Want to know a secret to a more worthwhile vacation? Keep your luggage light and your travel experiences heavy. However, most travelers tend to do this the other way around.
Have you ever experienced going on a short trip with a heavy, bulky bag loaded with stuff you’re less likely to use? Or travel with a large roller bag plus another carry-on bag that made you pay unnecessary fees? Yes, we’ve all been there.
It’s nice to travel with a lighter load. Not only you’ll save money on checked bag fees, but you’ll also enjoy greater freedom of movement and mental baggage. You can squeeze into small spaces, walk faster, and experience more of the destination.
Packing small and light only takes a little bit of planning. Here are 9 tricks to keep in mind when packing for your next trip.
1- Start with the right carry-on bag
A well-designed bag makes the packing easier and helps you remain comfortable through the duration of your travel. A carry-on bag is preferable to a larger roller bag – it can be a small suitcase, backpack, briefcase, laptop bag, or overnight bag.
If you’re a female traveler, who tends to struggle with bags built for men, you might want to buy bags with an adjustable torso length. Go for ones with padded shoulder straps and hip belt.
2- Keep things organized
Perhaps your things aren’t bulky and heavy – it’s just messed up.
Use organizers. If you’re bringing a suitcase, keep things organized with packing cubes. You can also group similar products in sealed resealable bags.
Pack garments smartly. Roll softer garments and fold the stiffer ones, like skirts and dressy pants. Arrange rolled items in the bottom of the bag, followed by the folded garments. As for shoes, pack the lightest pair and put them along the sides of your bag.
You can also use some belongings for storage, like stuffing shoes with chargers and sunglasses, and wrapping breakables in sturdy clothing.
3- Take only what you need
Pack the “must have” not the “just in case.”
It’s tempting to bring extra stuff just in case a situation calls for it but let me ask you: how many supposed “necessities” have never seen the light of day during your last trips?
Clothes take a large chunk of your luggage, so focus on minimizing them. Lay out all the clothes you think you’ll need and take half of them. Don’t bring clothes for every possible situation.
Buy or borrow what you might need. Most of your “what if” scenarios will never happen so, unload yourself of the extra physical and mental baggage.
4- Rethink your fabrics
Cotton is a common type of fabric but a poor choice for traveling – it’s heavier than you think it is, doesn’t breathe well, and is not quick-drying.
Instead, opt for wool and synthetic performance fabrics. Wool, for example, keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
5- Wear the big and bulky, pack the small and light
Golden rule: don’t pack bulky, heavy clothes – wear them at check-in. Same goes with footwear, which is another reason why you can’t pack light. If your trip requires two pairs of shoes, make sure to wear the bulkier one, like a pair of boots or sneakers, and pack the smaller, lightweight pair like flats, sandals, and boat shoes.
6- Go for layers
Traveling in cold weather? Dress in layers, rather than dressing in one bulky suit.
Packing multiple thin layers eats up less space and provides more flexibility than bulky items including coats and sweaters. If going to a very cold, wintry destination, wear an ultralight down jacket or a fleece jacket.
7- Bring multi-purpose items
Several versatile items can be used in more than one way, giving travelers more bang for their buck. For instance, you can pack a strong, which can be shapeshifted into a scarf, towel, blanket, hair wrap, and a beach dress.
Same with makeup and toiletries. Bring travel-size multitaskers like a tinted moisturizer that doubles as a foundation, sleek multipurpose powder-bronzer-blush palette, a lip and cheek tint, and all-around wet wipes.
8- Skip packing toiletries
Liquids, like your shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, and other toiletries can take up a lot of weight. It’s a no-brainer to store them inside small travel-sized containers. But if you’re going to a hotel, it’s okay to skip packing toiletries – the ones you see in your hotel bathroom are all yours. You can even take them home.
9- Stuff your pockets
If you can’t fit it in your bag, store them in your jacket and pants. A good jacket with lots of pockets can act as your additional carry-on, allowing you to throw in your phone, earphones, light books, reading glasses, and other small stuff you might need on the road.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel, a modern hotel in Western Sydney known for their exceptional hotel accommodation and location, which appeals to travelers in Australia. She has always been passionate about giving in to her wanderlust and collecting mementos from different places.