The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to dust off that suitcase. No matter what the length of your stay or your destination, it’s possible to pack light. Nobody wants to struggle with heavy bulky luggage, so here are a few handy hints and items to add to your kit to save you space.
1. Coordinated Clothes
Chose a color palate for your trip, for example beiges, browns, and creams. Pack only garments that can be color coordinated. If an item doesn’t work with multiple outfits – leave it at home.
2. Use every inch of space
Put scarves and small clothing items inside of shoes. Roll clothes into small rolls to reduce wrinkling
3. Vacuum pack
If you have access to an iron at your destination it’s worth using vacuum storage bags to compress your load. They also come in handy for compressing unexpected gifts and impulse purchases.
4. Miniaturized beauty products
There’s no need to carry heavy bottles of shampoo or conditioner. Be sure to buy travel-sized bottles or invest in a set made for airport carry on. The Container Store has a wealth of products to choose from and drug stores often carry them. If you’re flying remember that your liquid and gel toiletries should fit into a 1 quart/liter-size clear resealable plastic bag, and bottles must be 3oz or smaller.
5. Multi-purpose clothing
The Bugsaway Halo Shirt not only promises to keep insects away for up to 70 washes, but it also offers UPF 30+ protection. ExOfficio also offers a wide range of pretty dresses and skirts that promise to be wrinkle resistant and to dry quickly.
6. Be prepared to hand wash
Only take enough clothes for around half of your trip and wash them in the hotel sink as needed. Just don’t bring the whole box of laundry detergent! Get a travel washing line and sink stopper and invest in handy packs of travel detergent.
7. Buy at your destination
Major brands such as Gillette, Nivea and Colgate are available almost anywhere. Ask yourself if items like large bottles of contact lens solution and suntan lotion are really essential or if you can buy them at your destination. If you’re travelling to Europe, think about buying a cheap hairdryer when you get there rather than packing a heavy convertor.
If you’re a voracious reader, leave the heavy books behind and invest in a Kindle or similar product. You’ll never have to worry about running out of reading material again and it will significantly lighten your load.
9. Personal navigation
Ditch the maps and lead the way with a handheld personal navigator. Many of these devices come with a whole host of features such as built in cameras, compasses and weather reporting features. Alternatively, if you have a smart phone, you can avoid the need for maps and guidebooks by downloading apps.
Waze, for example, is a GPS application that features real time updates from other users. If a user reports a traffic accident on the road, it will show up on your Waze map and you will be automatically re-routed. Around Me, meanwhile, will help you to find everything from gas stations to restaurants in your immediate location.
10. And finally…
Don’t forget, luggage itself can often weigh a few pounds, but there are lots of companies offering lightweight alternatives. Check them out and get packing!