I’ve read a lot about passengers who have too much baggage with them when they travel. I’ve even seen people checking multiple giant suitcases at the counter and trying to take carry on baggage that is just too large on the plane. Whenever I see these people I always have to wonder if they’re going somewhere for a couple of months. For that reason I thought I’d put a post together describing how I try to pack light:
Growing up as an airline brat, I almost never checked baggage, and at most I would have two carry on items. Today I still pack exactly the same way. I take 1 Carry on sized Rolla-board and 1 backpack for my laptop. My average vacation is about a week-long, and I find these two items is plenty to store all the things I need.
For a 7 Day Trip, I usually have the following in my:
3 pairs of pants, 4 T-shirts, 7 pairs of socks/underwear, 1 pyjama, Toiletries, 1 Beach Towel if needed (some hotels provide this after all), 1 pair of casual shoes/sandals, 1-2 bathing suits.
My laptop, required chargers/converters, comfort items for the flight, itinerary/tickets/etc., and sunglasses.
Note: Never bring anything “just in case”. Do your research, find out if you’ll need it or not!
If free space is an issue (usually it’s not for me), I’ll roll my clothes up. I find this saves more space over folding items. Also, I’ll roll my socks into my shoes and my bathing suit into the towel.
As far as formal wear is concerned: I’ll dress up nice for my flight and when I get to the hotel I’ll hang it up in the closet and change into something more casual. I’ll use it again if we go somewhere that calls for fancier attire, and if not it’ll be waiting for me for the flight home.
Tip: Wearing nice clothes and being friendly to the airline staff can help you in getting an upgrade on some airlines.
You’ll notice I don’t have enough clothes for each day. I find I can get away with re-wearing clothes once per trip. If I really have to I can just visit a laundry-mat and wash some things halfway through the week, although I’ve only had to do that once ever.
For toiletries, I keep everything to a minimum. Everything is travel-sized and I rarely bring shampoo, as the hotels usually carry that. I even heard recently from a friend that you can ask for toothpaste at the front desk and most hotels will provide you with a complimentary tube. I’ve yet to test that, however.
When I pack everything I have a checklist. I put everything I need on my bed before packing it and I decide “Do I need this?”. I then adjust accordingly. An important tip to remember is if there is extra room in your bag, it doesn’t mean you need to fill it! You could downsize to a smaller bag, or you could save the room for souvenirs or other items acquired during the trip. For every vacation I modify the checklist afterwards; I remove Items I didn’t need or could do without and I add items I wish I had.
I’m interested to know how you pack for trips. Let me know!