Vacation! It conjures images of majestic mountains, sunny beaches, and dragging piles of luggage to and fro. That last part doesn’t have to be a part of your travel plans if you’re committed to simplifying your packing. Here, some of our traveling friends impart wisdom for lightening your load on the road:
Choose luggage wisely. Whether you’re on holiday for a weekend, a month, or a year, it’s perfectly possible to pack everything you need into a carry-on size bag. Choose a roller suitcase approved for airplane cabins, or try a backpack/suitcase hybrid bag – eBags makes one that zips open like a suitcase, fits under an airline seat, has backpack and shoulder straps, and has great organizational features to boot. A carry-on also saves time at baggage claim, or even worse, the inconvenience of delayed or lost luggage.
Packing cubes are your friends. Many a traveler has been wary of this purchase…that is, until they tried them and fell in love. Packing cubes not only allow you to squeeze in significantly more items, but they keep everything tidy and prevent a tangled mess in your luggage. We love these packing cubes that come in a variety of sizes to configure in your bag.
No one will notice you’ve worn the same outfit multiple times. Even on long trips, three or four outfits should suffice, especially if they’re versatile. Black is a sure bet, because it can be easily dressed up and down, and also doesn’t show that dribble of ice cream or smudge of dirt. Jeans are heavy, take up a lot of space, are slow to dry, and are too casual for “dressier” locales, and for these reasons many seasoned travelers avoid them. Also, consider clothing designed specifically for travel, or even workout wear – brands like Athleta offer a variety of lightweight separates that look great on the street, are lightweight enough to launder in a hotel sink, and dry overnight.
Leave all those shoes at home. For most voyages, two pairs of shoes will do you – a pair of closed-toe shoes (attractive, streamlined sneakers or other walking-friendly shoes) and a pair of sandals or flats to dress up or down (depending on the season and type of trip). Most of us have a love affair with footwear, but shoes take up a lot of space – consider your trip a break from all that decision fatigue.
Simplify your beauty routine. Do you really need to pack 48 shades of eye shadow, or will a small, neutral palette suffice? Keep your makeup simple, and think about giving your hair a break from heat styling, which will free up additional space in your luggage. As for what you bring along, use travel-sized containers that are airline-approved for carry on – try the Actifirm Natural Basics Kit to keep skin in tip-top shape on the road.
Consider clothing souvenirs. Part of traveling light is avoiding the acquisition of too much on the road. If you’re looking for a great souvenir that you’ll use on the road and at home, consider clothing that reflects your destination. We love scarves for their versatility – they’re great for dressing up a T-shirt and pants, ideal as a sun shield, do wonders on a bad hair day, and can even be used as a bag in a pinch. You can get a unique one in any corner of the globe that will bring back fond memories long after the adventure has ended.
You can purchase those “what ifs” on the road. You don’t need to pack with the apocalypse in mind – even in third-world countries, you can visit a pharmacy or clothing boutique. While it’s important to bring plenty of your essential prescription medications and the like, don’t worry about preparing for the unexpected.
Consider your next vacation a break from the complexities of your wardrobe and beauty routine – it just might inspire you to simplify your life at home. Bon voyage!
Resources:jet setter, travel, travel light