When you're juggling with school, work, and social events, time just flies by. The next thing you know, you're going away for a few days! Here's what you should do when you're packing at the last minute:
1. Check the weather
It's important to check the weather first. This will show you what you need to pack and be prepared for.
2. Make a list of items to bring
Break down your packing list to the following categories: clothes, electronics, food, personal care, essentials. Then, bullet point the items you need. And then only when you put the item in your bag do you then delete the item on the list, because if you're forgetful like me, you will realize you forgot to pack socks for winter break and have to buy new ones from 3 towns over.
3. Don't overpack
People usually do this wherever they go. An easy solution is packing the essential clothing you need first, e.g. raincoat, comfy sleepwear, etc. Then, you can pick some of your favorite outfits and choose between them. You don't need 5 dresses for a 2-day trip. Think about what you will actually wear.
"Wait, but you just said don't do it."
Yes, BUT there are some items you need extras of, such as socks and tops. You never know how many pairs of socks you need. They could get wet from the rain or you might need to wear multiple pairs if it's cold where you're going. As for tops, they could be covered in sweat or have food stains or you could spill something on it. Either way, you will not want to stay in those all day, which is why extras come in handy. That's not to say pack twenty shirts for a 5-day trip. Being realistic is important here.
5. Rolling is key
Personally, I have never tried this, but some people swear by it. They advise packers to role their clothes to save luggage space and reduce wrinkles. You can also attempt what this insanely skilled guy did.
6. Comfortable footwear
This will make or break your trip, especially if you're going to be walking around a lot. Also, you need something comfortable to stay on your feet while you're riding the bus or on the plane. You may think it's silly because you're not walking, but it's like choosing a blanket made out of fur or sandpaper. You're not going to be moving, but you still want something comfortable to hug your feet.
7. Carry-on is necessary
That may not be the case when you're flying (because some airline companies charge for carry-on's), but having a bag on you when you're in a vehicle is great, because you can pack the essential things you need to keep you happy, entertained, and comfortable.
Be aware that some buses and planes get really cold, so you'll want to bring a flannel or a sweatshirt with you. Also, some people like to have their electronics and chargers on them so the items don't get lost and are accessible. However, it's not ideal when you have a phone, an iPad, and a laptop to account for. It's best to just have a bag with you to keep all your items in one place.
That leads us to the next thing: if you're traveling for a long time, you need entertainment. Bring a book, a laptop with downloaded movies, or music and games. You can also talk to the person sitting next to you and make a new friend.