HOW to Pack UltraLight – Packing and Preparing for a Trip

The next post in the HOW series focuses on the tried and true steps that our family follows when packing and preparing for a trip. We hope that you find a helpful tip or two in this post as you prepare for your next adventure. Enjoy!

Packing Lists: At least a few weeks before a trip, we start our trip prep with a packing list using the apps described in a prior post. The Stylebook app is helpful to plan outfits and is used as a major resource for Mom. The Packing Pro app is essential in planning and organizing the rest of the family’s gear and clothing. A well thought out packing list can make the entire process seamless because the more you use the apps, the more they work for you. We now have the apps set up to where it only takes a few minutes to create our lists. Refer back to the earlier post for more details.

Packing Area: We have a dedicated area in our house to packing. Since we are usually preparing for a trip (or two at once), this space allows us to spend as much, or as little, time on packing. We add items as they become available, since many of the items we pack we also use in our daily lives. We also remove items as well, allowing our packing process to evolve organically and cut down on the stress associated with the process. Since we put the time into creating the packing lists beforehand, the actual packing process is fairly easy and straightforward.

Minimize and Streamline: As we pack our stuff into its designated bags, we start to weed out the items we really aren’t going to use. At this point in our journey, we have a pretty good idea when we make our initial lists what we will end up bringing, or not, but we still give a final review. As we review, we also try to focus on what we can digitize or minimize for our journey. A smart phone can be used heavily to manage your travels; you can and should digitize books, movies, travel guides, reservations, directions, notes, and planning lists. Some of the apps we use for travel planning are: TripAdvisor for advice, AirBNB for hotel alternatives, Via Michelin for maps, Skyscanner for flights, Rick Steves guidebooks, TripIt to manage reservations, Award Wallet to manage loyalty programs, Google Maps for directions, and of course, the Disney app when traveling to visit Mickey Mouse. So much of what will aid you in your travels is at your fingertips, and not lost at the bottom of your travel bag. Just be sure to keep a backup copy of your travel itinerary!

Know Your Style: Your travel style should dictate how you pack, which can change based on your destination, travel partners, and general growth in travel. To find your travel style, think about your activity level and how comfortable you are with being uncomfortable. This will help you decide what you truly need on your travels, and what is better left at home. Evaluate each item in your bag to decide if it meets your travel style for that trip. We also recommend going back to our original HOW post for more tips to supplement this list.

Stay tuned as we evolve in our travels! Please comment with your tips and experiences so we can all learn together.

Happy (and Light) Travels!

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