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Smart Packing Tips to Travel Light

Smart Packing Tips to Travel Light

Let’s be honest, packing for a trip is nobody’s favorite activity. But there is an art to packing just the necessities. Learn tips and tricks to travel light, save space, and arrive at your destination happy and stress-free.


1. Challenge yourself to only pack a carry-on bag

A good rule of thumb when packing is to lay out everything you think you need for your trip. Then remove half of it. You probably need less than you think!

When you forgo checking a bag, you can avoid extra fees, lost luggage and time waiting at baggage claim. So if possible, limit yourself to just a carry on.

In addition to a carry-on, airlines let you bring a personal item such as a purse or laptop bag. Take advantage of this to pack items you will want in-flight such as an e-reader to keep busy, an eye mask to get some shut-eye, hand sanitizer to kill germs, and a snack to satisfy hunger pangs.

Warning: Pay attention to your airline’s size restrictions in the fine print of your confirmation ticket. You don’t want to hold up boarding trying to fit your bag in the overhead bin or be charged extra if it’s over the limit.

2. Create a capsule wardrobe

It’s all about minimalism and sticking to the basics. A capsule wardrobe is composed of versatile clothing that coordinate well together so that you can mix, match and layer. This way, you can create different looks instead of packing completely separate outfits.

When putting together your outfits, think neutrals and solid colors over bold prints. You should be able to match three shirts for every pair of bottoms. Add accessories such as necklaces and light scarves to enhance the basics. As far as shoes go, one pair of sturdy walking shoes and one more formal pair should do the trick for many destinations.

3. Roll your clothes instead of folding them

Rolling your clothes can help minimize wrinkles and maximize space in your bag. Roll lighter knits and t-shirts and fold more structured items like blazers and jeans. To roll, fold each clothing item in half, then roll it as tightly as possible. Rubber bands can also help keep them in place.

4. Arrange contents strategically

Heavier items such as shoes and jeans should be placed near the wheels. Then layer in the order of rolled garments, folded clothes, and then bulky items. Maximize every nook by stuffing shoes with socks and cups of bras with underwear .  

Save even more space with packing cubes or Ziploc Space Bags. Just remember that compression bags save space, but still add to the bag’s weight.

5. Don’t pack your entire beauty routine

If possible, wait to get your toiletries in your destination. Many items you need are available for cheap at local drugstores. Or, if you are staying at a hotel that offers complimentary toiletries - take advantage of that!

If you prefer to bring your own toiletries, don’t take things in their original container. Be sure you don’t bring liquids or gels greater than 3.4 oz in your carry on. You can also find solid versions of shampoo, conditioner, lotion and more, which are easier to travel with and prevent leaks.

6. Pack an emergency kit

Accidents and spills are inevitable in travel. Create a rescue kit with a travel-sized Downy Wrinkle Releaser, Tide-to-Go stain remover, and a lint roller. Also carry a collapsible toothbrush, toothpaste and facial wipes for if you happen to be stranded at an airport due to a delay.

7. Don’t wait until the last minute


We all have been guilty of procrastinating on packing at one point or another. By doing this, you risk packing unnecessary items and worse, forgetting the essentials. Try to make a list of necessities for your trip and pack a few days in advance to alleviate this issue.

We hope that these tips come in handy and make your next trip a breeze! Do you have advice for traveling light that you’ve learned over the years? Join our Facebook community for travelers and share!

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