I’m a big fan of packing light, I’m not strong, nor can I afford chauffurs to carry my bags and wisk me from place to place. Another reason to get it right is the stingy, strict checked baggage allowance the airlines have brought in over the past couple of years. If possible I try to keep to just a carry on only. Over the years I’ve become quite good at packing light, expecially when I am stricted with myself. So here are my top tips for keeping things light when travelling.
1. First check how much your bag weighs empty. and when buying a new bag, pick it up and really get a feel for how heavy it is, empty. Some bags are shockingly heavy before you even put anything in.
2. Don’t play the “what if” game too much. What if it rains, fair enough pack an umbrella. What if on my hiking trip I need heels, dress, bag, etc for a night out, think again. Pack things that are versatile (a nice skirt that when paired with a tank top (that you can also wear hiking) and the right scarf it looks done). If you do find yourself without something you can buy it and consider it a souvenir.
4. Rip up your guide book, yup you heard me right. If you have a guide book for Europe and are only going to Italy, Austria and Switzerland say, leave the rest behind. Same thing applies for when you are at a destination. Have a book on Italy but you are in Rome that day, take Rome out tuck it in your bag and leave the rest behind for the day.
5. Jeans, if you are like me you live in them and have 10 pairs. When travelling pick 1, they are heavy, and take forever to dry if you get them wet or have to wash them.
6. Keep any underwear you are ready to throw away (and socks too) and set them aside for your next trip. You can then throw them away when travelling. This way you don’t have to carry dirty socks and underwear and you lighten your load a little bit too as you go. Take this a step further and keep clothes you no longer want for your next trip, wear it one last time, and leave them behind. It leaves room in your bag for shopping too.
7. For shorter trips keep the samples of shampoo/conditional found in magazines. Travel/trial size anything is good to keep for future trips.
3. Pack things that have multiple uses like the tank top above, or a sarong that can be used as a cover up, a picnic blanket or a beach blanket.
Hope that helps you keep things a bit lighter your next trip.