While traveling around the world can be a great adventure that you never want to have end, preparing for a long trip like this tends to be very stressful. Not only do you have to figure out all the logistics of where you’re going and how you’ll get there and what you’ll do, but you also have to pack just a few things that you can take along with you on the ride. For most people, trying to fit a few weeks or months worth of their life into a small suitcase can be a real challenge. So to help make this process a little easier on you, here are three tips for packing for a long trip abroad.


Use The 2:1 Ratio

If you’re having a hard time narrowing down what you should be taking while still feeling like you have enough clothes and other supplies to last you throughout your trip, Lauren Valenti, a contributor to Marie Claire, recommends that you follow the 2:1 ratio rule. What this means is that for every pair of pants or bottoms that you bring, you pack two shirts to go with it. In general, you’ll be much more likely to rewear your pants rather than your shirt. So by planning to wear your pants at least twice with various different shirts, you’ll be able to save yourself a lot of space as opposed to packing a whole new outfit for each day you’ll be gone.


Don’t Leave Any Dead Space

To further help you conserve space and get as much packed into your bags as you can, it’s important that you don’t leave any dead space that could otherwise be filled. According to Catherine McGloin, a contributor to SkyScanner,  dead space is all the little areas within the things you’ve already packed that you could pack more, smaller items into. For example, there’s space in your shoes for a rolled up shirt or some pairs of socks. Also, there’s likely some space between or around other items that you’ve already packed. So to make the most of this space, try to roll up anything that you have left to pack and shove it in as tightly as you can.


Edit, Edit, Edit

Before you pack anything into your bags, or maybe after you’ve realized that everything you want to take isn’t going to fit, it’s vital that you edit as much as you can. According to Michelle Higgins, a contributor to the New York Times, you should completely get rid of anything that you think you might need “just in case”. Save your space for the items that are absolutely necessary for you to take. In the event that you have the situation where you’d have used your “just in case” items, just take on that hurdle as it comes and buy whatever you’re needing once you’re at your destination.

If you’ll soon be taking a long trip abroad, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you pack as effectively and efficiently as possible.