The Ultimate Packing List: Travel Light and Smart

The ultimate packing list: pack smartThis is the best and  ultimate packing list that will guide you through the hard world of time and space-saving, cool hacks and easy tips. To make your hotel experience smooth and relaxing, avoiding inconveniences (and forgottens).

If packing is not your nature, read this and you won’t get lost between socks, books, and chargers. Are you a packing champion? Here are some cool and inspirational tips to leverage your challenge to the next level.

Are you tired of over-packing?

Or maybe forgetting something you needed in your travel?

Well, Congratulations!

You just found yourself your savior to packing!

Get ready to start packing

Just imagine,

You can feel the smell of coffee in the air, it’s getting intense than ever every minute. Suddenly awake, you turn off the alarm, roll out of the bed and try to reach it as fast as you can. Then you finally realize that in two days you’ll be on holiday – a short break, festivity, family vacation, who knows!

It doesn’t matter, you need to pack. When that moment comes, it is easy to get lost.

The excitement of leaving blown our self-control with all the amazing future memories we already create in our minds and it doesn’t help to remember all the things we really need to take with us.

I am intending to test out a new exciting idea:

  • wellness,
  • relaxation, and
  • comfort.

Boutique hotels usually come together with amenities and facilities, but one has to be ready for all the unexpected.

If it seems a big and insuperable job to you, you need to check our cool and fresh list of advice.

All you need to do is to get yourself a pen and paper: the very ultimate packing list starts with a sharp organization plan.

Ready? You are just about to become the best travel agent for your holidays!

Writing a list is like reorganizing your wardrobe: every drawer is set to host different things, with a specific use and you will need to start with the basics.

So, first of all:

Before packing

How are you traveling?

Taking a flight or reaching a train is very different from traveling in your car around a country.

Every mean of transport has its own rules of dos and don’ts.

Also, before leaving, check the cultural and social customs of the country you are going to visit, to avoid embarrassing situations.

Check the airline restrictions before packing

Choose the suitcase

Depending on how long the trip will be, choose the most comfortable and carrying suitcase you may have. Logistics are important to make your journey and travel less tiring.

Remember to choose the suitcase based on how you will move: if you go by car, it is better to carry large and soft luggage (fit best in the trunk); the train can be flexible but preferably choose a trolley because it’s easier to walk it in train stations.

If you are flying and you can choose between more than one suitcase, go for the lightest one:

weight lose on the suitcase means extra space for your equipment.

Choose a bag that fits your style

Ultimate packing list: How to proceed

Make a list that matters

Making a list will definitely help you be organized in packing. This will make you see what you still need to pack and don’t miss out on anything.

What are the clothes you have to pack?

A day is half made of activities and rest.

Divide the day into hourly phases of activity, in which each of these corresponds to clothes and needs.

For example:

  • Morning,
  • Lunch,
  • Afternoon walk,
  • Dinner night out,
  • Sleep and
  • the Always-need and forget.

This will help you better understand what kind of clothes you really have to bring with you.

In the meanwhile here, for you, a quick reminder of all the Always-need and forget Category:

  • Underwear, undershirts, and bras, socks, and stockings – if needed depending on the season.
  • Sleepwear and Pajamas (everyone always forget about it).
  • Toothbrush! Even if you stay in the best hotel and you can easily get the dental kit at the reception, better to bring yours.
  • Umbrella, in the unfortunate case it will rain – climate change is real.
  • Phone Chargers! Google maps are always the best buddy.

When you finally have written down your list, you need to picture all the things you want to take with you (and see if you went too far or missed something).

Go for a deep dive into our to-do list of life-saving packing tips!

Always-need and forget packing list

Proceed to display everything on the bed

It is a clear and visual method to see if you are missing that perfect dress for that party or if you have listed too many things that won’t get in your suitcase.

So as not to forget anything, you should fold all the clothes and start to display them on the bed. At this point, keep in mind to display beauty cases, cameras, and electronics too – these items usually take a lot of space into your suitcase.

Display items and add them to your packing list

Check Youtubers hacks

This is fun!

You cannot even imagine how many people are real Olympians in luggage packing!

No jokes, you can get great ideas and infinite type of folding combinations.

