The #1 traveling secret shared by veteran voyagers is "Travel Light"
Vacation Packing Tips
Timely advice on how to pack light and look like a traveling pro.
You'd think that packing light would translate into "taking less" - and it does - but there's more to it than that.
The fabrics you choose and traveling habits you develop have a huge influence over the size and weight of the bag that results.
Even the luggage itself plays a role.
Less is Better
Savvy travelers have long since realized that the temptation to over-pack for vacation (just in case you'll need it) quickly fizzles when it becomes apparent that their luggage is on vacation ... and they are its slave.
These tips for how to pack light have been perfected over the years by experienced voyagers who want to focus on the journey ... not their bags.
It is possible to travel with a single bag and still have everything you need.
Top Traveler's Tips for Packing Light
- Check With Your Airline - Check for current luggage restrictions and allowable weight and dimensions for carry-on and checked bags.
- Start With a Durable, Light Weight Bag - Avoid a lot of zippers, caribiners and hardware that add weight to your luggage without adding function. Every extra
ounce your bags themselves weigh is an ounce of gear you won't be able to include. I LOVE my Kipling bags.
Duffel bags are perfect because the bag itself weighs very little - a rolling duffel is genius.
- Pack the Absolute Necessities First - Medications (in their original containers), contact
lens materials, hearing aid batteries, passports ... all the things you
can not travel without go into the
bag first. If you have any room left over after that you can take some
- Minimize Clothing - The easiest way to minimize your clothing
is to choose a neutral color palette (black, khaki, white or cream
work well) for your basic wardrobe
(pants, jacket/sweater, skirt, capris, shorts, dress) then add sizzling
accessories to spice them up like brightly colored t-shirts, scarves,
ties and beads. Select lightweight
wrinkle resistant fabrics that wash easily and dry rapidly.
- Wear Your Bulkiest Clothing on the Plane - Rather than pack the chunky shoes and the cumbersome sweater, plan to wear them while you travel.
- Choose Specialized Travel Clothes - Yes, there are stylish garments on the market designed to make traveling easier and to carry essentials securely. Find the best travel clothes here.
- Take Some One Way Items - Pack some older, comfortable
clothes and shoes that are nearing the end of their life, particularly
if you intend to make purchases
during your trip. Donate or discard these items and replace them with
purchases of new clothes and gifts or just make your load lighter for
the return trip. Any remaining
shampoos, lotions, toothpastes, etc., can also be left behind.
- Consider Cargo - If this is a long trip that will take you
through different climates consider shipping things home once they're no
longer needed. Alternatively,
you can arrange to have items shipped to you when you reach a certain
point in the journey.
- Limit Shoes - No more than 3 pairs of shoes, 1 comfortable
pair for walking, 1 dressy pair for evening wear and a pair of sandals
or flip flops for casual activities.
- Avoid Denim - If you must take denim clothing keep it to a
minimum and wear it on the plane. Denim is one of the heaviest fabrics,
is not easily hand washable and
takes forever to dry.
- Plan to Launder Some Items - Make use of hotel laundry
facilities or rinse out clothes in your room and hang to dry. Take along
an inflatable hanger and a
mini clothesline to make laundering a simple task.
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Travel Laundry Clothesline Kit
This little kit
offers a line for drying your hand washed items without need for
clothes pegs, just tuck the clothing ends between the braids of line for
a secure hold.
Along with the braided line there are 2 ties a velcro attachment and a natural clay desiccant to keep it all dry when it is stored in the included pouch.
Look Like a Seasoned Traveler
The savvy traveler looks like they know what they're doing (even if they don't) and nothing ruins that impression more than too much luggage.
Start with The Mother List which includes everything you might need on vacation. By no means are we suggesting that everything on the list should accompany you on your trip. The list offers suggestions from which you should make careful selections.
In light of tougher airline luggage restrictions, hair dryers, irons, shoe wardrobes and kitchen sinks are not going to make the cut.
Pack Only What You Can Carry Yourself
If you need a porter or a yak to help with your bags, you've got too much stuff.
Aside from being a real drag through airports, into taxis, busses, trains, up stairs, into
elevators, along cobbled roads ... too much luggage distracts your focus and makes you look like a novice traveler which, unfortunately, is exactly what
some unsavory characters look for when choosing their victims.
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