International Travel Packing Simplification

Given my overtly Type-A nature, all travel plans (domestic or international) are accompanied by multi-tabbed planning spreadsheet workbooks. The workbooks are complete with detailed luggage organization information, packing lists, daily itineraries, restaurant reservations, travel times, estimated expenses, etc. The planning of it all is my second favorite part of vacations – the best part for me is to experience time away with people I love.

My husband and I just returned from a one-of-a-kind journey through the Netherlands and Belgium featuring daily excursions to unique breweries, delicious regional cuisine and cultural tours of historic cities like Antwerp and Dendermonde. What truly set this particular getaway apart from the rest was that I didn’t have to plan a thing (a nice respite from the status quo). Imagine the extent of my adoration for the expertly curated vacation itinerary by two of the most wonderful and knowledgeable tour guides in the world – Dr. Ruth Berman and Dr. Mike Arra of Bon Beer Voyage. Their Amsterdam to Bruges Beercation exceeded our wildest expectations. We returned home grateful for a beautiful experience and happy that we met fellow beer-lovers and new friends, just like our previous trips with them to Asheville and Washington D.C. – if this sounds like it’s up your alley, please check out the Bon Beer Voyage website to book a beercation that best suits you! Let them know that Simplified by Jess sent you.

Packing for this trip was a bit different than our previous travels together. Thomas and I typically pack lightly with one suitcase and two backpacks. Especially when preparing for our shorter, domestic vacations, I tend to pack my outfits straight from the closet with the hangers still on, which makes for quick and easy unpacking directly into the hotel closet. For this longer international trip, we wanted to keep the luggage to our normal minimum (save for an extra empty suitcase to bring home rare Belgian beers) and also ensure we had enough clothes and supplies to last us the entire vacation. Challenge accepted!

After quite a bit of research and glowing recommendations, (huge props to our frequent flyer amigos!) we realized that packing cubes were the answer. You can purchase packing cubes online or pretty much anywhere and in tons of fun colors – The Container Store has them, too! There are many different varieties, so ensure to pick what’s right for your travel needs. Thomas and I selected the Mossio Seven Piece Packing Cube Set from Amazon. They have eight colors available, so we went with orange for me and blue for him (Go Gators!) to make it even easier to organize throughout the trip. The cherry on top is that the sets come with a shoe bag and laundry bags to make unpacking and settling back in at home a breeze!

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.

– Paul J. Meyer

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