If you often find yourself standing in front of your wardrobe for a good half an hour, looking blankly into the abyss of clothes and not knowing what wear, then packing can seem like an ultimate headache.
This often results in a heavy, overstuffed suitcase filled with 60% of things that we don’t really need. Here’s a little guide on how do ditch a bulky travel bag without really giving up the things you need and want most on the road.
1. Choose the right bag
If your travels involve more roads and footpaths rather than fancy hotel rooms, a rolling suitcase may be your best option. If your travels take you on dirt roads and onto backs of crowded buses, a lightweight backpack should be your go-to luggage. Either way, be sure to pick a model that won’t add bulk. Also choose bags that are compartmentalized, making it easier for you to arrange things so they’re within your reach.
2. Lose the Bulky Wallet
Travelling is the perfect time to clean out your wallet of all useless junk like old receipts, grocery store cards, business cards, random foreign currency from past travels, etc. You should also consider leaving extra credit cards at home, because chances are you might need a separate card altogether. Try to carry a pocket-sized wallet, which would save some extra space in your handbag.
2. Pack a Tablet Rather Than a Computer
Pack a tablet rather than a laptop, and this will save you space as well as weight, while ensuring that you still have access to your email. If this can be achieved over your phone itself, then you will certainly not need a laptop or a tablet. Or better yet – don’t even consider carrying either!
3. Ditch the Bulky Travel Books
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need a guidebook to get you around a city. The locals are quite friendly and they’d even know better than what the guidebooks tell you. For everything else, there’s always Google Maps! This also applies to the fiction/non-fiction books you take for some leisurely reading. Opt for e-books instead, and that way there’ll be no limit to the books you can take.
4. Know your weight limits
Finding out the weight limits on the flights your taking is an absolute must. There’s nothing worse than having to shuffle your belongings around at check-in whilst everyone in the queue behind you looks on.
5. Choose the Right Shoes
Few things add weight and bulk to a bag more easily than shoes. If you’re travelling somewhere cold, wear your heavier boots during the journey there, rather than placing them in your bag. If you’re travelling to warmer climates, find a pair of comfortable-but-stylish walking shoes or some versatile flats (for women). If you want to pack your heels, choose one pair that can be easily paired with any outfit, rather than a pair for everyone. Unless you’re going for Fashion Week of course!
6. Pack for Your Itinerary, Not for Your Destination
Before filling your suitcase, think about your travel plans and jot down everything you need to pack accordingly. There’s no harm using one or two swimsuits for the entire trip, or pack multiple outfits if you’re planning an elaborate meal at a fancy restaurant for just one night. Be realistic in your clothing choices. We bet no one is going to notice (or care) if you’re wearing the same outfit twice.
7. Embrace Your Natural Hair
Here’s looking at you, ladies. Packing a hair dryer, hair curler and a straightener, in addition to all your heat protecting sprays and fancy serums can easily add 10 pounds to your bag. It’s time to embrace your natural hair for a couple of days, it really isn’t impossible. On the plus side, a number of hotels offer hair dryers in their rooms, so if this is an absolute necessity for you, you can call the hotel prior to your arrival and check with them.