Pack Right and Travel Light: Tips for Packing Light

Pack Right and Travel Light: Tips for Packing Light

Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or planning an exotic vacation, you need to pack right and travel light.  These 10 tips will keep your life—and luggage—in good shape.  

Start by making a list of the essentials you’ll need.  “Essentials” means those can’t-do-without items like reading glasses, cell phone charger, a versatile scarf or jacket.  Things like slippers, books, or fancy lotions are usually not in the essential category.

Once you’ve listed your essentials, lay out all the items you want to bring to be sure they make sense for what you have planned.  Are there any duplicates?  Could you substitute a different, less bulky sweater for the one you chose? Your goal is to pack right and save yourself space in your suitcase.

Here are 10 tips for packing light:

pack right travel light

1.   Weigh your luggage at home before you leave for the airport.  This will save you additional fees for luggage that weighs more than the industry standard 50 pounds.  Check the guidelines for the airline you are flying to avoid any confusion at the airport.

2.   Wear the heaviest of your clothes to save more space in your luggage.  Rather than carrying jeans and tennis shoes in a suitcase, consider wearing them on your flight to save space and weight in your bag.

3.   Mix and match your outfits.  If you have one brown outfit and pair of shoes, you might leave it at home in favor of something that matches your black pants.  It gives you more options than an outfit that goes with nothing else in your suitcase.

4.   Think about the opportunities you will have to do laundry while you are away.  If you’re staying with friends or family, you may have the opportunity to do laundry.  That means you can pack less, saving weight and space in your suitcase.

5.   Make a list of what you need and stick to the list.  This will prevent over packing or packing things you won’t even use while you’re away.

6.   Roll it, don’t fold it.  Rolling your clothes will actually save space in your suitcase.  You might have some wrinkles when you get to your destination but you won’t have to carry as much.

pack right7.   Use your shoes for storage.  Stuff socks into your shoes.  It’s only wasted space, so why not take advantage of it!

8.   Pack the heaviest items like shoes and jeans first.  Then pack lighter items around them.  You won’t be stuffing bulkier items at the end and will be surprised at how much space you have available.

9.   Sample size toiletries are optimal especially if you’re only using carry-on luggage.  Not only are they smaller, they are typically enough for a week and weigh less than the full-size option.  Unless you are going to a remote location, there will be stores available if you need additional items.

10.   Bring shoes for all occasions.  If you’re going to take up space in luggage, it’s for your shoes.  You don’t want to be breaking in a new pair while on vacation.  Save your feet.  You can always grab another shampoo or shirt.  A bad pair of shoes can ruin a vacation.

For additional tips, check out Fodor’s guide to packing light for a trip.

What are your favorite tricks for packing a suitcase, carry-on or overnight bag?  Let us know!



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