Traveling is a lot more fun without having to struggle with excessive luggage. Nobody likes hauling heavy bags and waiting in line to get their luggage at the airport. Packing light gives you the freedom and control over what you have and makes you mobile. In short, packing light makes traveling so much easier.
Check out the following hacks for packing light and pack like a pro for your next trip.
Choose the Right Bag
Packing light starts with choosing the right bag. It is the first and the most important step in packing lightly. People tend to pack their bags to the absolute exploding point. One way of avoiding over packing is to pack a bag that is at least 10 – 20% smaller than what you think you will need. You will be surprised to see that you managed to fit all the essentials in a bag that initially seemed too small.
While choosing a bag, keep in mind the trip you have planned. Pick a rolling suitcase if you will be staying in a city while backpacks are more feasible for hiking and camping trips. Also, a daypack can come handy if your trip includes outdoor activities. Ditch the luggage at the hotel and carry around a daypack that fits all the accessories that you may need on the road.
Check the wheels of your bag before choosing a bag. Usually, two wheel bags are better than four. They have more internal storage so you can easily fit more stuff in less space.
If you love shopping on trips, make sure you have enough space to fit in the souvenirs and gifts you wish to bring back. An easy way to ensure this additional space is to get yourself an extension bag. Extension bags can easily size up to give you extra space.
Make a Packing List
A surefire way to pack light is to write out a packing list before you actually start packing. Only add the essentials to your list and leave out all the “just-in-case” stuff. If you are short on time, search online for a packing checklist. The internet is full of templates that can help you in packing smartly.
Tip: Remember to include all your travel paperwork in list; this way you minimize the chance of forgetting important traveling documents at home.
Pack for a Week
Whether you are going for a few days, weeks or even months; the trick is to pack for a week! It is easier to wash clothes or find a Laundromat once a week than carrying the extra weight for the entire trip. Keep a small pack of detergent if you plan on washing clothes on your trip.
If carrying a pack or box of detergent is not possible, resort to storing detergent in a ziplock bag.
You can easily wash all your clothes in a tub or sink of the bathroom of your hotel room. Just fill it up with water, add detergent and let your clothes soak in it for some time. Drain the soapy water and rinse the garment under the tap to have a freshly washed load of laundry.
Tip: Wash your undies and socks in a ziplock bag! Fill the bag with soapy water and soak your garments in it; even when you are on the road.
The Right Kind of Clothes
Clothes take up the most space so it is important to pick the right kind of clothing if you are aiming to pack light. Look for clothes that are light and dry quickly. Add items of clothing that can be used in more than one way, for example, pack a sarong that can double duty as a scarf, a shawl or even a picnic cloth.
Consider denim to be your new best friend. Denim is the ultimate travel material because you will hardly ever have to wash it. Also, it is trendy and will easily go with a number of tops. Try to pack a limited number of jeans. Usually, one or two pairs of jeans are more than enough to last a week.
If you are traveling to a colder destination, try to fit woolen items in your list. Wool can last a long time without being washed. It folds up nicely and will take little space in your bag. One woolen article can replace a number of clothing items from your bag.
Another handy technique is to use layers, for example, instead of packing a bulky sweater, pack a t-shirt, shirt and a light sweater. This will give you more options for mixing and matching your outfits. Also, a number of light items will probably take up less space as compared to a single bulky item that can hardly be folded.
Choose items of clothing from the same or matching color palettes. If your palettes are compatible, you can conjure a number of outfits. It is advisable to pack more dark-colored clothing. Lighter clothes easily get dirty and will probably end up as dead weight in your backpack.
Tip: Wear the bulkiest piece of clothing on the plane to save space in your suitcase.
Pro Tips for Packing Light
Let’s have a look at some tips on putting your stuff into your bag.
Rolling your clothes is probably the oldest trick in the book. Roll them up to save space in your suitcase.
To keep your bag neat and organized, use rubber bands to tie up each item of clothing. This technique also allows for fitting more stuff in your bags.
Save space by balling up your socks and undies and sticking them inside your shoes before putting them in the luggage.
Using packing cubes can simplify the packing process for you. It is very popular among pro travelers.
If you are using a rolling suitcase, pack the heaviest clothing at the bottom to avoid your suitcase from toppling.
Enjoy your freedom from the hassle of luggage and make the most of your traveling experience by packing light. Happy traveling!
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