Travel Light: How to Do It on Your Next Trip

Packing can be tricky, and it takes some know-how to travel light. Unfortunately, travelers often learn the hard way after many miles on the road. However, you can make your trip smooth and hassle-free if you’re a strategic packer. We’ve got some tips to help you pack like a pro, including choosing the right suitcase, packing efficiently for different trips, and avoiding wrinkles. With our shortcut to packing, you’ll be ready for your journey with everything you need at your fingertips.

Travel Light: Remember the 1-2-3-4-5-6 Packing Rule

Travel light. (Source: Marissa Grootes/Unsplash)

A general suggestion for packing would be to include one hat, two pairs of shoes, three bottoms, four tops (short or long-sleeved, or outer layer), five pairs of socks, and six pairs of underwear. These clothes should suffice for two weeks. Add swimwear for a more personalized list if you’re heading to the best beaches, rainwear, or other items that may suit your journey. Pack even less since these clothes will last six days before washing them. Irrespective of the length of your trip, limit yourself to seven days’ worth of clothes. Get accustomed to wearing clothes more than once, as no one will notice or care. Additionally, plan to do laundry while traveling.

Create a Packing List

Create a travel packing list. (Source: Glenn Carstens Peters/Unsplash)

First, create a list of items you believe you’ll require, then refine it mercilessly. Reconsider everything you want to put in your luggage. Go on a trip with nothing but carry-on bags and backpacks. Eliminate the ‘just in case I need it’ classification. You can purchase it when and if you require it.

Pick the Right Suitcase

Pick the right suitcase. (Source: Danila Hamsterman/Unsplash)

Pack light and opt for a small carry-on bag whenever possible. Even if you can’t always fit everything in, try challenging yourself to start small. Avoid using a more extensive than necessary suitcase, or you may find it tempting to overpack. The right luggage depends on your planned travel type and what you’ll do once you arrive.

For those embarking on multiple destinations or spending much time on the move, a backpack with shoulder straps is the way to go. Many travel-specific bags have great compartments and features, but a traditional bag works just as well. On the other hand, if you’re going on a safari or bike tour where a guiding company will carry your gear, duffel bags are an ideal choice because they’re tough and reasonably priced.

Families traveling with young kids or those who will only be on the move a little may want to consider wheeled backpacks for convenience and versatility.

Travel Light: Carefully Select Your Clothes

Carefully select clothes. (Source: Arnel Hasanovic/Unsplash)

When packing for a trip, wisely choosing your clothing items is essential. Opt for things that serve multiple purposes and are lightweight and compact. For instance, a poncho can replace a rain jacket, umbrella, or backpack rain cover. A sarong can be a towel, picnic blanket, or skirt. Consider convertible pants that are functional and rugged. Roll-up pants with button tabs above the ankle or near the knee are also a great alternative. 

A shirt with roll-up sleeves can replace the need for both long and short-sleeve shirts. Instead, use a bandana or Buff neckwear to keep your neck warm, protect your head or neck from the sun, or use it as a sleep or smog mask. In addition, pack versatile shorts for hiking, swimming, and walking around town. Running shorts and a sports bra can also double as swimwear.

When selecting travel clothing, choose fabrics that offer performance, such as those that breathe well, wick away moisture, resist wrinkles, and dry quickly. Check your closet for such items before splurging on new ones. 

If you’re on a budget, consider buying essential items like quick-drying socks or underwear and gradually add more to your travel wardrobe. Synthetic fabrics are also a good option as they pack well and dry fast. Pack a lightweight synthetic or down-insulated jacket for a warm outer layer that provides exceptional warmth for its weight. 

For a versatile wardrobe, it’s best to stick with a basic color scheme to make it effortless to pair tops and bottoms for various outfit options. Darker shades like black are a better choice than light colors since they look cleaner for a longer time and can be more elegant for formal occasions. Of course, you can always add color to your outfit using a bandana or Buff neckwear.

Don’t Bring a Lot of Toiletries

Bring only the essential toiletries. (Source: Tyler Nix/Unsplash)

When traveling, it’s best to pack light and avoid bringing unnecessary items. For example, toiletries can easily occupy your luggage, so check with your accommodation if they provide essential items like shampoo and lotion. If you need to bring toiletries, opt for travel-size products and transfer them into smaller containers to comply with airport security regulations. 

Consider buying toiletries upon arrival to try out local products and save space in your luggage. Additionally, bring products that have multiple uses to limit the items you need to pack. Finally, it’s advisable to keep your toiletries on the top of your suitcase in a transparent bag because there’s always a possibility that airport security may want to inspect them.

Have a separate toiletry kit for traveling. This way, you will remember essential items like a toothbrush or contact lens case on the day of your trip. She recommends keeping these items in a small pouch or box in a cabinet or drawer for easy packing access. 

To simplify your routine, you can opt for all-in-one products like B.B. creams that combine moisturizer, foundation, and sunblock. To prevent leaks, use a doubled-up plastic bag.

Travel Light: Use Your Tetris Skills

Pack efficiently. (Source: Paige Cody/Unsplash)

One effective way to pack efficiently is by utilizing every available space in your bag. For instance, you can place your socks inside your shoes at the bottom of your suitcase. However, remember to put them in a plastic shopping bag for protection. The arrangement of items in your luggage is subjective and depends on your preference. 

Three popular techniques are rolling clothes, packing cubes, and bundling clothes around a central core. Rolling clothes can minimize wrinkles and maximize space, while packing cubes and bundling clothes provide a more organized and compact packing solution.

Final Thoughts

Travel light like a pro. Packaging light is always advantageous, even when you plan to check your bag. Wondering why? A lighter load reduces the risk of being charged an overweight baggage fee. Moreover, carrying a more lightweight bag around your destination is more comfortable and liberating.

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