You’ve all feared that dreaded moment at the airport…standing at the baggage carousel, waiting for your luggage and seeing it nowhere, but still watching the carousel go round and round hoping your bag will magically appear. Losing luggage is a true traveler’s rite of passage, but it is also the moment that you might realize, why not just pack a carry on? Once you’ve mastered the art of packing light, foregoing a checked bag seems like a no-brainer. Here are a few tips to help you pack light for your next trip.
You don’t need more than a week’s worth of clothes, even for longer trips!
Have you ever heard of a little invention called the washing machine? Well chances are, you’ll come across one or two during your travels, so you don’t need to pack a new outfit for every day you’ll be gone. Pack enough to last you a full week, and do your best to pack clothes that work in multiple outfits.
Roll your clothes, don’t fold.
Rolling your clothes is one of the easiest ways to maximize space, and it also reduces the chance of wrinkles!
Make use of your personal item.
Almost all airlines allow you to have one personal item along with your carry on item. Be smart about which bag you choose – small backpacks that fit under the airline seat are ideal for this. Ladies, do not bring a small purse as your personal item! This is not a good use of space. Another helpful trick is to wear your heaviest clothes on the plane. Even if it looks silly, wear your bulky hiking boots and puffy coat on the plane, rather than packing them.
Ask yourself, “Do I really need that?”
Really think to yourself as you’re packing that fourth swimsuit, “do i really need that?” Chances are no, you do not need four bathing suits. Even consider not packing things like shampoo and bug spray but always pack sunscreen. Depending on where you’ll be travelling and how remote it is, you’ll most likely be able to find all of the essentials. Also, create a list before you start packing and do your best to stick to that list without adding.
Invest in a Kindle or other e-reader.
Many people already use e-readers such as a Kindle – they are so convenient, especially if you’re travelling long term. Bulky paperback and hardcover books take up way to much precious space in your luggage, so if you have not yet switched to an e-reader consider making that change. Another helpful hint: check with your local library to see if it offers free rentals of e-reader books. Lots of libraries allow you to check out books for up to three weeks at a time, from anywhere in the world.
Coordinate with fellow travelers.
Are you travelling with anyone? If so, coordinate with his or her packing list to see if you can consolidate items. For example, three female friends travelling together do not need to bring three hair straighteners. Plan with your friends in order to minimize these unnecessary items.