Pre-Departure Planning

"Everything you own must be able to fit inside one suitcase; then your mind might be free." Charles Bukowski

An efficient travel experience starts well before you've even set foot on a plane, bus or taxi. It all begins by deciding what you're going to bring with you and what you're going to leave behind. As a seasoned traveller, you know what to pack, but you also know that travelling lighter makes it easier to stay organized. There may be times when it's tempting to carry everything, but with a little bit of pre-departure planning, we'll show you how to streamline your packing routine and make the switch to one-bag travel less stressful.

1. Start your research early
Your destination and the climate you're going into will, by and large, dictate the bulk of the contents that will be going in your bag. Identifying any abnormal weather patterns or temperature fluctuations ahead of time will help you to pick out the best types of garments for your trip. Check your trip itinerary ahead of time, so you can plan your outfits accordingly. Planning to trek through the city on a hot and muggy day? Airy and breathable synthetics are your best bet. If you’re going into colder climes, then you can always layer up with long-sleeved tops under a stylish coat.

2. Identify the essentials
Are you embarking on a business trip or taking some time out for a leisurely getaway? A quick weekend jaunt to the coast or spending a week between cities for business? Perhaps you're mixing things up and doing both. Once you know what kind of trip you'll be going out, it's best to make a packing checklist and mark off the items that you'll need to take with you. A quick audit of your packing inventory will help you to eliminate any surplus items that you may be tempted to haul along. Remembering to include simple yet versatile outfit options will go a long way in making this part of pre-departure a breeze. Items like synthetic trousers or turtleneck tops in muted tones are great, but ask yourself if you really need to include that extra pair of showy sneakers. By packing in multifunctional garments that you can use on multiple occasions, you're giving yourself various wardrobe options and saving on precious packing space, too.

3. Are you investing in new travel products?
If you've picked up any new travel products that you'll be bringing along with you, be sure to give them a dry run before your trip. Try them out on your daily commute, if you need to. If you've just bought items that you'll be carrying with you for prolonged periods, you want to be sure that they work for you and don't get in the way of travel efficiency.

4. Don't leave packing for the last minute
Packing light doesn't mean that you should leave everything till the last minute. Take a day to wash that pair of slacks or your favourite shirt. Charge up your accessories and know where everything is going to go. Compartments are the magic that makes one-bag travel work, so take some time to get familiar with your luggage, especially if you need quick access to items like documents, electronics or toiletries. Leaving things until the last minute means a higher likelihood of forgetting something important – and there’s nothing worse than that sinking feeling when you find that you’ve forgotten to pack in your favourite pair of headphones.

The pre-departure period is arguably the most exciting time of your entire trip; the anticipation builds as you hurtle towards your imminent expedition. Don't let poor packing de-rail your travel experience. With some clever planning and organization, you'll be well on your way to ultralight, stress-free, efficient travel.

Written by Stuart Hendricks