Here are some of these for beginners, but that work also as reminders for pros!

From heavy to light

Always remember to put heavier clothes at the bottom of your suitcase, while lighter ones at the top.

Fabric such as silk and light cotton are easy to ruin (from the excessive weight) and wrinkle.

Start with towel and bathrobe

Now it comes the best moment: start packing!

So, even your hotel will provide you with towels and a bathrobe, it is preferable to bring a small face towel with you always in case you’ll need extra (and cozy) one. In order to make a soft base in your suitcase where to place the clothes, start folding the towel on the bottom.

Bring your own towel

Put the socks in the shoes

Probably the Number 1 advise that everyone knows, but still always worth to say.

Well, putting the socks inside your shoes will allow you not only to save space which is great but also to maintain the shape of the shoes that could otherwise be compressed by the objects in the suitcase.

packing your socks

Spring-rolling your clothes

Exactly. It is not a natural gesture, but rolling up your clothes is the best way to keep space into the suitcase and keep the clothes safe from lines.

Fold the shirts as usual, but then fold them back on themselves for the longer side and roll them up.

Belts in shirts? Yes, we can

Belts are cool and a must-have but tricky to pack because of their shape. Same as for the socks, roll up the belts and put them into the collar of the shirt.

In this way, the collar will not be crushed by the other clothes and will keep its shape.

Tip: Accessories can be a great help in packing clothes.

Accessories help packing

Meds and boxes

Same thing for medicines, that usually comes in boxes.

It is not a matter of weight of course, but for the volume of space!

A (no box) blister a day keeps the doctor away.

Bring your medicines with no box

Use scotch paper to safe-close bottles and liquids

If you have liquids in your suitcase, keep in mind that they will be shaken during the journey and may leak out. To avoid this:

Seal the caps with scotch of paper

This would prevent any kind of tragedy you don’t want to expect.

Go for bars every time you can

Lotion bars, shampoo bars, soaps, the list can go further but the point is clear: if you are traveling by plane, safety controls can be hard on liquids, so it is better to choose an easier way to avoid any misunderstanding.

Also, it is a plastic-free solution – always good.

Solid shampoo bar, perfect for travel

Allow yourself to take a real book with you

Space and weight for culture and knowledge it’s ok.

Bring a book with you

Invest in a luggage scale

When it comes to souvenirs, it is hard not to overpack, luggage fee can be very high sometimes!

A digital luggage scale is what you need: it really will change your way of traveling.

Especially on the return, with those few extra souvenirs will make your suitcase weight more and more!

Bring an earring or a paper clip

Not just a tip for women, but for everyone.

Smartphones require a special “key” to open it if you have to change and extract your national SIM and put it in a local one.

It’s ok if you don’t remember the original one, because it gets more adventurous to use a single earring or even the genderless paper clip (you can easily put it in your wallet/phone cover).

Deal with anxiety: get organized with lots of set organizers!

You can definitely feel the organizing set fever in the air: if you think that we are going to far on this, keep in mind that you are going to be on holidays so the more you can save time randomly unpacking and stressfully looking out for things in your bag, the better will be your stay. Promise!

Start with an electronic organizer: earpods, chargers, and any devices have their own small room in it, and you won’t get lost in the cords that tangle together in your pocket for once.

If you Google “packing cubes” you will find a whole new world of spacious, comfortable and even water-resistant lightboxes, in which place your clothes and the everything items you will carry with you.

packing cubes to organize your clothes

These should prevent the uncontrollable desire that somehow always rises when packing: randomly throwing things in your suitcase and pretend everything is ok.

Right after the packing cubes, it comes the shoe organizer set of bags. Even more important than the one for clothes, this set for packing cubes (including shoe organizer) is an essential kit for hotel travelers.

Since you are not leaving just for a hike in the forest you will probably have more than one pair of shoes. Unlike paper bags (or whatever), this kind of set is made to prevent your shoes from getting on –not very hygienically –your cool clothes and they will keep every pair of shoes fresh and clean.

The VIP price of organizers naturally goes to a jewelry organizer. Avoid the inevitable tangled mess of necklaces and chains with this problem-solver guy. Remember, if possible, that it is preferable to use small soft bags and tie them with cord, to prevent jewels from cracking.

