I’ve recently realized that I have a knack for packing light. No matter where I go or how long I’ll be gone, I never bring more than one suitcase (including when I went to Switzerland for eight months). I decided that I should share some of my ideas, so here a few tips on how to pack light.
Step 1: The Bag
Many people nowadays have one of those hard-shelled, four-wheeled suitcases. Sure, these are a little easier to navigate, but they also are pretty heavy. Many large suitcases weigh five to ten pounds before you put anything in them! That’s five to ten pounds of stuff that you could be bringing with you!
I use a duffel bag instead (mine still has wheels – I’m not fit enough to carry fifty pounds on my shoulder). My duffel bag has a hard-shell bottom (you know, a place for the wheels to go) and a soft, cloth top. This way, it’s the best of both words – light and maneuverable.
Step 2: The Clothes
Before you leave on your trip, be sure to check the weather! It would be so sad if you decided to pack only shorts, and then, when you arrive, its 40 degrees.
You also don’t need as much as you think you do! Let’s be real, when you are at home, you wear the same outfit for a few days in a row, but when you go on a trip, you somehow come to believe that you need three outfits per day, which is definitely not the case. Instead, of doing this, pack a few pairs of pants and some shirts to match with them, along with a handful of extra shirts. If you just switch out your tops, no one will notice that you are wearing the same pair of jeans, and, in all honesty, no one will care.
Step 3: The Shoes
Once again, you don’t need as much as you think. Basically, all you need is one pair of comfy, walkable shoes, one pair of flip-flops, and, if you are planning on doing something semi-fancy, a pair of dress shoes. That’s it.
*Side note: if your bag is a little smaller, stuff your socks inside of your shoes to save space.
Step 4: The Toiletries
Whether you are going on a short trip or a long trip, bring travel-size toiletries. You can either buy refillable travel-size containers (which is more cost effective) or just buy travel-size products from the store. If it’s a short trip, these should be plenty. If it’s a long trip, buy the normal-sized toiletries when you get there. It’s not going to be that hard to find soap, no matter where you are in the world.
If you end up following these tips, odds are you’ll have some extra space to throw in some little extra goodies! Add another outfit or another pair of shoes to your bag to complete your favorite look. Then, get ready to go off on an adventure!