Traveling can leave you feeling free and easy—unless, of course, you’re bogged down with tons of heavy luggage. A few tips for traveling light can help you retain that free and easy feeling without sacrificing the items you need.
Unless you’re intending to cart around breakable items, you don’t necessarily need a hard suitcase with a heavy shell. Go lightweight and as compact as possible, not only for convenience but to avoid airline fees for oversize luggage.
You already know size limits apply to carry-ons, but they can apply to checked baggage as well. Besides, you don’t want to be stuck with an oversized suitcase that’s tough to carry through hotel lobbies or has problems fitting in the back of a cab.
Wearing the Bulk
If you’re heading into a climate that demands heavy boots and sweaters, you’ll do yourself a favor by piling on the bulkiest clothing for the ride. It’s amazing how quickly a couple of sweaters, jeans and chunky boots or other clunky footwear can fill up a suitcase.
If a warm yet cumbersome jacket is a must but too hot to actually wear during transit, you’ll save tons of space by leaving it out of your suitcase and draping it over your arm.
Clothes that Work
Checking the climate of your destination is the first place to start when deciding what clothes to pack. Reviewing the activities you’ll be engaging in is the second. Spot checking reality is the third.
Yes, it might be nice to take along three different party dresses “just in case.” But if you’re heading to a beach resort where you may not even have a party to attend, perhaps a single, versatile sundress will do.
The same holds true for packing for business travel. Even though your favorite three sets of sweats keep you cozy at home, a single pair may be adequate when you’ll be spending the bulk of your trip wearing a suit.
The Three Pairs of Shoes Rule
This savvy tip comes from the travel blog Hitha on the Go, and it says you’re only allowed to pack three pairs of shoes for any given trip. The three pairs vary based on the type of trip you’re taking and the climate of your destination, but it can generally be broken down into the following categories of shoes.
- One pair of dressier shoes, such as heels for women
- One pair of casual shoes, such as flats for women
- One pair of comfy, sneaker-type shoes
You get extra points if you choose lightweight footwear that can be easily packed in your luggage without taking up tons of space or adding loads of extra weight.
Packing light is not only good for your back muscles, but it can reduce the time and effort it takes to move around at your destination. You’ll also avoid extra luggage fees, decrease your unpacking hassle and have a better chance of fitting everything back in your suitcase when it’s time to go home.