There are two kinds of travelers in the world: those who pack light and those who wish they had. The key is to include everything you need in as little space as possible.
Some of the most travel-savvy people in the world-travel agents-offer some helpful tips and techniques for efficient packing for all types of travel:
• Make a plan and stick to it. As an architect plans a building, so must you plan the contents of your suitcase. A packing list eliminates the panic of last-second packing, serves as a handy guide for repacking at the end of the trip and can be beneficial in the unfortunate event of lost or stolen luggage.
• Check the weather forecast of the destination and plan accordingly. Also, be sure to know the local traditions. Although many places have relaxed their dress codes, a T-shirt for dinner could be a serious blunder, or bare shoulders may bar your entrance into such places as St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Bare legs for men and women are strongly discouraged if not prohibited at holy sites in many religions. For almost all outdoor activities, take pieces that can be layered.
• Lay out the items you...