Packing light is easier said than done. There are many advantages of bringing only a carry-on. You avoid baggage fees, not having to worry about the airlines losing your luggage, waiting in the long lines at baggage claim and having less to worry about because you don’t need to lug around heavy bags while navigating, not only the airport but your destination as well.
Some travelers are successful when it comes to traveling light, but others can’t help but bring everything they own. Not only must you carefully plot what items to bring, but you must also strategically organize them into one compact carry-on.
Here are some tips to help make packing a breeze and your trip less hectic in and out of the airport.
When it comes to carry-on make sure it is the correct size and that it will fit in the above storage. Something with wheels is always easier to carry around. When working with what is inside the suit case packing cubes are a great way to pack for each day. They also help keep things from getting wrinkled, which seems to always happen once you start digging through your bag no matter how great you fold/roll your items. One of the simplest but often overlooked packing tips is to put heavier items at the bottom of your suitcase, meaning the short end where the wheels are—it’s easier to roll a bag through long airport hallways when the weight is down there.
Bring flip-flops, they will be your most useful shoes. They take up no room and are perfect for the beach, to wear with shorts or a dress, or to use as ‘house shoes’ in your hotel, or even shower shoes depending on where you are staying. Also bring a nice pair of flats that looks great with pants or dresses but are comfortable enough to wear walking around a city as well. Depending on where you are going you may need gym shoes. Whether you are going to work out or take a beautiful walk in a new city, a bring a pair of sneakers. Save room by wearing the bulkiest shoes you are bringing to the airport; if it is fall or winter and you want to bring boots, just plan on wearing those on the plane. Do not overpack shoes! You do not need as many as you think you will.
Make sure you pack ahead of time. If you are trying to pack the night before, odds are you will forget something or over pack because you do not have the time to think about it. If you prepare ahead of time you will know exactly what you have and what you still need to get with plenty of time to spare.
You don’t need as many electronics as you think. If you are going on vacation it is a time to get away, so there is no need to bring a laptop. If you do need to check email you are able to do it with your phone. Your phone also can double as a camera, but also a book! Instead of bringing a bulky book with you, just download it onto your phone so you will have it wherever you go, and it gives you more space in your bag.
If you are staying somewhere longer than a week don’t over pack, do laundry instead. Many hotels offer laundry services, there are local cleaners in the area, or even just rise in the sink. Pack four shirts and four pairs of pants/shorts, all that can work with each other. You can wear the same articles of clothing but mix and match them for different outfit combinations. If an item does not match with everything else leave it at home, you won’t get much use out of it and it is taking up space.
Pack everything you think you would need, and then take away two outfits. It will really make you think on what you want versus what you need. You can even try packing all your items into a small suitcase, and then when it comes down to it transfer it into a large bag, so you have room for anything you would like to purchase on your trip.
Every little bit of space counts. Make sure there is not anything left in your bag before you pack. Clean out your purse or wallet before you go. Any gift cards or receipts that you know you won’t need will just get in the way. Even the small amount of space will come in handy.
Do not count your purse as a person item. Take a large tote or backpack that you can stick your purse into. It will give you more room to pack anything else you may need.