We all love to vacation – but between the preparation to get ready for a flight, jet lag, planning your outfits and hauling your baggage around – the least you can do is pack lightly and efficiently for the trip. Not only does it make your excursion in the airport more enjoyable – but you’ll have less laundry when you get back from your trip as well.
Here are some tips on how to reduce the weight of your suitcase for your next trip.
Always Pack More than Once
When do you start to get ready for a trip? I usually give myself 3-5 days before my departure day to prepare and brainstorm some ideas on what I want to pack. Always have the weather network available for when you start packing.
I start by laying out one (1) outfit for daytime and one (1) outfit for nighttime for each full vacation day. I also like to include 1 or 2 days worth of optional outfits – this could be in case the weather is not co-operative or I don’t feel like wearing one of my planned outfits.
Around the 48 hour countdown mark – I will put it all into my suitcase. If things aren’t fitting…or it’s obvious I have over packed – everything comes back out of the suitcase and I re-evaluate. Some ways you can reduce the amount of items you are bringing is maybe wear a coat multiple days, or wear the same pants during the day as you would at night – just change your shirt.
Stick to a Color Palette
Generally – I also like to stick to a certain color palette and this all depends on the type of trip you are going on. If your going to Paris for a week – I’d likely stick to a street wear look – including lots of denim, whites, blacks and charcoals. If your going on a tropical vacation for a week – you may want to pack light linen and cotton fabrics, dresses, light colors and maybe some tropical prints.
Departure and Arrival Day – Same Outfit
I always like to feel comfortable but I also like to look good in the airport. On departure and arrival day I usually stick to an Athleisure look. The On the Fly Jogger Pant from Lululemon are a great pair of pants to invest in. These joggers look like dress pants – but feel like comfortable, soft jogging pants. They can be worn for work or pleasure and are the most comfortable pants I own. I’ll wear this pant with a solid, neutral coloured tee shirt, a hat and some runnings shoes. If it’s winter time you can wear one of your heavier coats with this outfit or you can wear a light sweater. If you wear one of your hats – you don’t have to worry about packing it or crushing it in your checked baggage.
Always Bring a Carry On Large Purse or Backpack
I love to accessorize and some of the jewelry has great value and memorabilia to it. My jewelry always stays in my carry on. The little toiletry bag full of jewlery can sure pack some weight – so this is a great way to reduce the weight of your packed luggage.
Another item that sticks to the carry on is a scarf in the fall or winter months and a swimsuit and sandals if travelling to a hot destination. Sticking to these few items leaves plenty of room for your essentials – passport, money, lip chap, water bottle and laptop.
Minimize the Shoes
I know this is really hard and it all depends on the type of trip you are going on – but try to stick to 3 pairs of shoes or less. Shoes can put on a lot of weight and take up a lot of room. As much as we want to send our significant other with a carry on full of our shoes…let’s not do that – your likely only going to wear 3 of them!
Pack a pair of runners which you will wear on departure and arrival day. Pack a pair of heeled sandals for a hot trip and a heeled boot for a cold trip and a pair of dressier slip ons, sandals, flats or mules. If you stick to black, nude or clear – these shoes will go with any outfit you have packed.
Plan Ahead with your Toiletries
Nowadays all of the hotels and VRBOs that you stay at usually have a blow dryer – so don’t bother unless your completely in love with the Dyson hair dryer that you got for Christmas last year…we want one! Don’t bother bringing your curling iron either – just a straightener. If you haven’t figured out how to curl your hair with the straightener yet – do yourself a favor and watch a tutorial because this will allow you to wear your hair straight or curled while only packing one hair styling device. If your going on a girls trip and your rooming together or willing to share your hair straightener – only pack the one.
Another great way to reduce weight is to talk about who will bring what toiletries. If Kaeli’s bringing shampoo and conditioner – I’m bringing sunscreen and body wash! Always try to pack travel sized toiletries or pop by the dollar store to grab some travel sized containers – they have some great options.
Pack in a Mesh Laundry Bag
A mesh laundry bag keeps everything organized in your suit case. I really enjoy packing my undergarments and bathing suits in these bags – keeping all the little, non-foldable items in one area. These also work great for dirty laundry during your vacation – when you’ve worn the undergarments just throw them into this bag. When you get home you can just pop it in the washer.
Always prepare in advance by making sure you give yourself enough time to pack once – and then re-evaluate. I am known to throw in a few extra pieces every now and then – but if it doesn’t all fit in my suitcase then it needs to be reduced. This is why the second time around – you will always have a lighter suitcase. If you want to challenge yourself, try packing light on your next trip by using some of these guidelines we went through.
Packing light requires some flexibility in your outfit selection – so sticking to a certain color palette will allow you to be flexible with outfits you may not have planned to put together.