Over the last few years, traveling has become increasingly expensive, particularly when it comes to checking your bags. The only solution to keeping trips affordable, then, is to pack lighter – ideally squeezing any trip into a carry-on. But is that really possible? These adventure experts have mastered the packing process, and they’re ready to share their tips.
Make A List
When you’re trying to minimize your packing list, it’s easy to get distracted by the issue of space and leave important things behind. That’s why it’s important to make a list outlining what you plan to bring so that you don’t arrive at your hotel, only to discover you’ve forgotten your deodorant.
So what’s necessary when packing light? Globetrotter Helene of the lifestyle blog Helene In Between offers a sample packing list that can help you get started. From there, take some time to add your personal necessities and cut out those items you’ll be leaving at home. Once you’ve created your own standard list, you can make copies or add it to your planner, so you’ve got it ready when it’s time to hit the road.
Shop Smart For Supplies
Every trip is preceded by a round of frantic trips to the store – for toiletries, a new swimsuit, or to replace a worn out suitcase. Simplify these frantic errands so you can focus on what you really need.
One time waster to start with: loitering in the pharmacy trying to find your toothpaste or shampoo brand before you leave. Luckily, travel savvy entrepreneur Ben Lido feels your pain. As Lido notes, “I’ve wasted countless hours trying to find my preferred shaving cream and shampoo in travel sizes, only to make a mess draining them into reusable containers.” To put an end to that trouble, Lido developed a service that delivers TSA-approved toiletries in all your favorite brands so that you can focus on planning and packing.
Find The Right Bag
Obviously, if you’re trying to pack everything you need for a trip into your carry-on and personal item, you’re going to need the perfect bag, and there’s no one size fits all solution. Instead of obsessing over brands and reviews, then, consider this bit of wisdom from travel blogger Tony Rulli. After too many experiences packing his bags to the gills, Rulli developed a simple rule for purchasing bags. When you go to the store, buy a bag 10-20% smaller than your ideal carry-on. Then take it home and pack it.
After you’ve packed this scaled back bag, unpack it and exchange it for your bag of choice. There’s just one caveat: you can only bring what fit into the original bag. This will put an end to zipper fights and overweight bags. Plus, on your return trip, you’ll have room for souvenirs.
Tackle Your Tech
Not only does technology take up a lot of space in your carry-on, it can get heavy awfully fast. If you’re a frequent flier, find a way to pare back your tech so that devices don’t reach an overwhelming rate. If possible, invest in a lightweight tablet or e-reader that can do double-duty when checking your emails or doing some quick writing. It’s entertainment and productivity all in one device.
Create A Capsule Wardrobe
Finally, the most challenging part of packing is getting all of your clothes to fit into a tiny bag. The best way to deal with the problem is by creating a capsule wardrobe so that you can mix and match pieces into multiple outfits. A single pair of jeans can be casual or dressed up, while a necklace can take a simple dress from day to night. With the right pieces in hand, ten garments can become 18+ outfits.
At first, packing light can seem like you’re leaving behind things you want, whether it’s half your makeup collection or your favorite jacket, but once you arrive at your destination, you won’t miss any of it. You’ll be too busy living your best vacation life, unburdened by a heavy suitcase.