I used to bring my all life with me when I traveled somewhere. You know, “just in case”. The problem is you always hand up wearing the same clothes and bothered carrying 20 kgs of luggage with you for nothing. I have come a long way to change that habit and here are 7 tips I used to do so.
1. Make a list
I understand that you are afraid of forgetting something. Making a list of what you need in advance and adjusting it will help you pack only what is essential. That way you can check each element off your list once you know you have it or bought it, and start visualizing how everything could fit in your luggage or bags. Start to pack the heavy things and the ones that you will not need during your flight or your trip first, and put the lighter items such as clothes last.
2. Look at the weather forecasts
This step is also crucial. A couple of days before your travel, check the weather forecasts to make the last adjustments. Since you packed your clothes last, it will be easier for you to remove them and replace them if needed. Thus, you will not hand up bringing shoes and clothes you will not be able to wear. Besides, you will neither be too cold nor too hot. Trust me when I say that not wearing the right clothes can ruin your trip.
3. Put outfits together
Following the previous step, now that you have an idea of the weather, you should not only choose the right clothes but also imagine the outfits in advance: which top matches with which skirt/trousers/shorts. And the same goes for shoes. Select your top 3 outfits, the ones that you are sure to wear and add only some accessories to vary them a little bit. It is great to be a fashion victim but if you are realistic you don’t need to bring that same pair of shoes in different colors and shades. According to the duration of my stay, I often select one pair of sneakers (that I will be wearing during the trip), one pair of trekking shoes, one pair of sandals and one pair of flip flops/home shoes and that is more than enough.
4. Avoid checking in a luggage when you can
A key to packing light is to avoid having a checked-in luggage that allows you to bring up to 40 kgs sometimes. When your allowed weight is already limited, you are more likely to think about the absolutely necessary objects. You will have to rationalize and figure out what would be of use to you during your stay. Besides, they are also things that you can buy at the airport for instance or directly once you arrived at your destination to avoid carrying it all the way through.
5. Choose the right backpack
This point is key because choosing the right backpack will allow you to fit all you need in one place. Instead of a handbag, I bought a 15-20 Liters bag with different pockets in and outside of it. It enables you to find what you need (your papers, phone, chargers, liquid products etc.) very quickly without having to unpack everything. In addition, I have a trekking bag of 40 Liters that I take to replace a suitcase. I also bring with me a small purse where I put some cash and my papers that must also fit in my backpack.
6. Share some items with your travel buddy
When you are traveling with one person or more, it can be smart to share some items together so that you don’t need to have it in double. It could be a bottle of water, a common purse, cosmetics, food…anything that you would both need at some point and that could take place in your respective luggage. Furthermore, it is more environmental friendly and makes you save money.
7. Use travel friendly items
Buy travel format products as much as you can. Go to a drugstore next to where you live before your departure, you will definitely find them. There are nowadays many possibilities to buy these products due namely to the airports security restrictions. As a consequence, your body cream, hand cream, hair products, tooth paste, even your tooth brush should fit in one pouch only. Besides, this should be your all time “survival” kit that you bring to all your trips without having to think twice about what you are going to put in it. The items should always be the same and be reusable for several travels. The same trick applies to accessories such as folding sunglasses and rain jackets or make-up and perfume samples.
I hope these tips will help you and wish you an amazing and light trip!