Why Unpacking Right When You Get To Your Destination Isn't The Best Idea

We've all been there. You head out on a vacation or business trip. You have a space-saving packing list all ready to go, and you carefully select what you're bringing along for the ride. You get to the hotel, unpack, and head out for the day. When you finally make it back home, you've left your charger, laptop, favorite dress, or even that one mascara that cost more than two dinners behind at the hotel. It's frustrating. You can call the place you stayed and get it shipped, but it's going to cost you money. What if what you left was something you need today? 

As it turns out, unpacking everything right away isn't always the best idea when traveling. To keep track of your things, how about trying the method of not unpacking your suitcase the second you make it to your room? We've also got some solutions for you if you're someone who can't stand leaving things unpacked. 

Don't unpack everything

The Sabbatical Guide points out that it's always when you're changing locations that you lose things, so not unpacking is the way to go. Of course, there are some things you might have to access right away, which leads us to the next piece of advice: to have a system you use whenever you're out of town. Hang your bathroom bag in the bathroom, keep your room card and keys on a table by the door, valuables in a safe spot, and electronics on the nightstand. Then you leave the rest of your things inside your suitcase. This is especially helpful when you're staying at a larger place like an Airbnb.

For the most part, this should work. There may be items you have to hang up, but if you do that in the bathroom with your toiletries (on a towel hook or the shower curtain, for instance), all your unpacked items are relatively close to each other. Additionally, having your things packed in sections will keep you from having to rummage. Socks and underwear in one pouch, shirts on one side, and pants on the other — you get the idea. 

Keeping as much contained to your suitcase as you can is a real help. Another idea is to lift each stack of your clothing and place it on top of the dresser so it's still folded but in your line of sight. 

Other ideas to keep you from losing stuff

This sounds great in theory, but what if you really need all your things to be wrinkle-free? Or maybe you have to get something at the bottom of your suitcase right away. Perhaps you just need your things visually in front of you. What then? Make a packing list and pack it in your suitcase instead of throwing it away. You can also put it on your phone. That way, you can run through the list before you leave the hotel. Even a list of the important things like "Laptop, charger, phone, shoes, items in the safe, bathroom" can jog your memory. You can also take pictures of what you packed if visual reminders work better for you. 

Another idea is keeping all your personal items contained in one room if you're staying at a larger place. Give yourself five minutes each night to round up what you've used and put it back. Hanging things in the closet? Keep it open so you can see it as you pack. 

Finally, schedule in time to do a room check, under beds, in drawers, cabinets, and on desks. Give any bedding a quick shake-out as well. Keep in mind that if you do happen to leave something, your hotel may be able to mail it back to you