5 Tips for Packing Light

Madewell Transport Rucksack with Indio Sunglasses

Confessions of an ex-over-packer

As I was traveling this summer, one thing I made an effort to do was to pack light. I’m a chronic over-packer, and I wanted to work on traveling with less so that I could more fully enjoy the travel experience without constantly worrying about what I was forgetting. Now I’m still not extremely minimal when I pack, but on my most recent flight I managed to bring only a backpack and large handbag (yay for no luggage fees!) While I was in Europe, I took one checked duffle bag and one backpack with me. This allowed me to pack for a variety of climates and activities, but didn’t feel like too much. Today I’ve compiled some of my favorite ways to make sure I’m only packing what I will use.

Plan Your Outfits

When I’m traveling, I’m sometimes tempted to throw my entire wardrobe into the suitcase, you know, just in case. These days, though, I prefer to plan out outfits suited to the activities I’ll be participating in. Since I wear a capsule wardrobe, most of my clothes work together, so I try to choose pieces that can work together to create several different outfits. On my recent trip to Europe, I traveled with 12 pieces of clothing, and had plenty of outfits. Try looking up travel capsule wardrobes on Pinterest to get you started with travel outfit planning.

Keep Electronics Minimal

Another category I’m tempted to over pack on is electronics. I want my cameras, all of my lenses, my laptop, headphones, you name it. This can be stressful to cart around while traveling, and you don’t want to risk loosing your entire collection of gear. Instead, I like to choose one or two camera lenses I know I will love using, and bring more versatile gadgets. My iPhone can stand in for my vlogging camera, and my phone, camera, two lenses, earbuds, and laptop fit compactly in my backpack meaning I can work on the go.

Bring Versatile Shoes & Accessories

Shoes take up a lot of space in a bag, and I’ve noticed that when I travel, even if I have options, I stick to one or two pairs of shoes. Bring two versatile options that go with your outfits, and save that space! The last thing I want to do when I’m headed out to explore is untangle a load of necklaces or try to choose between scarves. I like to bring accessories that are neutral enough to match all of my outfits so that accessorizing is minimal and easy.

Pack By Category

During the actual process of packing, I like to pack by category. My categories are usually clothing, electronics, shoes, accessories, and toiletries. Keeping these categories in distinct areas of my suitcase helps me to be more organized as I travel. If I need to remove a laptop or toiletry bag in security, I know I can access it easily without having to totally unpack and repack.

Utilize Your Travel Outfit

Use your travel outfit to help you bring along those bulkier items. I like to wear my sneakers, jackets, and hats en route to free up space in my suitcase or backpack. Other items that take up a lot of space include sweaters and jeans, so consider how you can wear your items that take up the most room so you don’t have to actually pack them.

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What are some of your best packing tips? I’d love to hear!

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2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Packing Light

  1. I always pack a small travel bottle of laundry detergent with me so I can wash what I need to in hotel or cottage sinks if I can’t get to laundry facilities. I also take a Tide to go pen for small stains. This way four tops for two weeks seems doable.

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