How to Pack Light
Traveling can be hectic enough without lugging around huge suitcases or backpacks.
With the airport rules and regulations, checking in is much quicker and easier if you only take hand luggage.
You save time and on budget flights, sometimes money too.
Follow these steps on how to pack light and travel with ease.
Step 1: Make a list
Write down everything you want to take: you can always cross things off the list later. By thinking about it in advance, you are less likely to forget anything. As a seasoned traveller, my bag is pretty much packed ‘in my head’ weeks in advance, so when it comes to packing time, it’s very easy.
Step 2: What clothes to take
Take two of everything. 2 t-shirts, 2 long sleeved tops, 2 sweaters, 2 warm pants, 2 light pants, 2 shorts, 2 dresses, 2 skirts. This can obviously be modified according to what you are likely to wear (e.g. if you prefer wearing dresses to pants, then substitute accordingly.) Choose tops and pants that all go together, so you can change it up. Stick with color schemes that can be layered up for warmth. Take underwear and socks enough for one week, and do laundry if you are going for longer.
Step 3: Accessorize
Ties, scarves and jewellery can make a basic daytime outfit appropriate for a night out. Choose clothes that would be good for both day and night, and accessorize to match. Why take flip flops and sandals if sandals can be worn on the beach and in a bar? Why take sneakers and nice shoes if one pair of smart leather-soled shoes can do for both?
Step 4: Toiletries and electronics
If you are going on a short break, take travel sized toiletries in a small bag. If you can’t live without your special shampoo, consider buying some small empty bottles and filling those to reduce the size. Do you really need the laptop? Nowadays a phone/ camera/ ipod/ laptop is all rolled into one- just take that! Do you really need to charge everything at once? One adapter plug is usually enough.
Step 5: Loose extra baggage
Leave the travel guide at home, or put it electronically on a phone or Kindl. Kindl’s are a great space saver if you like to read a lot on vacation. Check if your hotel or resort provides irons and hair dryers, in which case you can leave both at home. Leave restricted items at home. If you want to make it through security quickly, avoid any weapons, scissors, razors, lighters & any other sharp or potentially dangerous items.
Step 6: Fitting it in the suitcase!
Once you know what you are taking, roll everything up as small as you can. Put the big items in first, then fit smaller items around them. Rolled up underwear can be squeezed into any gaps. It’s best to avoid taking anything that needs ironing, but if it’s necessary to take a smart shirt, fold it with the creases and lay it on top of everything else. Microfiber towels are great as they can be rolled up small, and they dry very easily.
Step 7: Minimise!
Step 6 might take a few goes over to get it right. Don’t stress and just give yourself time. Take out anything that is too bulky and replace it with something lighter, or get rid of an extra top. Remember if you desperately need something you don’t bring with you, it’s a great excuse to go shopping in your chosen destination!