Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Packing light tips

I have one more day in my Europe 2012 post, but I've been talking to a lot of friends about packing light and wanted to do a post about that.

packing light is fun!

It might come as a surprise to people - but for busy travel where we are moving around a lot, I do carry on luggage only.  That has included a Europe trip and our most recent three-week Asia trip.

However, I do think there are some trips that are perfectly fine for checking luggage, especially when you are staying in one place for a long amount of time or can share a large checked bag with your travel partner.  But the packing light tips below will still be applicable - less weight for your rolling luggage and more room for travel souvenirs on your way home.

I take a lot of thought into packing to make the most of my luggage space and here are some of my best tips:


  • I always use packing cubes, roll up your clothes for maximum space and they are less likely to wrinkle
  • The hardest part for doing a carry-on only is the liquid rule.  To make for a little more space, I bring face wipes instead of liquid face wash.  More room for other important liquids.
  • My friend Hitha runs a great blog that focuses on packing and she gave me a great tip about the 3 shoes rule.  No more than 3 pairs of shoes - ever.  She has a lot of great tips that have helped me over the years!
  • Plan out your packing in advance so you aren't throwing things in your suitcase last minute and over packing. There are a lot of good packing checklists on the internet that can help you out too.
  • I try not to pack "outfits," but pieces that will mix and match well.  A good pair of black pants like my favorite J.Crew ones will pair with a lot of tops and work for day sightseeing or a nice dinner
  • And always remember, most places you are travelling to - you can buy what you need there if you forget it
  • Shop the travel size section for products, I've noticed in recently years more brands are going with smaller packaging for travel


Hope these tips help and inspire some of your to pack a few pounds lighter on your next trip.  As Rick Steves says, keep on travelling!

9 comments:

Hitha said...

Thank you so much for linking my bllog, Carol! We'll have to get you to do an En Route With feature soon :)

Erica Johnson said...

I am going to have to get some of the packing cubes! Never have used them before but I think our trip this summer will warrant me getting some. :)

Sarah Alway said...

When we went to Europe for three and a half weeks we checked bags and brought WAY too much stuff! I won't make that mistake again!

Kristen said...

great tips, thanks for sharing!

B said...

Only 3 pairs of shoes?! Noooooooo!

Erica said...

I always revert back to bar soap, as well. If you pick the right kind, you can also use it to hand wash your clothes! And I end up always overpacking, no matter how little I pack (ex: a carry on & check-in size for 3 months on a cruise ship) so my luggage gets lighter and lighter every time I travel!

Another trick for me is that I pack compressor things that look like ziploc bags, but I don't use them on the way there. That way, I have more room on the way back!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

You did three weeks in Asia with only a carry on bag?! Wow! I am impressed!

Mandy Southgate said...

What great tips! I used Rick Steve's five day list for 2 weeks in Italy but had a bit of a nightmare with finding somewhere to wash my clothes (no plugs in sinks!). I'd try it again though. I have never heard of packing cubes though. What a super concept.

yours truly, melissa said...

Great tips, packing light is something I definitely have a hard time doing! But I do pack facial wipes instead of a face wash to save space for liquids!

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