Hey y’all! I hope May has been treating you well so far. We have had a lot of rain recently, but the sun has finally decided to come out on one of my days off, so I’m feeling good! I just checked my calendar and I have only 28 days until we leave for our big anniversary trip. The excitement is getting real and since I have travel and adventure on my mind, I also have organizing and packing lists on my mind. That leads me to today’s post. I’m going to be giving you five of my tips on packing light.
We are definitely guilty of overpacking. Me, especially. I admit it. I don’t like to leave home without everything I could even possibly need. However, after a few out of country trips, we have decided it’s time to cut waaaay back. This time around we are doing a carryon and personal item, ONLY. It’s scary, y’all. It’s real scary, but I think I can do it. I have been brainstorming how I am going to make it work and in doing so, I came up with these five tips.
1. Travel-sized EVERYTHING
There are a couple of ways you can do this. You can purchase several of those clear, reusable, plastic bottles and containers or you can try to find your favorite products in the travel size bottles. It should be noted that your liquids need to be no more than 3.4 oz, if you plan on carrying on only. Most brands are good about making their products in that size, for this very reason. I plan on doing a mix of these two options. My favorite hair products can easily be transferred to another small bottle. However I am not attempting to squeeze out toothpaste, so I will be purchasing a travel size of that.
2. Leave your Hair Dryer and other Appliances at Home
Repeat after me: you do not need it. I have thick, wild, curly hair. I don’t like to leave without my hair dryer and diffuser, but it’s just not feasible to take it with me. That is valuable suitcase real estate that could be used for two or three more outfits. Besides that, if you travel to another country, you may not even be able to use that hair dryer without a converter (and sometimes those don’t even work, trust me on that). The majority of hotels will have a hair dyer. Yea, it’s not the best of the best, but it will get the job done. While you are at it, you should probably leave your curling wand and flat iron at home too. Depending on the size, you may be able to make one of those work. Not going to lie, I will be attempting to fit my flat iron, but I may have to accept defeat.
3. Limit your Electronics and “down time” stuff
I took a lot of planner supplies on our first trip to Europe. Quit side eyeing me, I know I am ridiculous. I just felt like I was going to be on planes and in airports for so long that I needed to have multiple forms of entertainment and planners are my entertainment. After a somewhat embarrassing canvas of my pencil box, in the Amsterdam airport security line (they for real thought I was cray-cray), I decided that maybe it was time to stop hauling all of that stuff on these trips. You won’t have as much down time as you think. On the long haul flights, they have movies going constantly, they serve meals and snacks, and you will probably want to try to nap for a few hours to combat jet lag. This time around I am going to get by with just my kindle and my lightweight, 12-inch MacBook. Those items will fit nicely into my backpack, without taking up much room. There is no need to bring every tablet or device that you own and I would also steer clear of bringing actual books (Amazon Kindle, FTW!).
4. Plan Outfits Ahead of Time and Pack Accordingly
If you haven’t learned by now, I enjoy planning (understatement of the century). I always make a packing list, but it is usually very generic when it comes to clothes. I may put that I will be bringing two pairs of jeans and two dresses, but in the past I haven’t really planned my outfits for each and every day. This time around I am looking over our itinerary and actually picking out the exact thing I will wear. It will include lots of pieces that can be restyled with different accessories (think scarves and cardigans) to look different. Then, if the weather doesn’t go as planned or something changes on our trip, I can just switch days up. This process will keep me from overpacking on items like shirts and tanks.
5. Pack a collapsible, lightweight bag, in your carry on
This is something we discovered on our trip to Taiwan. I love to bring home souvenirs. When I go on trips, not only do I buy for myself, but I also buy for close family and friends. If you have packed everything that you can into your bags for the trip there, what is the solution for getting home with all of your original items, plus everything you bought? The answer is a lightweight bag that folds up into a neat, little pouch. It’s easy to tuck into your carry on, for the trip over, and then you can fill it with all of your dirty clothes for the trip back. This empties out your carry on for anything you may have bought. Yes, this means you will have to check a bag on the way back, but you are going home, so if your bag gets lost, it won’t be as much of a nuisance.
Here is a great option on Amazon:
I hope these tips help you to pack less for your next trip! If you have any other tips, please share them with me, because I could use all of the help that I can get!
Until next time!