If you are just like me, this quest of traveling light is quite daunting. I keep wondering how some men pack just one small suitcase for a long term trip ‘coz let’s be honest, women see that as magic. I don’t want to put it out there that women over pack stuff (though it’s obvious), some men are guilty of packing excessive items in their suitcase. With travel hassles, check-in policies, especially air travels, it’s a win if you can travel light but how can you achieve that if you are like me who wants to bring along everything including the kitchen sink. LOL…not literally, but you know what I mean.
I had an experience with an airline, missing my luggage. This wasn’t the first time it had happened. Luckily for me, the airline always sends my luggage intact in less than a week. This time around I wasn’t so lucky, it took three weeks. In my sore displeasure, I counted days that turned to weeks, almost a month before my luggage was sorted out and brought to me. In as much as I wasn’t happy with that experience, it opened my eyes to one thing. The items in the missing luggage started becoming irrelevant with time. I found out I could actually do without some of the things and those I couldn’t, I just purchased with very small amount of money. That was an eye opener that not everything we pack into our suitcase is really needed. That said, how can we go from mega-pounds baggage traveler to very ‘lite’? Here are some tips that could help you in that direction:
- Choose your Suitcase wisely: Whatever kind of bag/box you hope to use. Go for light weight suitcases. I always prefer the fabric-made suitcases to the thick leather suitcases. They are a lot lighter. The thick leather suitcases tend to weigh a great tonne even without contents, thereby eating into your baggage weight allowance. If you fear for security of the fabric suitcases, it’s best you safe-wrap it at the airport. Padlocks don’t work! I’ve seen a dude open my padlocked suitcase, without keys and closed it back pretty.
- Find out details of your destination: Find out the climate of your intended destination so that you know what kind of clothes to pack for immediate use. What’s your flight itinerary like? Do you have long layovers? How long is that bus trip? These information will help guide you to know what to put in your check-in luggage, what to put in your carry-on luggage and what to just leave behind. You can’t pack winter boots when you are going for summer holiday in Miami. Ya’ dig!
- Match your clothes and pick versatile clothes: Clothes are a girl’s best friends…sorry, diamonds are! Clothes are her second best. So, we know how tempting you want to pack all those pants, plus your neon green pants so you can rock everything and post on Instagram. Well, sorry! Ditch the neon green pants. Go for classics. Think like a man now. He is quite satisfied with two pairs of pants and three shirts for a month. Okay, doing that literally will give you a panic attack. So just take pants that can go with the number of tops and can match other outfits to give you lots of variety. Remember, if you are packing all those unecessary clothes for instagram sake, your “Likers” will not come and epp you when the airport official is demanding you remove some weight off your baggage at the airport.
- Wear your bulky outfits: A trick to traveling light is wearing your clothes or shoes that are bulky and taking space. Don’t worry, they won’t be weighing you. Lol. For example, instead of packing your Timbaland boots and wearing flat shoes, pack the flat shoes and wear the boots, provided the boots are quite comfortable for you to wear for long. If it’s not, stick to your flats. Comfort always trumps packing tricks.
- Honestly, you don’t need all that: You have 500 pairs of bra but you know you just use two. Please ditch the 498. Same goes for your makeup bag. Slim it down to the ones you actually use. Some globetrotters always believe that they don’t need stuff that can’t fit into their carry-on backpack. If possible, Use this as a rule of thumb. If these are things you can get in your destination without breaking the bank, it’s best you leave them behind for ‘national peace and security’.
- Go electronic!: If you are one who’d pack books to read. You can do all that the electronic way. Books are heavy and take space, you can have your books in a pdf format in your phone. Your visa documents and boarding pass can also be scanned through your phone.
Some quick tricks:
- Cotton clothes can be comfortable but can be heavy. Synthetic clothes are lighter and tend to not crease.
- Have a lot of zip loc bags. They come in really handy. They can be used as compartments for very organized packing.
- Liquid items are heavy. Whatever is liquid, try and get the dry equivalent. They are relatively lighter.
- Compressed towels is a good investment. When ready to use, soak it and it rises to its full size.
- Use a multi-tasking item. I call it the ‘Chameleon item’. For me it’s my Abaya. It’s the traditional apparel for Saudi women but It can serve as a cover cloth for me. I can use it as blanket to cover my kids. I can use it as a cover when nursing my baby. Etc.
So that’s it about traveling light. I hope I helped someone out today. If you’ve got some more tips on this, please share at the comment section.
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