So you’ve decided on a destination, and booked your flights and accommodation. Exciting, right? But before that, something not as much fun – packing your suitcase.
It can be such a struggle knowing what to bring, and in places with variable weather, the amount of stuff you need to bring with you rapidly adds up.
Craig Duncan, a representative of www.holidayhypermarket.co.uk, knows plenty of travel hacks. He says: ‘A great tip is to start with a smaller suitcase than you would normally take. That way, you won’t be tempted to pack it full of things you don’t really need, and you’ll be far more ruthless about what to take with you.’
If you’re struggling with packing, these tips for travelling light will really help you out.
WHY SHOULD I PACK LIGHT?
There are loads of reasons why you should travel light. These are some of the top benefits:
- no excess-baggage fees
- take only carry-on luggage and you don’t have to wait around at baggage reclaim
- quicker to pack
- easier to get from place to place
With all that in mind, now on to some easy hacks that will help you lighten your travel load.
CONTACT YOUR ACCOMMODATION
Get in touch with the place where you’re staying to see which items they’ll provide for you. If they offer free towels and toiletries, there’s no need to bring any of your own.
PLAN WHERE YOU’RE GOING TO WASH YOUR CLOTHES
If you’re travelling for a few weeks, you don’t want to be taking 21 T-shirts with you. This means you’ll need to wash your clothes, so check in advance which of the places where you’re staying have laundry facilities. That way, you’ll know how many changes of clothes you’ll need to bring before doing a wash.
Sundry items like moisturiser, deodorant and sun cream can take up a lot of space in your bag. Even if you’re taking check-in luggage, make sure you pack travel-sized versions of everything. It’ll save a surprising amount of space.
THE CAPSULE WARDROBE
Perhaps you’ve heard of the term capsule wardrobe featured on fashion blogs. It’s a smart way to pack light for men and women. A capsule wardrobe consists of a few clothes that all match with each other, rather than a mix of separate, clashing outfits. For example, a plain white T-shirt will match with shorts, jeans and chinos. Make sure every item of clothing you take can be worn with the other items in your suitcase.
SWAP BOOKS FOR A KINDLE
Invest in a Kindle so you don’t fill your suitcase with a load of heavy books. This small, lightweight device easily stores a year’s worth of reading. It’s a great investment.
USE A PACKING LIST
Make a packing list of the most important items you need to bring with you, and stick to it! That way you won’t end up cramming your case with things you don’t need.
WEAR YOUR BULKIEST ITEMS ON THE PLANE
If you’re going somewhere cold, it’s worth wearing your ski jacket on the plane. That way, it’s close to hand when you land, and won’t take up half the space in the case. Equally, if you’re planning a hiking trip, wear your boots on the plane.
SOME ITEMS ARE CHEAPER AT YOUR DESTINATION
If I’m going to a country where the cost of living is lower, such as somewhere in Asia, I often pack only the bare minimum. It doesn’t matter if you don’t take enough T-shirts, because you can pick up new ones for very little. Besides, it’s fun to go to local shops and markets.
PACK MINIMAL MEDICINES
Unless you’re going to be staying in the middle of nowhere, you’ll find pharmacies everywhere. Pack only the medicine you need, rather than a big box of just-in-case items. Painkillers, plasters, rehydration sachets and anti-diarrhoea medicine are all I take with me. I also make sure I never take a whole pack of anything; instead I just cut off a couple of strips of pills.
GET LIGHTWEIGHT GEAR
If you’re heading off on any sort of outdoorsy holiday, try and pack lightweight, technical gear. This is true of jackets, trousers, sleeping bags and tents. The lighter something it is, the more expensive it becomes ––however, it often endures for much longer, and is way less hassle to lug around.
SELECT SHOES CAREFULLY
Shoes take up a lot of space, so choose them carefully. In my opinion, a maximum of three pairs is fine. One pair for walking around in, another smarter pair for meals and nights out, and a pair of flip flops or sandals for chilling on the beach.
Follow these handy hacks and you’ll find it easier to travel light. It’s so much easier to get from place to place when you do.
If you’re looking for more travel tips, be sure to check out some of the other guides in this section of the blog.