Travel Tips: 8 Secrets to Packing Light

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Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or you’re still testing the waters, you know how hard it is to pack light for any trip. Even if you’re only staying somewhere else for a few days, it’s hard to know what exactly to pack and how to make sure that you don’t overpack. Overpacking can be a hassle for you, especially if you’re going to be walking around from place to place with your luggage. Aside from that, you can incur additional baggage fees if your bag is over the limit.

An overpacked suitcase

That said, here are some tips on how you can pack light:

Plan Your Outfits

When you’re going on vacation, you want to have the best clothes to showcase. After all, you’re likely going to be posting photos of yourself and your trip on Facebook or Instagram.

It’s fine if you do that; there’s no judgment here. However, being fashionable can come at a price, and the price comes in the form of additional baggage fees.

To be able to maintain your fashionista label without having to pay additional baggage fees, it’s best to plan out your outfits beforehand. Remember to take into consideration the activities you’re going to be doing for the day because you want to be able to move appropriately.

Pack Only Must-Have Items

When you’re packing your luggage, make sure that you only bring essential items with you. This includes your important gadgets and devices, your toiletries, your clothes, as well as any important documents that you might need during your travel.

If you’re bringing something with you “just in case,” you can probably leave it behind.

Pack Layers, Not Bulk

If you’re going to be traveling in a cold place, then it can be tempting to pack a lot of bulky clothes with you. Instead of bringing bulky clothes to warm you up, it’s better to bring thin layers of clothing and then layer up.

Bring only one bulky coat or sweater with you, but you don’t put it inside your luggage – wear for traveling instead. Bulky clothing can take up space and may add weight to your luggage, avoid both by wearing your bulky items.

Pack Lightweight Shoes

When you’re packing your footwear, don’t bring or pack heavy shoes or boots. Much like the bulky clothing issue, you should instead wear them instead of packing them.

Also, consider a pair of sandals or slim sneakers that are lightweight and something that you can wear anywhere.

Bring a Small Carry-on Bag

Sometimes it’s hard to restrict yourself to bringing only the essentials that you need.

If you can’t trust yourself when it comes to packing light, try creating physical constraints instead. By physical constraints, we mean bringing a small carry on bag instead of a suitcase for your travels.

With a small carry on bag, you’re will only have space to bring the things you need or want the most.

Pack for a Week at Most

No matter how long your trip is, you should only be packing clothes that will last you a week. You don’t have to bring your entire closet with you, instead plan on taking advantage of laundry facilities while traveling and wash your clothes on the road. You can also find fabrics and clothing that can be quickly freshened up in the shower or sink.

Mix and match your clothes so that you have a selection of items that can be worn in a variety of ways to last you a week.

Pay Attention to the Pallete

As you should know by now, the reason why packing light is a challenge is because of the number of clothes that you usually bring.

To help you reduce the clothes you’re packing, you should make sure that the color palette you’re using is easy to mix with other colors. If the clothing pieces you bring with you are too bright in color and are difficult to match, then you’re going to pack a lot of items with you just to match these particular clothes.

When traveling light, it’s best to stick to neutral colors. Or one neutral color with one additional vibrant color that helps to mix things up.

Use Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a great tool that you can use to help you pack light. It will compress everything while keeping your luggage organized. Moreover, packing cubes are flexible enough that they adapt to your luggage, creating a sense of order inside your luggage. You’ll know where everything is when you use packing cubes.


Packing light doesn’t have to be exclusive to people who have their life together. With these tips, packing light will be possible for you too. Of course, you still have to learn how to limit your wardrobe choices.

A final tip, plan to pack in advance so you don’t panic at the last minute and toss in unnecessary items.

On your next trip, why not try to set a limit on how much you need to pack and see how it works out for you?

Guest author bio: Geraldine Mills is a self-confessed wanderlust from the land down under, Australia! She funds her adventures by working as a brand consultant and as a travel writer. She loves sharing the allure of backpacking and being one with nature.

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