Although completely out of nature for me (my house is full of clutter and stuff I don’t need), I’m a very light packer. If I can get everything into one bag, even if I’m going away for a week, than I will. I don’t enjoy packing, I don’t enjoy waiting for bags, and I hate hate hate carrying heavy bags. So my only option is to pack light. And actually, it’s refreshing. Here are my five packing tips for travelling light.
1. Wear your bulky stuff.
This is the best tip, although it’s not easy if it’s winter and you’re going to a warm country. Make sure you arrive at the airport wearing your bulkiest item. Whether that’s a warm coat, or a snuggly jumper, you never get told off for putting these in the luggage holds. They’d take up masses of space in your bag, and instead you can change when you get to your destination. The same goes for shoes too. Wear your boots, pack your flats.
2. Take layers.
If you think layers of clothing, rather than specific items, you’ll have more outfits than you know what to do with. If everything matches you’ll have heaps more options. But do throw in a pretty dress for good measure. That will always come in handy. Smaller items of clothing, like t-shirts, and anything silk and jersey take up much less space than anything knitted. And don’t even think of packing more than one pair of jeans unless you have to.
3. Leave the hairdryer behind.
I don’t know many hotels that don’t have a hairdryer, and honestly, the Â£7 it’ll cost for a travel hairdryer doesn’t seem worth it these days (you’ll leave it behind, I have no idea which country mine is in). Just go without. It’s one of the biggest things you’ll pack, and you can probably do without it.
4. Decide what’s important.
Pack the important stuff first. I have to take my SLR camera with me. But once I’ve packed my lenses, it takes up a lot of space in hand luggage and weekend bags. Throw in a laptop and I’ve got problems. So, I downsize everything else. I use hotel toiletries, take one paperback, and make sure instead of hangbags and extras, I’ve got a canvas shopper bag for strolling during the day and the bare essentials. As long as I’ve got the basics, I’m happy. If there’s any space leftover, then I can take added extras. Which is very handy if I’m halfway through my book.
5. Get organised.
Packing light only works when you’re organised. You can’t just throw a pile of stuff in a bag and hope for the best (I’ve tried that). You need to plan, think and spend a good hour working out exactly what you’ll need for where you’re going. Once you’ve spent some time packing, and thought about what you need, your bag will be much lighter than you ever expected. It’ll fit in the hand luggage, save you money and won’t even hurt your weary little travelling shoulders.
Got any tips for travelling light? Share them so I fulfill my dream to go away with just a handbag and my passport!