It’s been a while since Samantha and I have done a joint post, so it felt like a good time. We both have learned the advantage of traveling with a single carry-on bag and one personal item. I can do it for trips that are up to three weeks. She hasn’t gone that long at one time yet.
Some benefits of traveling light include not paying baggage fees, worrying about lost luggage, or needing to walk around with heavy bags. Also, while others are at baggage claim, you can leave the airport.
People have asked both of us how we manage to pack so light. Here are some of our tricks.
Pack a week’s worth of clothes. If you’re going for a couple of weeks or longer, you’ll have to do a little laundry. You can pay for it at the hotel or a laundromat, or wash them in your room and hang them to dry.
Bring layers rather than take a thick coat. The same T-shirt that you’d wear when it’s warm can be a layer when it’s cold. Pack less of your heavy layers. Sweaters or thick shirts can be worn more than once if you change the shirt closest to your skin. If you need to take a jacket, bring it on the plane, so it doesn’t take up space in your bag.
Organize your clothes well and pack them in tightly. Rolling your clothes instead of folding them will maximize space and minimize wrinkles.
If you’re going somewhere that requires a suit or gown, see if you can find a carry-on that doubles as a folding single suit bag and has some compartments.
Pack clothes that coordinate with everything else you’re bringing. If it doesn’t work in multiple outfits, don’t take it. Go simple and very light. Think of what you can do without, not what will be handy. Leave it out if you have any doubt. Limit yourself to two pairs of shoes and two pairs of pants, and wear the heaviest items on the plane.
Aldo covers everything I learned how to do. I’ll add some extra tips for women that may be helpful.
I tend to stick to dresses. I bring ones that don’t need to be ironed, like jersey material, or that look fine if they’re slightly wrinkled. I’ve found dresses so much better for travel because they take up less space than pants and shirts. You also don’t have to coordinate, so it’s less work! They can look casual during the day or fancier at night with some small accessories.
If you don’t like wearing dresses, I suggest wearing black bottoms. Black is easy to mix and match, and you take less. It works can also look casual or dressy with the right top.
I wear the clothes on the plane that take up the most space. So if it’s cold, I wear a jacket, leggings, a shirt and either sneakers or stylish high boots with a flat heel that can double as something I can wear out at night. I find boots or shoes that are comfortable to walk in for hours.
Most times, one to two weeks’ worth of shampoo and conditioner should fit into multiple 100ml bottles, so it doesn’t have to go into a check-in bag. I’ve also learned that I don’t need every color of makeup I own on vacation, but still carry one of everything, base, powder, blush, mascara, eyeliner, brow pencil, and two shades of lipstick.
Extras. I also take a tiny umbrella and a small purse that fits into my carry-on bag.
These are some of our tips for packing light. What are some of yours?