Traveling can be a fun experience, except for when you have to lug along too much luggage. A sixty pound suitcase you must drag through a huge airport can lead to some serious back pain. An increasing number of airlines are charging to check baggage and some even charge by the pound, making it expensive to bring very much with you. The better way to travel is to pack light, making your vacations simple and ultimately more enjoyable.
1. Make a list.
You need to plan out what all you need for your trip. Take into account what the weather’s like where you’re going as well as any activities you plan on doing there. By making a list early and then going over it a few times, you can help ensure you don’t take extra items along with you, which defeats the goal of packing light.
2. Economize clothing.
Too often, people take large amounts of clothing along for a trip. Choose clothes that all match each other as well as items that can be layered, cutting down on how many clothes you take with you. If you plan on staying in a hotel, take enough clothes for only a few days, then wash your clothing regularly.
3. Downsize toiletries.
Sure, you can take travel-size toiletries along with you to save on space. Even better, go for sample size toiletries, which you can buy at pretty much any dollar store out there. The items are smaller, cost significantly less, and can be tossed when you leave for home.
4. Leave out the air.
If you want to use a smaller bag, you need to find a way to eliminate air space in the items you pack. One way to do this is to roll your clothing instead of folding it. Shove small items into any shoes you pack, ensuring there are no empty air spaces. Even better, find a vacuum-sealed bag you can put items into and then suck all the air out of it, really compacting down your luggage.
5. Go for multipurpose items.
Anything that can serve dual or more purposes is a good thing. This way you can take one thing instead of two. For example, consider taking along pants that convert into shorts with pant legs that zip off, which takes up less space than a pair of pants and a pair of shorts.
6. Ditch your computer.
Unless you’re planning on doing some serious composition while on the road, you don’t need to take a full-fledged computer with you on vacation. Slim down your load significantly by packing a tablet computer. You can use it to check your email, look up details about local venues, and even read a book or magazine while traveling. Most tablets weight next to nothing and can even fit in large pockets.
7. Ditch your camera.
Large, professional-style cameras sure look great, but they take up a lot of room. Unless you’re big into photography, leave behind your huge contraption and either take a small point-and-click camera that will easily slide into your pocket, or use the camera on your smartphone if it’s a good one.
8. Use or lose your shoes.
Sometimes you need two or three pairs of shoes for a vacation. You might be on the beach with sandals one day, then the next need boots for hiking a mountain, and finally need some comfortable shoes for walking through local markets. If you do bring along some shoe changes, use the space inside of them when you pack. Stuff socks, underwear and other small items inside your shoes to economize space. If you’re afraid your shoes smell or you have reservations about putting your toothbrush or other items inside of them, place you items inside sealable plastic bags first.