I love to travel (big surprise, lol) but hate dealing with heavy bags and relying on others for help (independent woman here!!). Over the years, I have fine-tuned my routine down to 5 easy tips to packing light! I realized packing light is a necessity and that I can still take a variety of outfits and shoes if I think smartly about it. I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to forget things, overpack because I didn’t think out what I needed, or chose items that just were not meant to travel! Check out these 5 Easy Tips to Packing Light so you don’t forget anything, only pack what you need, and choose items that will serve you well!
Create a Checklist
First and foremost, create a checklist. Do this at least a week out from the day you intend to travel because you will probably forget an item or two on your first draft of the checklist. This doesn’t need to be done in some spreadsheet software (unless that’s your thing), just something that will serve you and your needs. I love to hand write mine, but you could totally create your checklist on your phone too. What you want to consider: how many days you will be gone, how many outfits you need, weather, shoes (walking a lot, hot date night out, etc), what toiletries you will need (I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten my toothbrush, lol), etc.
Second, choose your luggage wisely! Check with the airline you are flying with to see what their requirements are for a carry-on piece and then measure the one you want to use to make sure it is compliant. If you don’t, you might get stuck with excess fees (who wants that?) when you go to check in. Then “look” at the luggage. Yes, I understand you are looking at it when you are measuring it, but you need to LOOK at it open and visualize all the stuff you “think” you want to bring to make sure it will fit. Remember, you are packing light!!! This is all you get! You can totally make it work, but you need to visualize the space when you start choosing what you are going to bring.
Third, choose clothing that travels well. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to iron so I never travel with pieces that require it (actually, I don’t even think I own anything that requires ironing, lol). Ideally, you want to choose pieces that are not bulky (limit bulky items if it’s cold where you are going) and that mix an match. I’m not much of a re-wearer when it comes to my clothes, but I will with my favorite pair of jeggings and few other pieces that super versatile. My favorite go-to pieces are from Piphany! They don’t wrinkly (ok, they will if you wad them up in a ball, but who does that?). Limit the number of items that have special embroidery or bedazzling (I love me some bling, but that stuff snags everything!) – they may get damaged or damage other pieces.
Fourth, now test pack! Yes, do a dry run and see if all you want to take fits. Some say to roll your pieces, some use special folding techniques, while others use those plastic bags that you suck out the air from. I don’t care which method you choose to go with (seriously, they all work!), just go with the one that makes sense to you! If everything fits, Awesome!
Hey, did you remember to add shoes and toiletries? Those need to fit too! If everything didn’t – what can be tweaked? Can you wear the boots and not pack them (this is what I do when flying)? Can you wear the bulky sweater instead of pack it (I do this too)? Yes, it is a pain when going through security, but I get to bring all the things I want so I do it. Sacrifices have to be made, just choose the ones that work for you.
Fifth and last step, and probably the easiest! Weigh the bag. Yes, weight the darn thing. Most, if not all airlines have a carryon weight restriction! Use your home scale. I weigh myself, then myself holding the luggage. Very technical, I know but it works! It might not be as accurate as the airlines so give yourself some wiggle room (like 2-3 pounds). Take a backpack as your purse (or shove your purse in the backpack) and leave room in case you need to lighten the load at all. Then you won’t have to pay any fees!