For most travelers, packing can be a panic-inducing activity. They’ve booked Instagram-ready hotels, bought long-haul flights to exotic destinations, and can’t wait for the thrilling tours awaiting for them. However, when they must decide what to put in their luggage, anxiety sets in, and they undoubtedly overpack.
Experienced travelers, on the other hand, understand that traveling light means a lot more than just fewer clothes—it represents a lifestyle choice. By employing a proven strategy to packing, they can free their minds from irrelevant stress, take only essential gear, and focus on the forthcoming trip.
Leave Unnecessary Items Behind
Gone are the days when, not knowing the destination, you had to pack for any eventuality. But with today’s fast-paced globalization, visitors can find nearly all they need everywhere they go. Instead of fixating on the things you could potentially need, think about what’s truly indispensable. With that in mind, while you’ll definitely pack any prescription medication, you probably won’t need a second pair of smart trousers.
Take Versatile Clothes
Before packing your dashing crimson skirt or silk green shirt, ask yourself if it goes with your other clothes. More importantly, check how many opportunities you’ll have to wear any elegant attire. Why carry clothes you’ll likely use once a fortnight? Ideally, the pieces you pack should match with each other, and be adequate for casual or formal settings. Sarongs, for instance, can be easily turned into summer skirts, blankets, and even towels.
Use Layers Against the Cold
It might seem inconceivable to travel around freezing locations without a heavy warm coat, but if you learn how layering works, it’s completely feasible. Basically, by wearing layers of different fabrics, you can trap the air between them, and create a powerful insulator. The outer layer should protect you against the weather (windproof raincoat), the mid-layer should provide warmth (lightweight fleece), and the base layer should control the moisture and regulate the temperature (moisture-wicking wool baselayer).
Prioritize Quick-Drying Pieces
When travelers overpack, apart from hauling a heavy bag, they inadvertently carry their dirty laundry around. A better way to take advantage of the limited bag space is to carry fewer clothes, but wash them more frequently. While thick fabrics can take more than a day to dry, synthetics are usually ready to wear in under four hours.
Reduce the Amount of Toiletries
Beauty and hygiene items need special attention as they can quickly add weight to the luggage. Although no one likes to appear scruffy when traveling, you also don’t need a fashionable look every single day. Aim to pack two-in-one products like moisturizers that can double as sunscreens, and make the most of the hotel’s free toiletries and appliances.
Avoid Huge Bags or Backpacks
One thing travelers who travel light have in common, is the size of their bag. More often than not, the vessel for their prized belongings is a carry-on bag, which can be taken as cabin luggage on airplanes. By choosing a small travel bag, they effectively limit the number of clothes and gear they can take, and have to be creative in order to fit it all in. In that way, there’s no temptation to pack unnecessary items and you can save money and time by not checking in your luggage.