When it comes to packing for a trip, no matter how long you’ll be away, it seems that everyone has their method. Some of us pack days in advance, others the night before and some maniacs do it on the day of departure! Then there are folks who pack seemingly everything they own and others who are shrewder and pack light. These seasoned professionals seem to always have packed just enough. So how do these people do it? How do they pack light and not forget necessities? Let’s find out with these hacks on how you can travel light for the trips to come.
Start With Empty Luggage
The lighter your actual luggage is, without any contents in it, the lighter your carry weight will be overall. Wheels, handles, locks and retractable handles add to the overall weight. Consider if you can use a light duffel bag as opposed to carry-on luggage that has features you don’t need and will only add weight. The good news is that the design and technology used in new travel bags is focused on being lighter and stronger. So if your luggage is older, it might be time to purchase something newer and lighter.
Choose Clothes Wisely
That chunky knit sweater you love to wear might be what you really want to wear on your trip but is not be the best choice for your luggage weight. Packing clothes that are lighter in weight (and take up less space) is a far smarter decision. Wool and heavyweight fleeces are bulky and heavy, whereas synthetics, nylon and polyester are very light. Cotton is heavier than you might realize, but obviously not like wool. You’ll also find that packing lighter is much easier in warmer months than the colder ones.
Choose Shoes Wisely
Wearing your sneakers or heaviest shoes on the flight itself is a good strategy while packing lighter and more compact shoes in luggage. However, for long haul flights or car rides this may not be possible. Passengers these days often need to consider security in airports and will choose to wear the most convenient pair they own in anticipation of this. Try to pack shoes that will fit the most occasions possible.
Go Small With Toiletries
Many of us are used to this now, especially in the United States and it goes without saying that packing travel sized toiletries is smart. The amount of liquid on plane travel is usually restricted and whole containers of liquid add significant weight to your luggage. Invest in some refillable travel sized containers if you don’t want to constantly buy travel-sized products. And remember, you might be going somewhere that supplies toiletries anyway!
If You Don’t Know, Don’t Take It
Take some of the stress out of travel (and packing) and don’t pack what you don’t think you’ll need. We can often obsess over potential worst-case scenarios or events that may require a certain item you own. Sure the potential is there, but if not you’ll just be adding to the stress and strain of travelling. People are forgiving of travellers too – just because you don’t have the exact shoes for an occasion usually won’t lead to your exclusion from it!
Consider Your Destination
As a follow up to a comment earlier where I mentioned that people pack lighter during warmer months, your destination should dictate what you will need to pack. Check the weather also, because if you’ll only be getting sunny skies, you won’t need wet weather clothes. Prior to departure, think about how much room you’ll need in your luggage for purchases. If you intend to buy up a storm while you are away, think about how much room to leave for your return.
They Have Washing Machines There Too?!
If you are going to spend an extended amount of time away, it does not mean you have to pack for everyday you are away. Chances are you are going somewhere that has a laundry and you can just clean what you brought if you are running out of clothes to wear. Alternatively, if there is not a laundry to take advantage of, take a small amount of laundry detergent with you so you can do a ‘sink wash’ of your clothes. This will be far more efficient in terms of space and weight than clothes for every single day!