The subject of how to pack light is one that arises for anyone taking an international holiday, whether they are seasoned travellers, students embarking on their first trip, parents taking their children on their first trip abroad, and pretty much everyone else. It’s a nuisance to lug heavy bags from the hotel to the train station or vice versa. Not to mention the airline’s excessive luggage surcharges. Well, if you want to save money and time, understanding how to travel lighter is becoming increasingly important. By mastering the art of “carry on” packing, you can avoid the hassle of checking bags and save time at your destination.
If you’ve decided now is the time to tackle the question of how to pack light, then these 7 ways to travel lighter this summer are going to change your outlook on travel…
#1 – Don’t be afraid of outfit repeating
Wearing clothing only once is the largest error people make when not packing lightly, rookie error! Consider wearing each outfit at least three or four times. Take scarves and jewellery to alter your appearance so that your outfit will look different in photos. Bring timeless, neutral clothing that goes with everything. You can wear that black t-shirt three more times without anyone noticing.
#2 – Minimuse your wash bag and beauty products
When attempting to pack less for a 2-week trip, these packing tips are essential. If your cosmetics bag is the size of a large shoebox, you cannot travel with a carry-on for a lengthy vacation. Make sure EVERYTHING in your makeup bag is a sample or travel size if you want to reduce the size. Invest in things with several uses. Purchase a face wash that doubles as a makeup remover and cleanser rather than packing a face wash and a makeup remover. Reduce the number of things you pack by streamlining your daily activities. Each night, layering three night creams is a luxury rather than a necessity. One lotion that you can use at night. Do you apply foundation and powder on top of a BB cream? To get by with just one thing, try to find a three-in-one item. Think about this when selecting all of your skincare and cosmetics. Think carefully about the things you really must have and leave the rest at home.
#3 – Wear your bulkiest clothes while travelling
Before putting everything into your suitcase, lay it all out and take out the items that are the bulkiest, you can then wear these for travelling. This generally covers boots or trainers, wooly jumper/cardigan and a jacket.
#4 – Eliminate “just in case” or “what if”
Packing for the “what if” is one of the major blunders that individuals make while trying to travel lightly. If we decide to go to a fancy dinner, what if I need a dress and heels? What if I don’t have a warm enough jacket and the weather changes and becomes cold? The “what if” scenario rarely materialises, so instead you end up carrying around clothes you never wear. If necessary, you’ll be able to purchase the “what if” clothing items unless you’re travelling across the Sahara..
#5 – Rethink those items that are purely for travelling
Economy long-haul flights aren’t particularly enjoyable. There is no way to avoid it in order to get where you need to go, and no amount of travel pillows will make it more bearable. People frequently bring large blankets and pillows on aeroplanes, and you can be sure they checked a bag to do so. Do those things, though, make your 10-hour flight a little more tolerable?Yes, but is it worth carrying those stuff around for two weeks when the flight only takes 16 to 20 hours? No. If you must have a travel pillow, at the very least, make sure to purchase one with a loop or snap so you can fasten it to the handle of your backpack rather than having to take up valuable packing space. If you’re travelling in the winter, fill a tiny cushion cover case with your large sweaters and use this as a temporary travel pillow! You frequently see folks at check-in with their carry-on suitcase, backpack and small ‘pillow’.
#6 – Cut down on your “non-essentials”
When thinking through how to pack light for 2 weeks or less, you really need to reevaluate the items you’re bringing that you don’t actually need, you might like to have them but you will survive without them! That is the travel iron, curling irons and hair straighteners, a hair dryer, thick novel (ditch it and get a Kindle), etc. Although having these things with you would be good, do they truly provide enough value and have enough of a practical use to warrant having to check your bag? Most likely not.
#7 – Send your shopping home
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, it’s OK if I have shopping to take home, I’ll just buy a suitcase to check in for the return journey. NO! This is a false economy, firstly, there is no point in buying a cheap suitcase, as it may open in transit and you lose your shopping items you’ve bought for yourself and gifts/momentos you are taking for family and friends. Secondly if you are staying in a resort you are a captive audience and will be way over the odds for luggage. Finally, you will have the checked baggage costs, plus any excess on the weight to pay and the hassle of waiting for that bag (fingers crossed it makes it) at the baggage reclaim carousel. Make life easier all round and ship your shopping and souvenirs home ahead of you, they will be in safe hands and will save you some unnecessary expense.