Travelling is a liberating experience and heavy bags that slow you down should be avoided. However, not everyone is an expert in the art of packing light. Most people end up packing more than they actually need and pay extra baggage fine at the airport. Even if you are not air travelling, carrying around a heavy bag is the biggest inconvenience.
‘How to pack light?’ is a question that is discussed a lot, but the answer is hard and requires the presence of mind. However, it is not an impossible task. If you follow some guidelines and pay attention to travel essentials, you can travel light without leaving behind essentials.
Here are ten tips for packing light for any trip.
If you have a bigger suitcase, it is only natural that you would want to fill it with all the clothes you have. Setting a limit will help you become more selective while packing. Start with a smaller suitcase. Ideally, you should not be carrying more than two bags - a carry on which is preferably a handbag or messenger bag and a suitcase that will be checked in.
Assess if all the things you want to take on the trip will fit into the small bag. If not, you may end up with a bulky bag that may burst at any minute. Or worse, you might have to repack all over. Carrying more than two bags is a bad idea because you will be struggling to move.
If you grab everything that pleases you from the wardrobe, you will be overpacking. Take only what you need. Making a list will help you to pack lightly while travelling. Make a list of travel essentials such as toiletries and accessories first followed by clothes that you will need. Even if you are not fond of planning, it will be a huge help at this point. Clothes take up most space in your suitcase. Try to be less spontaneous and impulsive while choosing clothes. Plan your outfits beforehand rather than packing all and choosing during the trip.
Packing one pair of boots that can be worn with jeans while hiking and with a dress to a party will require a lot of space. The best tip to pack light for a trip is choosing multipurpose items. If your black t-shirt can be paired with skinny jeans and a chiffon skirt, you can pack three of them. Add a denim jacket to the lot, and you have three or four complete outfits with just four items.
Pay attention to the colour palette while choosing these clothes and accessories. You will be tempted to pack items that you think you may need or want while on the trip. Overcoming this temptation will definitely prove beneficial. Packing 10 pieces of clothes instead of 20 will considerably reduce the weight of the baggage.
Have you ever thought how much space toiletries and cosmetic products take up in the bag? It is obvious that they are essentials and cannot be left behind. But, you are not going to use an entire bottle of shampoo or shower gel on a trip that lasts five or ten days. Travel size packs are a blessing for travellers. You will be surprised at the amount of space you save by replacing bulky packets with travel size packs. Buy smaller travel size containers for everything possible. You will only be using about a quarter of the space of bulky packs with these containers.
You may want to take all your shoes on the trip. Wearing suitable shoes with each outfit is a must for fashionistas. Unfortunately, shoes take more space than clothes, and you will be carrying a heavy suitcase. You need to be clever about choosing shoes. You must not carry more than three shoes on a trip. Pick the three pairs carefully and make sure that they go with all the outfits you have planned. Protecting them with shoe boxes is not a feasible idea. Use shower caps or plastic bags to pack the shoes.
If you are air travelling, there is a weight limit on the luggage you can carry. Packing heavy items like a boot or winter jacket will steal space that can be used for other items. The trick to avoiding this situation is not to pack the heavy items. If you need boots, do not put them in the bag but wear them while travelling. The same rule can be applied to heavy jackets and accessories. This will give you more space for other lightweight items.
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Packing things that are available at the hotel is not necessary. Most hotels will provide towel, tissues, toothpaste, and toothbrush for their guests. Carrying these items is only going to waste space in your bag. Similarly, things that can be bought and disposed of after use at your destination should not take up space in your bag.
If you are travelling with a companion, take advantage of this situation. There will be things that you both will need on the trip. Carrying two of these things is pointless. Sharing toiletries will save a lot of space in your bag. Shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel are things that can be packed in travel size packs for both of you. Things like tissues, moisturiser, and a mobile charger can also be shared.
There isn’t another method that works as effectively as KonMari when it comes to saving space. Folding is the key to best packing. You should fold the clothes vertically so that they take up minimum space inside the suitcase. Using pouches to pack makeup items, electronics, and toiletries will avoid confusion and help you to find them easily.
This might be the toughest advice for travelling light. Books can be heavy, and they take up space as there is no way to fold them. If you love to read on a trip and cannot live without books, try using Kindle while travelling. However, many people prefer reading from actual books than a screen. They must not carry more than one or two books while travelling. If you carry five books and do not read them, it will be a waste of space and energy.