A Beginner’s Guide to Packing Light

  For seasoned travelers, packing light is the way to go. You should know that there are many benefits to packing light. One benefit is you do not need to worry about paying unexpected excess baggage. With this, you can ultimately save few dollars at the end of the day. Packing light is also the easiest way to keep tabs on your belongings since you have few things.

Packing light is essential for those who want to embrace the joy and chaos of travel. With a small bag, you can chase your train or squeeze into it. You can master the art of packing light if you pay close attention to things that matter most. Here are some packing guide for beginners:

Pick the right bag

When it comes to the bag, people decide the size depending on the things that they will bring for the journey. This is not the way to do it. The prudent thing to do is to pick a small bag then fill the available space with necessary things for the journey. There is a difference between the two. If it is the former, you will surely pick a larger bag. If it is the latter, you will be forced to pack more efficiently.

To avoid baggage fees, the perfect bag is around the size of a carry on backpack. You have to know though that there is no standard carry on luggage size because each airline comes up with their own restrictions. However, in general, the carry on luggage should meet the size specifications of the overhead bin.

Packing light necessitates sacrifices

Do not bring clothes for every possible situation. These are called “just in case” clothes. You should only bring clothes that you wear on average days. These are called “must-have” clothes. When packing, prioritise the “must-have” clothes not the “just in case” clothes. Most of the “just in case” scenarios will not happen but if it will, you can look for a temporary solution like buying a cheap one. Only deal with the “just in case” situations as they come. This way you do not carry extra physical baggage.

Pack for one week

Whether you will travel for a month or a year, you should visualise what you will wear for a week. It is impossible to pack everything if you travel for a month or a year because it is like bringing your entire closet. If you travel for longer periods, you can consider laundry service. The good news is that there are many cheap cleaning services these days. If you have short trips, the best thing to do is to hand wash basics like underwear and socks in the sink.

Do not pack bulky items

If you are traveling in cold weather, the best thing to do is to pack in layers. Remember that packing thin layers takes up less space. Avoid packing coats because they are bulky. Dressing in layers with a fleece jacket is enough if it is winter. Do not pack the jacket just wear it. If you do not have a jacket, you can easily look for cheap ones around.

If in this case you really need bulky items like winter boots or coats, the prudent thing to do is to wear it. Do not pack it as it can eat all your space.

Pack light pair of shoes

The truth is, shoes are the most common reason why people could not pack light. You only need two pairs of shoes – sneakers for walking and flat for casual use. Wear the sneakers (because it is bulky) and then pack the flats.

Consider the fabrics when packing

Many travelers commit the mistake of choosing cotton fabrics. While it is good, cotton is heavy and slow to dry. For traveling, the best fabrics are wool and synthetic fabrics. Wool is a good option because it can keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The disadvantage here is that wool tends to be expensive. Despite its price, wool is a good investment because you can wear it regardless of the season. It can also fight off odors.

If wool is too much for you, you can consider synthetic fabrics. It is cheaper compared to wool and they can wick away moisture or sweat. This means that this fabric pulls moisture from the body to the shirt where it can evaporate easily. The disadvantage of synthetic fiber is you need to wash it after using because it will smell bad. If you do not mind washing a shirt quickly at night, synthetic fiber is for you.

Choose a color palette

If you are traveling for longer periods, it is best to simplify your color palette. This is to maximise the number of clothes that can go along with your outfit. For example, if you choose grays, it will be easy to match it with everything. The truth is, you can wear anything with gray. You should also bring separate pieces, not complete pieces. This is to optimise the number of looks you can come up with. Remember to limit difficult to coordinate patterns and colors. This way you can still look stylish. If you do not want to stress over a specific color palette, the easiest thing to do is to stay neutral.

Do not forget to roll it up

It takes time getting used to rolling the clothes. You will be surprised how much room you will save if you roll your clothing. The trick here is to stack the bulkiest items like pants and shoes into the corners of the bag then continue compiling the rolled clothes at the center. Pack everything tightly to conserve space. To make things easier, make a checklist of the “must-have” things.

Overpacking is the greatest sin in traveling. It can limit your movement and it can hurt your back. With the tips mentioned, you can pack lightly and effectively. You have to realise that at the end of the day, it is not what you take from home that matters but what you bring back home – memories.