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You just found out that you’re going on a trip, the plane tickets are booked and you have the dates marked on your calendar. Next comes the panic of what to bring and the big question: when should I start packing for vacation? Here are a few things to consider!
When Should I Start Packing for Vacation?
The thought of packing stresses most people out because the process is often rushed. Packing too early can be a waste of time but waiting until the last minute can make you forget to pack the items you desperately need. Here are a few questions to determine when the optimal time to pack.
Where are you going?
The time you need to pack depends on where you are going. If you’re visiting a big city, chances are you can pack up to one week in advance (even a day before). If you miss anything, you can always purchase it there.
Trips that are more technical or rural require budgeting a few months to make sure you have everything you need.
I’m currently planning Peru treks to Machu Picchu and Colca Canyon so I’ve given myself two months to gather and try all my gear out before we head out.
You’ll want to look your best when you travel! Read my travel tips to Pack Light Stylishly!
What type of luggage?
A few months in advance is a good time to determine the luggage you will be using and to test out whether all your items will fit inside the luggage with the use of your packing cubes. This gives you enough time to exchange your bag if you decide you need a different style for your needs.
What do you have already?
Packing for a trip means sorting through the closet to determine if you already own the items you need. One thing to consider when asking yourself “when should I start packing for vacation” is to avoid is buying clothing before you know your full travel details or have finalized your plans.
What do you need to buy?
I like to buy quality items when they are on sale. It gives me extra spending money for my trips. Back to my Peru example, I had to decide whether to buy or rent a sleeping bag and happened to find a good deal one during a retailer’s sale.
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What can you borrow?
Borrow items as a cost-effective way to get the things that you need specifically for a destination. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on something you only use once or you may even find that you can rent at your destination. This helps you save space in your luggage especially when you’ll only be using travel gear temporarily.
For my Peru trek, instead of buying and packing walking sticks, I’ve arranged to rent them in Cusco.
Packing in advance can be tedious. If you give yourself enough time to gather what you need, it won’t be as stressful. It might even be fun!
What are your suggestions on how to determine when should I start packing for vacation?
For more packing tips, please read:
- How to Start Packing for a Vacation
- The Number One Packing Tip You Need to Know
- Ten Travel Products You May or May Not Need
- Five Tips to Master the Ten-Piece Travel Wardrobe
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