My Top 7 Packing Tips For International Travel


Tickets are booked and now bags need to be packed. The age old dilemma of what to take with you doesn't get any easier - even with practice. In an archive from a New York Times snippet from the '40s they discuss the difference between car and train travel - trains we're asking travelers to limit their luggage to one bag. They brought to light the notion "The vacationist will now approach his problem with the thought of Can I get along without this? instead of the previous Well, I might need it, I'd better take it along." 

While luggage has gotten lighter and more efficient, the dilemma of over-packing has proven to stand the test of time. 

So, which one are you? I am one of those people that continually ask myself the question, "Can I get along without this?" long before I take off.  Which is why when I travel internationally, I don't check bags, it's carry on for me!

Prior to a trip, I start researching weather patterns and immediately start planning my outfits. Alongside being prepared, this has also allowed me to change my shopping habits - looking for clothes that lay flat, fabrics that don't wrinkle and outfits that are interchangeable.  Traveling with patterns and shades that go together allow you to double your outfits and layer when the weather changes. 

Whether I've heard too many horror stories about luggage being lost or delayed. I would much rather take fewer items in a carry-on than have nothing at all! Plus, if you have various destinations on your itinerary you'll want to keep things light. The past few international trips I have taken, I take a backpack and an expandable tote bag - that way if I do pick up a few extra items abroad, I can expand my bag and check it on the way back.

Keep reading to learn more about my top packing tips for International travel and why I choose carry-on!

1. Baggage fees are less or nonexistent.

Be sure to read the fine print, because some budget airlines may vary but when purchasing your airline tickets you'll notice that you can usually take one carry on and one "personal" item. As long as your personal item fits under the seat, you're set! Research the airline you are thinking of flying and look up their parameters. 

2. Really think about what you need and don't take an excess of clothes.

While not having everything you need can make some anxious, just thinking about how many times you've taken extra clothes only to bring them back unworn. Instead, think about taking less with the idea that you can pick up any items needed when abroad - that way it's like an extra souvenir! 

3. When you change your habits, you'll start shopping more sustainably.

If you travel regularly, you'll find yourself looking for pieces that work well together both at home and abroad. Having clothes that are in similar patterns or color palettes allow you to easily mix and match creating effortless looks. You'll start investing in more timeless pieces and hold on to them longer! 

4. You can ALWAYS do laundry.

One thing many often forget is that you can always do laundry abroad. We actually travel with a travel size of Tide for spills and accidents, but many hotels have a laundry service while most Airbnbs have washing machines.  

5. Don't compromise your beauty routine.

As a beauty editor, skin and hair care is always at the top of my list. One thing I've learned is to make your routine work for you and not the other way around. There is absolutely no need to take full-sized products on vacation with you. Invest in GoToobs, order your go-to favorites in travel sizes or simply ask for samples! 

*When traveling to Europe, I forgo bringing sunscreen or shampoo/conditioner with me and instead buy it there - the EU formulations are better anyway! 

6. Packing cubes are a must! 

I prefer THESE by REI. Their ability to expand not only allows your for some wiggle room but their ability to scale down allow you to fit more in and then compress them! 

7. Be conscious of the terrain you're traveling to. 

Think about the streets you'll be walking, trekking through sand or up steps. For example, when traveling to Europe, to a place like Positano, you are going to be dealing with a great deal of steps. If you're heading to a destination where the roads are wary and you don't know how far you are going to have to carry your bag, plan ahead accordingly. I usually take a backpack/side pack set up, however this year I’m going to be testing out an Away bag! I must say it is always nice to being able to have the easy of throwing my bag over my shoulder and hopping on a boat or the back of a Vespa! 

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What are you favorite travel tips? Be sure to leave your favorites in the comments below and follow my travels on Instagram @l.oriloves!