With the steep increases in airline baggage fees and a plethora of travel regulations, packing light is beneficial and will make your life much easier. It results in reduced stress on our minds and bodies and saves money and time. You will not have to spend time waiting for your baggage to be unloaded and you will avoid paying for checked luggage. Nevertheless, packing and traveling light needs practicality. You need to carefully plan the items to carry and also organize them methodically into a compact single carry-on. Here are some important tips on packing light:
Avoid last-minute packing
Packing light takes some thought and a bit of effort. For instance, if you are packing late into the night on the eve of your departure, you will find it difficult to figure out how you can make your baggage lighter. Begin packing or planning what to carry a couple of days before your departure
Make a packing list and crosscheck
Making a packing list enables you to cut down on the items you will carry. You will also not forget some essential items such as underwear.
Carry essential clothing items in threes
Carry essential clothing items in threes, from underwear to shirts and socks. This ensures you can wear one, dry one and wash one. Leg wear can give you more mileage, and therefore a pair of shorts or a skirt and two pairs of pants should be enough. Carry quick-drying and light cotton and polyester blends that are color-matching and are wrinkle-resistant.
Layering is advisable
If you are headed for cold climes, it is advisable to layer your clothing. Rather than stack a heavy winter jacket in your bag, carry thin sweaters and thermal gear. Another simple method of keeping your suitcase slim is to wear your bulkiest clothing such as a heavy coat or long-sleeve shirt on the plane. If you feel too hot you can put the added layers on the overhead bin.
Limit the pairs of shoes
Before you pack any pair of shoes in your carry-on, you need to ask yourself whether you really need it. Many regular travelers opine that two or three pairs are enough. Whether you are going on a business trip or pleasure, you can get by with one pair of formal footwear and another pair of casual footwear.
Opt for wheel-less bags
Wheel bags trick us into carrying more than we are able to carry. There is an incentive to pack light when you know you have to pick up your bag. Carrying wheel-less bags is a good idea particularly if you will be visiting areas with cobbled streets, where there are no paths or have a lot of stairs.
Avoid rolling your clothes
Whereas rolling your clothes will help you to stuff more in, this translates to more weight. This is counter-intuitive and goes against the very concept of packing light especially if you are not using wheeled bags. Try to pack items loosely so that there will be a lot of weightless air separating them.
Pack multi-functional items
Prioritize items that can serve multiple functions, for example sandals that can be used as walking shoes or a towel that you can use like blanket. Your smartphone can also be used to read guidebooks, maps or even novels.
Lighten your wallet
Remove unnecessary things from your wallet such as library or membership cards for the gym. An even better way is to just carry a smallish coin purse that can hold your credit card, some cash and your driver’s license.
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