Some say the measure of a good traveler is how light he or she travels. While everyone may aspire to travel light, some travelers are successful and others can’t help bringing everything.
Want to lighten your load and learn how to become a packing genius? From travel wardrobe ideas to practical tips and tricks, this list reveals a wealth of information sure to make your trip planning easier.
FOOD & TRAVEL
“TAKE TIME TO PREPARE”
First of all, consider your vacation destination. Leave bulky jackets and boots behind and opt instead to vacation in a warmer climate. Swimsuits and sandals don’t take up as much room, leaving your suitcase light with plenty of room for souvenirs and other necessities. When it comes to packing, procrastinators fall short. One of the best things you can do is make a list ahead of time and stick to it. Start days or even weeks in advance, which will give you time to craft a complete list, plus purchase any additional items you might need. It’s a fail-safe way to ensure you won’t forget something essential.
It’s also a good idea to know your airline’s baggage fee policy, which is key to any budget-minded packing strategy. Visit your airline’s website and familiarize yourself with its baggage policy. Most airlines permit travelers to check at least one bag on international flights, while the majority of U.S. carriers charge for bags checked on domestic flights.
Not sure where to buy luggage or which piece to buy? Shop our selection of designer travel bags, from carry-on luggage to checked spinner uprights, to choose which option is right for you.
“CHOOSE YOUR LUGGAGE WISELY”
Many light packers believe in traveling with one bag only. If you go this route, don’t pack for the worst case scenario. Pack for the best-case scenario and buy yourself out of any jams. An advantage to using a smaller suitcase is that there is no possible way to overpack. If you only carry on, you’ll be able to exit the airport quickly. You also avoid any risk of losing your luggage and steer clear of checked bag fees.
That being said, use your personal item wisely. Your personal item is subject to specific size requirements (which vary by airline), but something like a purse, laptop bag, or backpack is generally acceptable. Don’t waste your personal item allowance with a tiny purse. Opt for one of our highly functional totes or backpacks.
HOW TO PACK YOUR BAG
Here’s the key to packing your clothing: rolling. Backpackers swear by this method, and it’s an effective tactic for many reasons. First of all, rolled clothes are less likely to wrinkle. To do this, simply fold clothes in half first, then roll tightly from the bottom up. Folding two garments together gives each item some cushion where you’ve folded so it’s less likely to crease or wrinkle in the folds. The inside of your suitcase will be organized while freeing up room for more must-haves.
Position heavy items, like shoes, close to the wheels of your suitcase so the weight is distributed to the bottom and makes it easier to roll. It’s also not tempted to topple over when standing upright.
WHAT TO BRING
When choosing your clothing for a trip, take a look at each item’s fabric and consider the following factors: quality, thickness, weight, wrinkles, transparency, and texture.
Ideal travel clothing is durable, takes up minimal space and weight, is wrinkle-free and opaque, and matches with the rest of your clothing in style and fit. Also, choose items appropriate for cool or warm weather in colors that won’t show stains. Versatile, low-maintenance clothing is key to packing light. Pack dual-purpose garments to maximize the usage of each article of clothing you bring. Ultimately, this means you can bring less. For example, choose an item that is comfortable for touring around but can be dressed up for the evening. A perfect option for the ladies would be a little black dress. It’s a good idea to pick two to three colors to plan your outfits around. That way you can mix, match and layer to create different looks rather than packing completely separate outfits.
When it comes to toiletries, don’t bring items you can buy inexpensively once you reach your destination, like shampoo, soap, and sunblock. Bottled liquids are heavy, bulky, prone to leakage and a security concern. Also, don’t bring books on your trip. It will force you to talk and meet new people. Guidebooks can be downloaded to your phone to save weight and space, and if you need a literary escape, you’ll likely find books wherever you go.
WASH CLOTHES ON THE ROAD
Try to get accommodations with free laundry facilities. This is usually a given when you go with a vacation rental, like Airbnb. If you’re staying in a hotel, call in advance to see if laundry facilities are available and how much they cost.
If you don’t have access to a laundry facility, wash clothes in sinks and hang to dry. Pack a travel size packet of concentrated laundry detergent and a sink stopper. Portable laundry lines with suction cups are a good choice, and you can find them in travel supply stores. If you’ve chosen quick-drying, synthetic clothing, it’s convenient to wash those items while you travel.