You've pretty much covered everything; you bought a plane ticket, you filed for office leave, and you've stopped buying the latte to save money. Finally, you are going on that much needed, well-deserved, once in a lifetime vacation. But like most weekend travelers you haven't earned the Jedi-like skill of traveling light; what is traveling light anyway? What if there's a hip bar you can check out nearby, surely you need to wear a dress. What if the place you're going hasn't heard of a laundromat? What if it gets cold that you need a jacket? You realize that packing isn't as easy as you thought it would be. You begin to wonder if packing light is a myth. Is there really a way to bring everything you need without the need to amp your baggage allowance? Yes, there is a way and it all starts with careful planning. If you have the tendency to overpack, if you don't want to spend extra money for baggage allowance, if you want to enjoy traveling without feeling like you carry the weight of the world, or if you just want to know some good tips for traveling lightly then here's the 8 Best Travel Packing Tips.
1. Research about the place you are going
Before anything else, you need to educate yourself about the place you are going. The first thing you have to consider is the weather; is it going to be hot? Are you going in winter? Does the place follow a dress code (e.g., no mini skirts in public)? Based on the information you gather, plan your attire accordingly. If you know what you are going to wear for each day of your travel, then you will minimize if not totally eliminate the chance of bringing unnecessary clothes. Clothes are the biggest space eater in the bag so if there is anything that you shouldn't overpack; it's what you wear.
2. Know the baggage limits
To better plan what you should pack, know exactly the baggage limits. Airlines have different baggage allowance policies, but most of the time, luggage allowance can be costly. So it pays to know the limit especially if you are not too keen on spending extra money. Another good tip is to use a suitcase or a bag that is lightweight to take off the extra load.
3. Roll clothes instead of fold
Most people fold clothes when packing their clothes. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but if you want to save space then there is a better way; roll them. Rolling compresses the clothes thereby allowing additional space in the bag. Moreover, rolled clothes are also easier to stack or pack.
4. Bring items that can serve dual-purpose
A pillow that can be transformed into a blanket, a sarong that can double as a towel, a pair of pants that turn into shorts, these dual-purpose items are not only space saving; they are also convenient and useful.
5. Invest on cabin cubes
Photo Credit: @kennethsurat
Rolling clothes does the trick but if you want to take it to the next level then consider investing on cabin cubes. These can be used not only for packing clothes but also for other items, such as shoes, toiletries, towel, etc. They also prevent your stuff from being in total disarray, which is most helpful if you need to move a lot during your trip.
6. Bring a laundry detergent
Bringing a small pack of laundry detergent will allow you to wash your delicates or small pieces of clothing, so you don't have to bring extra clothes. This is also helpful if the place you're going to doesn't have access to a laundromat.
7. Wear rubber shoes during the trip
Rubber shoes are quite bulky when packed and takes so much space inside the bag. But if you really need to bring a pair, there is a way to do it without compromising your luggage space. Wear the shoes while traveling to your destination.
8. Use small bottles for liquids
Know and adhere to the 3-1-1 liquids rule. This rule imposes that passengers can only bring liquids in 3.4 ounces (100ml) bottle or less. So transfer your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, perfume, and other liquids in small bottle containers. Not only will it save you the risk of having your toiletries confiscated because it will also save you some bag space.
No matter how long or short your travel is, it is always better to pack light. The last thing that you want is an unnecessary burden in a time when you're supposed to be having fun. So consider following these tips and enjoy your next trip!