack straps,” Mr Lukaszewicz said. “We’ve used them when travelling to Koh Lipe, an island in Thailand only accessible by ferry, where you’d be dragging your luggage in the sand if you didn’t have a backpack.”
Consider a smarter wardrobe
Packing less means you’ll need to get the most out of what you wear.
“Lay out your daily outfits and only bring what you really need and bring pieces that can make several outfits,” Mr Lukaszewicz said. “Always pack layers and pieces you can easily mix and match no matter if you’re travelling to a tropical destination or off to the snow-capped mountains.”
Shoes are often a major space-drain, so it helps to decide in advance what you’ll actually need on your trip, rather than planning for every possible scenario.
“We typically travel with max two to three pairs of shoes each, being one pair of comfortable walking shoes, and a pair of sandals or something that can be dressed up if need be,” Ms Jerrard said.
If you’re a couple who each has your own bag, whether it be carry-on or checked luggage, Ms Jarred suggests splitting your items between the two, “so that if one bag is lost, one person hasn’t lost 100 per cent of their wardrobe.”
Extend the life of your clothing
There are a few small items to include in your bag that can help you get multiple wears out of your clothing.
Start with packing a spot cleaning pen, which you can typically find in the travel aisle of most drugstores, Ms Jarred said. She also suggested a few items that can turn any bathroom into a mini Laundromat, should you not have access to traditional laundry services. “Travel with a rubber stopper, and a little bit of washing liquid, as well as a line you can hang up to let them dry.”
To speed up the drying process, consider packing lighter clothes and, if you can, lay your clothes across your hotel room’s heater, Mr Lukaszewicz said.
Share your tech (some of it, anyway)
The idea of not bringing your own cell phone is probably too traumatic to ponder for more than a few seconds, so we won’t go there, but you might want to consider consolidating other devices like personal laptops, chargers and cameras.
Mr Dillon suggests investing in a plug-in USB hub that allows you to charge multiple devices at once. You’ll save on space and make your airport experience a little easier.
“Not only can you charge most of your electronics with one device, but it’s also perfect for those moments when you’re in an airport and everyone is camping on all the available outlets with single charge ports,” Mr Dillon said.