Summer is an excellent time to hit the road and go places. When you’re going out of town or out of the country for a much-needed break, one of the goals you should set (apart from having fun) is to pack light. Let’s see how can you pack light.
Traveling light has many benefits. Apart from not having to pay checked baggage fees that can deplete your travel fund, packing light can make multi-destination trips less of a hassle.
Packing light, however, doesn’t necessarily mean traveling ultra-light. You can take steps to bring everything you need while making your next trip (and bag) breezy and easy.
Take note of these 10 travel packing hacks:
- Choose the Right Travel Bag
The right luggage will help you travel light. One of the easiest ways to pack less is to have less space. This means getting a reasonably sized backpack. By traveling with a carry-on-sized bag, you’ll find yourself traveling lighter and packing stuff more efficiently.
- Use Packing Cubes
These handy containers will allow you to maximize your luggage real estate and keep stuff in your bag organized. What’s more, packing cubes help keep clothes from wrinkling.
- Pack for One Week
Bring clothes that are good for just one week. If you’re going to travel for more than a week, you’ll definitely need to do laundry.
You can save time and money by visiting the local laundromat or taking advantage of same day laundry service offered by business establishments in the area where you’re staying. Remember that doing laundry is more affordable than checking a bag.
- Pack “Must-Haves,” Not “Just in Case”
Traveling light requires sacrifices. You can’t bring clothes and other stuff for every possible situation. You should only pack things that you wear on an average day. If a surprise does happen, you could simply use your travel budget to purchase what you need.
- Take a Sarong Instead of a Towel
If you’re going to stay in a hotel, you’ll find that rooms almost always have a towel. Also, many hostels offer fresh, clean towels for a small charge.
If you’re going on an extended trip and don’t want to buy a towel, pack a sarong – a long, flowing piece of fabric that you typically wrap around your waist. A sarong dries quicker, packs smaller and has more functions. You could, for instance, use this piece of clothing like a scarf.
- Buy Toiletries on Your Destination
The lightest option for toiletries is to pack none. Many hotels provide guests with the basics, such as soap and shampoo. If they don’t offer them, you could simply buy toiletries when you arrive at your destination.
If you are unable to travel without them, opt for “solid” toiletries, such as solid bars of soap and shampoos. These items tend to weigh less than their liquid counterparts. What’s more, you can even travel lighter by cutting the bar and packing only the portion you’ll need for your vacation or holiday.
- Pack Layers, Not Bulk
Dress in layers if you are heading to a destination with cold weather or traveling across multiple climates. Packing thin and multiple layers of clothing takes up less space and provides more flexibility than bringing bulky items, such as coats and sweaters. One heavy winter coat can consume a lot of space in your bag and prevent you from fitting in anything else you need.
- Pack the Right Shoes
As much as possible, bring a maximum of two pairs of multi-use shoes, including the one you’ll be wearing. Wear the bulkier pair and pack the smaller item in your bag.
- Bring Only the Necessary Electronics
If you’re traveling for fun and not work, you’ll want to bring only your mobile phone, a small set of headphones and a charger. You don’t need to pack an iPad, digital cameras (you can use your smartphone to take pictures) and other electronics.
Here’s another pro-tip: If you want to read books on your way to your destination, pack a tablet instead of bringing physical books. Paper books tend to be clunky and take up space in your bag.
- Invest in Travel Scales
How will you know if you’ve packed light when you’re not sure about the weight of your luggage? If you’re clueless about how heavy your packed bag is, buy a cheap set of travel scales. This handy device will let you know if your carry-on is over the weight limit.
Take note of these ten tips if you’re aspiring to pack light. By traveling only with the essentials and ditching things that aren’t necessary, you can potentially save money and even avoid possible “guilt” trips to porters breaking their back to get your luggage to your hotel room.