Whether you are planning a short trip or a nice, long, well-deserved vacation, you can pack light and still have room for souvenirs. Below are some tips for packing light and making things a little bit easier on yourself.
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7 Tips for Packing Light
Make a list.
Start mentally packing before you even get out of your suitcase. Then, as the trip gets closer, start making a list of items that you really need. Also, start a list of a few things you may need to pick up at your local drug store, like new toiletries. To help you out I have a printable Packing List!
Depending on your destination, pack clothing that is easy to roll and fold compactly. This can help keep your clothes relatively wrinkle-free. Some fabrics that wrinkle less are wool, rayon, cashmere, polyester, and spandex.
Stick with like colors.
This is the hardest part of packing – selecting shoes to take with you. If you pack outfits that are similar in color, then you can pack shoes that match and save room. For example, I will pack all blue and gray clothes and take one pair of gray shoes that go with everything. I then take this a step further and pack only makeup and jewelry that compliment every outfit. I also recommend taking clothes that you can layer. This is an easy way to wear something more than once.
Use storage bags.
You can’t go wrong with packing some plastic storage bags to keep things organized. Also, a shower cap makes a great shoe protector and can be packed easily.
No kitchen sink.
You don’t have to pack everything, including the kitchen sink. You can always pick up a few items while on your trip that you must have and don’t have room to pack.
I love using those Monday – Friday pill containers that you can find at your local dollar store to keep my earrings and smaller jewelry secure and organized. I hate it when one of my pieces of jewelry breaks and they won’t break in a pill container.
Now, this may seem ridiculous, but the smaller some of the clothes are the more room you have. To save space I have travel PJs. Instead of packing pajama pants and a shirt that would take up more room, I have a lightweight pj short set.
Take your packing light to the next level and avoid lost luggage and excess baggage fees by traveling with only one carry-on suitcase. Over the course of a year checked bag fees can quickly add up. One of the easiest ways to save money is to travel with only a carry-on suitcase.
How to Travel with only a Carry On Suitcase
With a few tricks, it is easy to pack using a carry-on suitcase only.
Never pack more than one week’s worth of clothes. If you need to send your clothes out to be laundered do so, or wash them yourself. One really nice thing I have found in Europe is laundry mats that will wash and dry your clothes by the pound. It’s cheap and you don’t even have to do it yourself. Sending clothes out to be laundered at hotesl in Asia is also super cheap.
Pack clothes similar in color. I mentioned this above. By sticking to one primary color every outfit can match with the same pair of shoes. Only packing one pair of shoes saves a tremendous amount of space in a suitcase.
Pack versatile clothes that layer to mix and match outfits easily. Take a cardigan or jacket that goes with everything, that way you only need to pack one.
Leave bulky items behind. If you must take a bulky item like boots or a large winter coat, wear them on the day you travel instead of packing them in a suitcase. In the summer, consider flip-flops, they take up next to no room in a suitcase.
Leave behind items the hotel will provide. You will also want to leave behind items that a hotel provides for you, like shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion.
Buy a lightweight carry-on.
If you are worried that your carry-on is going to be too heavy for you to easily maneuver, consider buying a lightweight carry-on suitcase like the American Tourister Z-Lite DLX. It only weights 5.3 lbs.
Another good option is the Ricardo Elite Roxbury 2.0 carry-on suitcase, but it weighs 9.8 lbs. This happens to be the bag I’ve carried for about a decade now.
Random Travel Tip
Luggage tags. One of the best things you can do to make to help identify your luggage, especially at the baggage carousel is to secure a colorful, distinct luggage tag on your suitcase. You could also tie a small scarf or piece of fabric around the handle as well.
Just do a little extra work before heading out on your next adventure and pack light. If you’re lucky you won’t even have to check a bag!
Do you have any tips for packing light? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!