Packing light on a trip not only makes things a lot easier to carry, but saves you a lot of money as well. Many airlines today charge extra for having a check in luggage. The fee can be anywhere from $15 to $50 just to transport more stuff to and from your destination. The reality is, you can get by perfectly well without much luggage. Your back, your arms and your bank account will thank you for it.
Here are 5 ways to pack smart and travel light.
#1 – Use One 20 Lb Carry On Bag
Use just one carry on bag. This bag can carry up to 20 lbs, which should be enough for most of your travel needs. Head over to a luggage store and you’ll find all kinds of different carry on luggage choices. You can choose a roller, a backpack, a case luggage or a hybrid.
Get one that fits your style. If you’re going to be trekking to far off places with your bag, get a backpack. If you want to look sleek, get a roller. If you’re going to be carrying valuables, get a hard case.
#2 – Bring Layerable Clothing
Instead of bringing bulky clothing like thick jackets, opt for clothing that you can layer. This allows you to get multiple uses out of the same clothing items. If it’s warm, you can wear a single layer and if it’s cold you can wear many layers. Furthermore, layers you use under the cold layer can be re-worn the next day without seeming like you’re wearing the same things all the time.
You should bring about four days worth of clothing with you. In some cases, that could mean four pairs of socks, four pairs of underwear, four shirts, a pair of pants and a light jacket. For colder weather, it could mean a few more layers. But you shouldn’t pack a dozen shirts or a change of underwear for every day you plan to be gone. Why? Because …
#3 – Learn to Wash on the Road
If you’re taking a longer trip, the answer to fresh clothes is not to bring a lot more clothes. Instead, just learn how to wash your clothes on the road.
For one, many hotels, hostels and guesthouses with have an affordable laundry service. If you don’t want to do it yourself, just have someone else do it for you.
If that’s not an option, washing your own clothes really is quite simple. Just fill the bathtub, add a bit of soap and scrub. Then hang your clothes on the shower line to dry overnight while leaving the bathroom fan on. You can also hang your clothes outside.
By washing your clothes every three or four days, you avoid having to bring way too much stuff.
#4 – Don’t Fold – Roll
From a young age, most people have grown up with folding as the de facto way of storing clothes. While folding clothes does make them look very nice, it’s actually not the most space efficient way of storing clothes.
Rolling is much more efficient than folding up your clothes. Just pile up a few shirts then roll them in a bundle.
Not only does this take up less space, but it also reduces clothing wrinkles. It also takes far less time. If you’re going to be going from hotel to hotel, it’s much easier to just roll everything up than have to fold each piece individually.
#5 – Ask Yourself: Would You Hike a Mountain With It?
A good frame of mind to have when you’re deciding whether or not to bring something is to ask yourself: “Would I hike a mountain with this, just so I could have it with me on my trip?”
This helps you filter out things that aren’t absolutely essential. Should you bring a couple extra long sleeve shirts? If you’d be willing to carry it up a mountain with you, then the answer is yes. If it’d be “nice to have” but you wouldn’t carry it up a mountain, then leave it behind. You don’t really need it.
These five tips will help you pack light, save money and save your shoulders from unnecessary weight. Most people pack way too much simply because they’re afraid they’ll need something later on. In reality, most people don’t use half the stuff they bring on their trips. So do yourself a favor and pack light.