With the rising costs of checked baggage, it’s no wonder more and more travelers are forgoing jumbo suitcases for practical carry-ons. But how do you pack for a week-long exchange (or longer!) in such a small space? Don’t worry…we’ve got you covered with these packing tips!
Try a hardside. Soft-sided luggage is easy to overstuff, and you could easily find yourself going over the weight limit. Hardside luggage limits what you can pack and guarantees that your carry-on will fit in your overhead bin.
See what’s available. If you’re traveling from a warm climate to a chilly one, find out if your exchange partner is willing to lend you some cold-weather gear. Many will be happy to lend you their parka…they won’t need it when they’re staying at your home! You can also plan ahead with your exchange partner to leave items like shampoo and toothpaste for each other so you won’t have to pack them.
Spring for some packing cubes. Not only will they keep your socks and unmentionables contained, packing cubes are also great for…unpacking! Just grab the whole thing and stick it right in a drawer. You’ll go from zero to settled in under a minute.
Layer up. The key to a small but functional wardrobe is versatility. Does that shirt only go with one pair of pants, or can you wear it with a variety of outfits? Do you need to bring a heavy sweater, or will a lightweight cardigan over a long-sleeved shirt be enough? If you can only wear it with one outfit, leave it at home.
Remember you’re in a home. And most homes have washing machines! If swapping for two weeks, you really only need one week’s worth of clothing since you’ll easily be able to do a bit of laundry. Just make sure to ask your exchange partner to leave directions; foreign appliances can be tricky to decipher.
Don’t panic! If you arrive at your exchange home and realize you forgot something, chances are you’ll either be able to borrow or purchase it…and who doesn’t love an excuse to do a little shopping?
Do you have any packing tips? Tell us in the comments!
Photo: Highways Agency/Creative Commons