If you are planning a business trip or an unmissable gala and won’t have time to steam properly your suite, use a carry-on garment bag. Besides always being very elegant and charming is also a practical way to keep your clothes in order.

When it comes to beauty and holidays we all know girls are the best.

However, a set of travel bottles is for all (and forever). Say goodbye to your favorite shampoo, night cream or conditioner is hard, even for two weeks. That’s why you don’t have to!

You can now find so many different brands selling smaller scale traveling bottles in which you can transfer all your beloved creams. There are several sets where each bottle has its own label to write on. This is how you won’t mix up your night cream with your body lotion, and vice-versa.

Also, you won’t need for holidays a liter-bottle of shampoo.

Another useful hack is to bring a dirty laundry bag with you. It will really help you if you have to move from one location to another and still have time to spend on holidays: dirty clothes will be drastically separated from the clean ones, allowing you to be always on the top of your outfit.

Last set-organizer, a wallet for your travel passport and IDs is a good solution not only to get a proper case to protect them but to help you don’t forget them at all!

 Always bring a small (cool) backpack with you

Apart from nice and must-have bags, a very light and stylish backpack is a useful companion to fold into your suitcase. Preferably, a bag that you can also use on your daily trips, as this foldable Matador bag.

Remember last time when you really wanted those souvenirs for your mom in that place that was the last stop of your holidays but you hadn’t space in your bag?! I made the idea.

Foldable bag for your trip

Go for post-it reminders!

Listing is king, as you may have noticed from these advices.

Everyone knows how exciting we feel the day before our departure, so, to be sure to not forget the few very last things write down the ultimate list and put it where you can’t ignore it!

Post its as reminder

General requirements (not only at the airport)

In traveling, there are always general requirements you need to remember. Here are some of the basics you need to keep in mind.

That holy bag

Everyone hates to hold up the line and be stopped by the security at the airport:

be sure to have a TSA-approved toiletry bag with you, with all first needs and necessary for the trip.

This is, of course, compulsory when flying, but it is extremely wise to keep a small toiletry bag always with you.

It will make you a smart traveler.

Shampoos on TSA approval bag and size

Don’t forget a small change of outfit

We love traveling, discovering far away countries just as explorers do, and make our best dreams come true.

But, what if we don’t get that flight coincidence?

What if the train runs late and we have to spend a night out? Or– worst – your luggage is lost!

If we can’t totally control unpleasant events, at least we can pack for them.

Don’t forget to put extra clothes and underwear. Going to a beach destination? Add an extra bikini (or 2) on your hand-luggage.

Share your plans with your besties and family

A piece of nanny advice: share your travel itinerary and plans with your family and friends.

Even if you are going to spend your time in a fantastic hotel on the beach it is always safer to inform people of your plans.

Moreover, if you are traveling in hot countries, check some governmental travel sites and stay updated with local news.

Now, are you ready to pack and go? Still have one last, big, unforgettable trip for you!

share your travel plans

Last tip for packing: be independent

The point for your ultimate packing list is making your own suitcase:

Do not mix your things with those of your travel friends.

There will be no room in your luggage for your partner’s slippers or your mom’s beauty case!

At least with the suitcase, take your space and relax!

Enjoy your stay,


What is the most efficient way to pack?

There are plenty ways to pack clothes but one of the best and efficient way is to roll your clothes. Rolling your clothes helps maximize space and minimize wrinkles.

How do you not overpack?

It is helpful to go over your itinerary so you can plan your outfit for every day. In that way, you only pack clothes that you will actually wear. It is also suggested to pack a multipurpose shoes that will look good for casual sightseeing and can withstand a run.

How early should I pack for a trip?

Start packing days or 2 weeks prior to your departure. This gives you time to prepare and purchase everything you need for your trip.

What else?

Ready for your Europe trip? Start finding a stunning accommodation:

The ultimate packing list: pack smart

About Giulietta

I love to travel and I love design. Consequently, I always stay in unique and memorable places. From New York City to Bali, the world is dotted with beautiful hotels. Here on LesBoutiqueHotels I share all my experiences with Boutique-Style Hotels.

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