03A45280 (1)Whether one over-packs for reasons having to do with fashion or hobbies, it is a problem we all face. Be free, travel light, and enjoy your trip with USA River Cruises. Packing light also helps tremendously to avoid hassle and delay, as heavy bags can weigh you down.

Keep it Simple

These tips will help streamline your packing process, so you can eliminate excess and enjoy:


  • Focus on packing mix-and-match items that can become the basis for multiple outfits. Consider packing one pair of jeans/slacks and a nice jacket/sweater for travelling, with 3-4 matching tops.
  • Consider buying certain toiletries, like sunscreen or contact solution, after your flight.
  • Look into sport equipment rentals rather than lugging yours along.
  • Mail home large or expensive purchases.  
  • Abandon worst case scenario items and look forward to relaxing.  
  • Splurge for the travel insurance, so you don’t worry about losing any items you do pack along.

Travel in Comfort

Shoes to match multiple outfits can be a waste of luggage space. Choose decent, broken-in shoes that meet the demands of the trip and make you feel at ease.  Ballet flats or loafers are easy to fit into any luggage and versatile enough to coordinate with any outfit.

Are you always hot or cold? Plan for comfort as well as fashion. Avoid unforeseen discomfort by wearing your favorite everyday wardrobe. Wear new outfits a few times before packing, to ensure their durability and comfort on your trip.

Trend Continental

Watch an online tutorial like this one on how to roll clothing together to save space, without wrinkles. Take advantage of laundry services or facilities instead of packing a giant case with an entire outfit for each day of your trip. It may seem strange to Americans to wear the same outfit twice or more times while on vacation, but well-dressed travelers are known for their selectivity and ability to use accessories, not new pieces of clothing, to set each outfit apart. As Chanel reminded us “Style never goes out of fashion.”

Style tip: If you plan to wear an outfit more than once, make sure the first wearing is in the evening. Daytime clothing tends to get sweaty and potentially messy as a result of your excursions and daytime pursuits, and you want to feel free to engage in these activities without worrying about sullying a first-wear outfit. By making your second wear during the daytime, you get extra mileage out of your clothing.

Prioritize Your Favorite Hobbies

If you booked a USA River Cruise seeking to capture a perfect nature scene, give your camera priority space. Leave heavy extra batteries by bringing rechargeable ones. Invest in proper carrying cases, to be safe with expensive equipment. Bring only your essentials, just like wardrobe packing.

The same goes for everyone whose passion demands a proper kit. Put on all your equipment at home, then try to carry it around with your pack/suitcase. Does that third, extra, sturgeon reel keep jabbing you in the side? Ditch it or rearrange if you cannot walk comfortably and/or your hands are full. No one wants to spend their holiday juggling.

Is your hobby the focus of the trip, or did you promise yourself to meet other people, or spend quality time with family?  Bringing along bulky craft bags or electronics can distract from social time. Unless alone time is your goal, reconsider taking up space with hobby gear.  Discuss expectations with your companions, who may have special plans, rendering your carefully packed outfits/gear unused.

Be honest about how you relax, and whether or not you need certain routines, even on vacation. For example, if you cannot sleep without a special pillow, bring it. But, must one pack the watercolors and canvas, or would a sketchbook be more practical?  Are you really going to read that three pound novel or will you wish for binoculars on the mighty Columbia? Is there a blow dryer in the room? The answers may save you from lugging around extra weight.

Priority Items

Be sure to pack prescriptions or devices related to your health first. Find out if exceptions can be made for medical devices separate from the standard carry-on weight. Have printouts of emergency contacts, ID, prescriptions and contents ready in case luggage is lost or stolen.  Most travel or outdoor stores sell small,  billfold style pouches for the necessary card/money, ID’s and tickets, etc. Keep these important valuables on your person so you can check your bag if needed while touring/shopping/dining.

Finally, practice packing your items before departure to make sure your belongings will fit safely in your luggage. Understand safety and weight restrictions before you go, as these will not be negotiable. Practicing packing also helps narrow down what you need, when you are not rushed, so you don’t forget an essential item and try to cram it all in at the last minute. Research the average forecast and plan for the worst while expecting the best, so you’ll enjoy your vacation regardless of the weather. Happy packing!

Call us for more information.