A relaxing vacation you’re looking forward to for so long will turn into a nightmare without proper planning. One of the factors that can contribute to stress while travelling is overpacking. Overpacking often happens when travellers don’t know what to pack and start throwing everything they think they “might need” instead of “will need” items.
Whether you’re looking to travel with just a carry-on, or you simply want to cut your checked bag down to size, these tips for packing light can help.
Why is Packing Light So Much Better?
Light luggage is easier to carry
When you are going to unfamiliar places, you don’t know what exactly will happen there. There may be places without a lift or elevator, and you may need to walk all the way down a staircase. With light travelling, it’s easier to carry for longer distances without draining your energy.
Less time to spend pack and unpacking
It’s so much easier to pack your stuff before and after travelling. With fewer things you bring, you’ll spend almost no time doing laundry and organising your things when you got back home.
The fees airlines company charge for checking even one piece of luggage can sometimes be outrageous. By travelling light, you can avoid baggage fees when you fly low cost so that your flight can be really cheap.
1. Use the Right Bag
The best way to avoid overpacking? It’s to get a smaller bag. This may seem rather obvious, but you may fill whatever bag you have. Using a smaller bag will reduce the temptation to keep adding more things and force you to prioritize what to pack when you know you can’t pack everything. So, starting with a smaller bag will help you in packing.
2. Mix and Match Your Outfits
No matter how long your trip is, try to limit yourself to no more than seven days’ worth of clothing. Get used to wearing clothes more than once (no one really notices or cares). Be prepared to do the laundry if you need to. Also, try to mix and match your outfits before the trip rather than during the trip itself. The key is to create more outfits with fewer items.
3. Only Bring the Essentials Toiletries and Skincare/Makeup Products
Most hotels already come with basic toiletries. If you can’t travel without your favourite body wash, shampoo, conditioners or any other toiletries, pack them in a smaller container or take only the portion you’ll need for your trip. This same goes for your skincare and makeup products. Don’t bring your entire makeup line where you only use 2 or 3 items each day. Remember, pack just enough for the trip and ditch the rest at home.
4. Choose Light, Quick-drying Fabrics
When choosing clothes to pack, consider lighter fabrics. Wool and heavyweight fleece are sure to keep you warm, but they also tend to be bulky and heavy. Fabrics are known for being lightweight as well as silk and synthetics such as nylon and polyester. Also, selecting quick-dry fabrics are always the best choice when you travel light. As you’re not taking too many clothes, you want your laundry to dry fast.
5. Bring Multipurpose Footwear
No matter how much you’d like to bring a pair of shoes for every occasion, stick to a maximum of three pairs of shoes. Most travellers can get by with two pairs of shoes, depending on what kind of trip they’re expecting. Yes, it’s nice to have the brown sandals for your white dress, the black heels for those cute shorts, and a sneaker for hiking, but shoes take up a lot of bag space. So, sticking to a maximum of three pairs of shoes is more than enough for your trip.
6. Use Packing Organizers
Roll your clothes and use packing cubes, stuff sacks, compression bags or cheap zip-top bags to maximize space and keep your things organized. Using packing organizers makes it easier to find what you need quickly without having to rummage through everything in your bag. Compression bags squeeze things down by removing excess air making them able to halve the amount of space your clothes take up.
It can seem a bit daunting if you’ve never done it before, but why not give it a shot. Following the packing tips above, you’re well on your way to your next destination, lighter of bag and spirit.