Travel Lightly: Tips for Just Taking the Essentials
When you hear the instructions to pack light, one of your initial thoughts may be of the limitations on what you can bring to a trip. Although it does require you to leave a couple of things behind, you can still bring pieces that will reflect your style. You just need to be creative about how you get your packing done.
Aside from avoiding extra baggage fees, traveling light may allow you to bring a carry-on instead of having to check in your luggage. This will allow you to feel reassured that your belongings are safe and save you time from having to wait at the baggage carousel. In addition, this challenge of packing light may add to your travel skills. Whether you are going on a business trip for a few days or a vacation for a week, here are some tips you may find useful on your future travels.
Start with a Lightweight Luggage
Before you rummage through your closet for clothes to bring, you may want to consider where you will put it all. Begin with a tough yet lightweight suitcase like a 22-inch carry-on that weighs under 10 pounds. Some manufacturers market their suitcases as ultralight options weighing less than seven pounds. Whichever you choose, make sure the luggage falls within the airline’s carry-on size restrictions and has enough pockets to keep the contents organized. You may also want to invest in a brand that offers a lifetime global warranty, so you won’t have to worry in case you damage your suitcase when traveling overseas.
Keep Things Organized
One way to lighten your load and still have all your essentials is to keep things organized. The most common method in packing clothes is to fold and roll them. Folding works best for garments with sturdier fabrics like denim jeans or chambray tops while rolling is a great choice for cotton and wool clothing since these are softer fabrics and are less likely to wrinkle. On the other hand, another option is to place folded clothes inside air-tight plastic bags that can be compressed. Although this is a great space saver, it doesn’t always help keep the suitcase light. It may even tempt you to pack more stuff, which may incur additional charges for heavier luggage.
Another tip is to use packing cubes to corral similar items. You can use them to place certain garments together or to contain a full outfit so you can easily plan what you will wear each day. This will also prevent clothing from getting wrinkled when you dig through your luggage.
Apart from clothing, you can also use packing cubes to help you prioritize bringing other essentials like toiletries and other personal effects. This is important when entering a Tampa drug rehab center or similar facility that may have limited options for purchasing and restocking supplies. Patients are also advised to limit what they bring so they can focus more on getting better.
Pack Clothes You Can Mix and Match
The best way to maintain luggage weight is to avoid overpacking. A new destination may excite you to bring clothes that will look great in photos, but the reality is you won’t need multiple outfits to enjoy your trip. Instead, pack separates that will allow you to create different outfits. You may want to consider curating a capsule collection wardrobe for the trip. This means taking versatile pieces you can easily coordinate with each other. The clothes you bring may follow a particular color palette or depend on the weather of your destination. Although capsule wardrobe is a popular way to trim closet contents, you can also use this concept when packing your suitcase.
Wear Bulky Shoes and Outerwear Instead of Packing Them
One of the unnecessary items most people pack is too many pairs of shoes. You need to limit your choices to pairs that are comfortable, stylish, and versatile. Ideally, pack a nice pair of flats that will look great with dresses or pants and still comfortable enough to wear when walking all day. Also, you may want to bring flip-flops. They take up little room in your suitcase and you can wear them when going to the beach or taking a stroll in shorts or a dress. You may even use them around the hotel while in your room or when you need to take a quick trip to the breakfast buffet. To save room and keep your luggage light, wear the bulkiest and heaviest shoes on your plane trip. This works well when you need to bring boots during fall or winter.
When it comes to outerwear, get an insulated jacket that is lightweight and can keep you warm. If you want to bring a coat, choose one you can match with your other clothes. Layering is also your friend so bring a large scarf you can easily drape around your shoulders in case the weather gets chilly. If your outerwear is bulky, consider wearing it on the plane. It will save space and keep you cozy during the flight.
Limit Your Toiletries
Depending on where you are going, you may want to leave your toiletries behind and rely on the ones your hotel will provide. If you really can’t travel without them, you may opt for solid shampoos and a small bar of soap as they weigh less compared to the liquid ones. Also, many hotels have hairdryers, so you don’t need to bring your own. In case you forget anything, most hotels offer the basics like razors and toothbrushes.
Select Your Must-Have Electronics
Whether you are traveling for work or fun, think carefully about the electronic devices you will need for the trip. Since most smartphones can store your reading materials, serve as your camera, and allow you to watch your favorite shows, you may not need to bring several gadgets all at once. Also, you may find that a tablet is enough to store all your important work documents and send emails. Just remember to bring your gadgets’ chargers.
To make room for all your essentials, you may want to fill up unused spaces in your luggage with small items. You can stuff socks, gloves, or undergarments into your shoes. Although this may not help lighten your suitcase, placing heavier items at the bottom of your luggage may help you haul it easier through long airport hallways. You may put your shoes and toiletries by the short end where the wheels are positioned.
When you need to travel light, keeping things to a minimum does not mean you have to sacrifice comfort or style. Know what your travel non-negotiables are and allow yourself to be more creative. The truth is, you don’t need a lot of stuff when traveling because the pleasure lies in the experience, so make sure to take only the essentials.