When it comes to packing tips – you all know by now that I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to dishing them out. When it comes to packing light for travel, I use only one bag. And it’s a wheeled carryon, I don’t check bags! I know, I can see most of you cringing now.
You only have to heave several heavy bags up and down footbridges in Venice once to realize there is an easier way.
And with some airlines charging for checked bags, packing light could not only save you a bad back, but money as well!
Today I’m sharing 16 packing tips that will help you on your quest to travel lighter.
1. Make a list. This will help you to pack only things you need and nothing you don’t, stay organized and prevent you from forgetting anything.
2. Plan your outfits. Pack solid colors that go well together. Black, navy, gray, white, pink. And limited prints. Make sure you can get several different outfits out of what you are packing. If you can’t create at least two outfits from it, leave it behind.
3. Pack at least two pairs of comfortable shoes. Keep switching on and off. It is good for your feet. Leave the stilettos home.
4. Wear your heaviest, bulkiest clothes and shoes on the plane, this way there is more room and less weight in your luggage. This includes a jacket or raincoat, unless you are traveling in August.
5. Bring jewelry and scarves create different looks. They don’t take up much room and they keep you from getting bored.
6. Always take a roomy tote bag that folds flat and put it in your luggage. This way you have an extra bag for souvenirs, or in an emergency if your rolling wheelie carry-on is over the weight limit, you can take some weight out and put it in your tote.
7. Weigh and measure your luggage before you leave the house for the airport. Check with your airline to see what the weight and size restrictions are for your luggage. You don’t want to incur extra fees for overweight or oversized luggage, if you don’t have to. Seatguru.com curates this info for all airlines.
8. Buy double-duty pieces. I have a great black and white reversible print skirt. It’s two looks for the price and space of one.
9. Don’t pack your guidebooks. They weigh a ton. Instead, organize all your info in one handwritten notebook, or in an excel spreadsheet and just print out of all your necessary info. If you must have a page or two of maps, than just Xerox what you need and leave the heavy books home. If you’re a techie, use an app like TripIt or cloud storage service like Dropbox.
10. When packing, use the rolling method, rather than folding. Fill up all the nooks and crannies in your bag. I stuff single pairs of undies in the corners of my case or put socks, hosiery and jewelry inside my shoes. Try to fill up every available empty space.
11. Pack fabrics that won’t wrinkle easily. 100% linen or cotton are not so good, but polyester, chiffon, nylon and items blended with Lycra do really well. And they tend to be lighter-weight fabrics as well. Look for wrinkle resistant also.
12. Plan on doing laundry. If I am going on a two-week trip, there is no way I pack a different pair of socks, undies, shirt and pants for every day! That. is. insane. Make sure you have a system. Either half way through your trip, make time to go to a laundromat or bring some Woolite (shampoo works too), a sink stopper and a surgical tube clothesline and do some hand-washing every night. They make kits that include all three. And don’t forget your Tide To Go pen for spot removal.
13. Know the TSA restrictions and guidelines for bringing liquids on board. I’m able to fit all my toiletries in the required quart-sized ziploc bag, so I know you can too! Check the TSA website for more information or my post on the 3-1-1 rule.
14. Always save your travel size and promotional samples you get the mail, at Sephora or when you order from a beauty site and they send a bonus. These are perfectly sized for travel! This also applies to perfume samples – it beats taking a heavy glass perfume bottle that could break easily. Eventually you’ll have quite a stash to pick from and these take up hardly any room when packing.
15. Pack a mini compact travel umbrella with a removable LED light. The light is perfect for getting your room key into the lock in the dark hallway when you come back to your hotel late at night, or for finding the key in the bottom of your purse.
16. Keep a separate set of basics like comb, brush, toothbrush, shampoo, razors etc. in in your carry-on, so you don’t have to worry about packing them every time. The first thing I do when I return from a trip is refill and replace any toiletries I used from the last trip, so that I am ready to leave again at a moments notice and I know that part of my packing is already done.
- Take these packing tips even further by switching to carry-on travel. Click here to see how I can help you convert!
Head on over to Cherrye’s to see what she’s packing today?