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Light and smart packing tips

Traveling is rewarding, enjoyable and rejuvenating. But, the preparation for getting trip-ready can be overwhelming and exhausting. Often it can leave you feeling as if you truly earned your vacation!

One of the most undesirable tasks is packing, which inevitably gets left to the last minute, leading to stress, frustration and overpacking. You may even find yourself leaving important items behind.

Some common reasons to put off packing include not knowing what to pack, being unsure of the best packing method, and not having the needed items for the trip. By planning ahead and using some simple packing techniques, your bag will be packed well ahead of travel time so you can put your feet up, relax and study that travel guide. You’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your bag is organized, lightweight and contains everything you need for the trip.

Use packing cubes

Available in a variety of styles and sizes, packing cubes are a game changer! Small, breathable, zippered pouches, they provide instant organization within a bag and will provide quick access to whatever items you need. The cubes are often sold in a coordinating set of 5-7 cubes with several size and shape options included. They fit perfectly in your bag (kind of like a game of Tetris) and they will save you a ton of time! The best part? It will keep your bag organized when you are vacationing and will make packing up for your trip home that much easier.

Roll and go

Roll your clothes within the packing cubes. This method not only saves space, but it also provides an instant overview of what you have packed (kind of like looking at the spines of books on a bookshelf) instead of having to rifle through folded and layered clothes. You can roll single clothing items and create a cube of like items, such as shirts. You can even roll entire outfits and pack your cubes according to types of outfits (casual, dressy, active, etc.)

Pack for double duty

Make your clothes and shoes earn space in your bag! Select items that are versatile, comfortable and able to be dressed up or worn casual. This is particularly true for shoes that are bulky and heavy. Less is more! This will lighten your load and make selecting outfits when traveling a breeze. Speaking of outfits, pack your clothing grouped in sets so it’s simple to find what you will wear each day.

Keep a duplicate toiletry bag

Have a pre-packed Dopp kit on hand supplied with duplicates of all of your toiletry items. This prevents you from having to wait until you have completed those last-minute grooming tasks such as shaving, brushing teeth, or applying make up. Alternatively, you can keep your toiletry kit in the bathroom with you as you finish getting ready and pack items as you finish each step so your kit can be quickly added to your bag. Be sure to leave space for it!

Separate liquids

Put all of your liquid items in a water-proof zippered bag to prevent spills and leaks. When flying, pay special attention to liquids in your carry on. Be sure to keep them together in a clear pouch so they can be easily checked when going through TSA security. Also, keep the 3-1-1 rule in mind: Each passenger may carry liquids, gels, and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels, and aerosols.


Begin packing at least 48 hours before departure to give yourself time to launder items and to collect any necessities you might be missing. It is also helpful to lay out the items you intend on packing to give you time to consider things you might be able to remove or ways you can better maximize space. After setting everything out, cut the pile in half. Yes, you read that correctly! Evaluate everything you have set aside and whittle it down by half. You won’t regret having a lighter bag and you will most likely realize you can get by with much less than you think.

We understand that you have many options for places to visit, but of course, we hope that you will come and see us in Charleston! Be sure to call ahead to book one of our popular culinary tours to help you experience the history, sites, and cuisine of the city. We have options to fit every taste and budget. Our tours are led by experienced, knowledgeable, and friendly guides and our city is rich in history and flavor. We have a vibrant nightlife and a plentiful supply of museums, cultural events, outdoor sports and activities to explore during the day. We look forward to touring our great city with you!

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