Have More Fun on the Road by Learning to Pack Light
Traveling light will make any trip less stressful. While you’re saving time and money, you may even get to enjoy your destination more. These are the major benefits of traveling with less and some strategies for how to pack light.
Benefits of Packing Light:
- Travel in greater comfort. Once you experience traveling with one small bag, you’ll want to make it a habit. You’ll be able to walk longer distances with ease and confirm at a glance that you’ve brought everything you need.
- Save money. In this tight economy airlines keep increasing fees on checked luggage. If you’ve got a heavy load, you might also need a porter and a private taxi to your hotel. Bypass the whole situation by taking just what you can carry and taking advantage of public transportation or walking when possible.
- Save time. There must be a long list of things you’d rather be doing than waiting around for your lost luggage to show up. Breeze out of the airport more quickly with one carry-on bag. You’ll also spend less time packing and unpacking.
- Feel more secure. Most valuable possessions are safer at home. Pick out anything that you would hate to lose or find difficult to replace. Then, keep it on your person or leave it behind.
- Help the planet. Traveling light is good for the environment in addition to your personal well being. Airplanes and other vehicles use less fuel when they carry less weight.
Strategies for Packing Light:
- Dress in layers. As a general rule, try to wear your heaviest wardrobe items so you can avoid carrying them. You can always take your boots off on the plane.
- Bring multipurpose clothing. Focus on separates that will do double duty for day or night depending on how you mix and match them. Many businesses are becoming more flexible about the dress code for meetings on the road so you rarely need a suit anymore.
- Plan on doing laundry. Packing lightweight separates you can wash and dry in your hotel room extends your wardrobe dramatically for longer trips. If nothing else, you can at least wash your undergarments on your own.
- Coordinate packing with your travel partners. If you’re traveling with your spouse or a friend, you may be able to avoid some duplication. Share your guidebook or toothpaste.
- Get an ebook reader. For many people, books were always the heaviest item and it was difficult to predict if you were bringing enough reading material. Now, with an ebook reader, you can carry as many titles as you want.
- Minimize souvenirs and gifts. Online shopping makes it much easier to buy goods from around the world so there’s less need to bring back a bottle of that one Texas barbecue sauce your neighbor likes. Send people a postcard instead.
- Leave stuff behind. Conference organizers often give you a bag of premium items that can triple your load. Offer the best stuff to your hotel housekeeper along with your tip. They might want a t-shirt or tote bag. Many bed and breakfast inns will have a library where you can leave behind a paperback you’ve finished.
- Evaluate what you really use. When you get home, take a quick look while you’re unpacking to spot anything that didn’t get used. Make a mental note to leave it out next time.
Lighten your load by learning how to travel with only the stuff you really need. By packing just the bare essentials, you can focus on your vacation or your business activities instead of worrying about your luggage.