Who hasn’t dreamed of travelling with a small tote bag or carry-on that has everything in it you need for where you’re going? In this case, those among us who are de-clutter fanatics may have the advantage over those who pack everything in case of an emergency.
But it’s something that anyone can learn to do by keeping several tips in mind. If you’re set on travelling light, first, take a few extra minutes to review clothing and personal care options. Plus, it’s also a useful distraction exercise that you can do even on the most stressful of days in preparation for your trip.
Travel light experts often suggest having a small bag of mini-sized personal care products ready to grab and pack. If not, consider spending some time gathering together these items (yes, even ear swabs, anti-perspirant, a razor, nail file, etc.) and put them either in a special cosmetic or plastic bag.
The same can be done for electronic gadget chargers, ear phones/head phones, as well as an international plug depending on what smartphones and other electronic gadgets you’re taking with you. If you haven’t, spend a few extra minutes to establish a place for them at home or have them ready in a small bag where you can get them for all forthcoming trips.
There’s been a lot of buzz about wrinkle-resistant clothing, and it depends entirely on the purpose of your trip. Items like raincoats, jackets, pants, shorts, shirts, etc. are available in breathable, packable, non-wrinkling fabrics and might be useful for travelling light. If time permits, do some research and try one article of clothing out to decide.
With all the new technologies in fabrics, it’s also worth pointing out that simple wardrobe items like tee-shirts, sweaters and outer wear (puffer jackets, for example) are all a lot lighter and also take up a lot less room than they used to. Sweatshirts happen to be heavy and take up a lot of room, so consider switching to a crew-neck sweater.
Finding one pair of multipurpose shoes is not easy. These days, with footwear and fashion trends tending to “athleisure” it’s acceptable to wear sneakers, Stan Smiths, or whatever athletic shoe you want. Women have more of a shoe dilemma than men, generally speaking, if dress-up shoes are part of the wardrobe for the trip. However, depending on the season of travel (winter, for example), shoes, especially boots, may end up taking up a lot of room. Don’t forget though, that boots offer a lot of room where you can pack small items.
The advent of smartphones and tablets allows us to be tuned in at all times to news, literature, films, etc. via the Internet. But if, like me, you enjoy taking a stack of magazines onboard to get a different perspective from digital counterparts, when you’re finished with them, offer them to flight attendants, who are usually grateful to accept them.
Everyone has insight and tips for travelling light, or packing light, but it really is a question of personal preferences and habits. Sometimes habits are difficult to change, so if your goal is to travel more lightly in the future, start making small changes in the way you pack, and eventually you’ll have it solved.
Isabelle Kellogg's press relations career, with a speciality in travel and hospitality, enabled her to make an easy transition to journalism and write about the topics she loves.