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Packing Hacks for Traveling Light

One of my most monumental travel dilemmas begins at home prior to departure – what to pack for vacation and what to leave at home. Over the years I’ve learned the value of “less is more” though my personality lends itself more to the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared”. Why not pack one of everything, right?

Not only am I wiser with age, but airlines have had the audacity to charge baggage fees! ((Groan)) Yes, the time came to change my ways. Let me share some of my travel tips to packing light. My packing tips are geared towards the airplane traveler, but take heed as there are time-tested tips that can help any traveler packing for vacation.

  • Synthetic fabrics are lighter and quick drying.
  • Consider clothing that you can dress up or down with accessories or another layer.
  • Toiletries – you can buy these at your vacation destination. Toothpaste, hair products, sunblock, deodorant, insect spray, etc.
  • Or… instead of aerosol cans, liquids, and gels look for these items in solid forms for packing. Takes up less space and much better for the environment. Go green!
  • Use hair scrunchies or rubber bands to roll up clothing and tie to make more compact.
  • Pick comfortable, durable clothing.
  • Try to limit to one pair of dress shoes that can dress up or down and a pair of casual shoes. (Obviously sandals or flip-flops are a must if going to a beach location!)
  • Wear your bulkiest shoes during travel.
  • If the weather calls for an overcoat, wear it on the plane instead of packing it.
  • You’re going to fill the size bag you choose to take on the trip. It’s just gonna happen! So look at what size suitcase or carryon you were originally going to take and go down a size.
  • Baggies are your friend. If need to separate items and think one bag won’t do the trick to keep things separate – how about utilize large storage Ziplock bags? I use them for so many things when packing!
  • Socks and underwear can fit inside your shoes – just ball them up.
  • A backpack can work great as a carry-on. It can be used on the flights as well as to the beach, a hike, or other day excursions. It also helps distribute weight better for long walks through airport terminals.
  • Pack protein bars or some similar packaged good if the flight is long –  can’t depend on delicious airplane food and airport food is pricy!
  • Guidebooks can be found as apps or downloadable forms on a smartphone or tablet.
  • If plan on doing some reading, why not take a paperback book you can leave behind at your destination once finished reading?
  • Pack an empty, expandable bag inside your suitcase. This will come in handy for dirty laundry, souvenirs or other items purchase along the way.
  • Do any currency conversion at home – airports rip you off.
  • Ladies clean your purse out prior! All those extra receipts, tube of lipstick you barely use, jumble of pens, Legos, etc. add up and add weight.
  • Remove from your wallet loyalty cards that aren’t needed where you’re going and any extra credit cards.
  • Make sure you have one place and one place only that you keep your travel documents and ID when you travel. 
  • Have your travel docs and ID accessible at all times (preferably able to reach with just one hand if also pulling luggage) and also keep it in a secure, out-of-sight location.
  • Take wipes or hand sanizer for your hands – plane seat belts are germ-ridden!
  • Wear slip-on shoes that can be removed and put back on easily at airport security.

Whether you are preparing for a trip to South Carolina, South America or Southeast Asia – traveling light lets you focus on what’s important. Those you surround yourself with during your trip are what matter. Make memories through the sights and experiences from the airports to the rural roads, bustling city streets, winding mountain paths and beach boardwalks. Enjoy! 

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