Well, it most definitely tends to be a bit of a science that many have been able to finesse but many more continue to struggle over.
There are so many advantages to packing light including the cost that airlines tend to charge these days for checking luggage; the risk of luggage loss by the airlines when traveling & the wait time at the airport carousel; the difficulty with cabs at your destination; the handling of the luggage on your vacation and ultimately, do you ever really need all that you usually end up packing?!
Following are some helpful hints that I’ve found to enable me to usually only travel with a carry-on, no matter how long a trip I’ve taken for business or pleasure:
1. Try to wear your bulkiest clothing when you’re traveling, particularly by plane. Oftentimes it’s chilly on the plane so that having that bulkier sweater/jacket is worthwhile. Also, if you’re able to wear this going and returning home, this saves having to take a couple of different travel outfits (hopefully you can wash it before you return). Obviously comfortable and practical is the name of the game as well.
2. The packing itself is a bit of a fine art and rolling clothes is the best solution to enable more compact packing although many also use those ‘packing cubes’ and find them beneficial to pack tightly. The rolling keeps the clothes more crease free and enables you to visually see what you have more easily in the suitcase as well.
3. Shoes are often the toughest item to deal with when packing so that the best decision to make with those is to only take 2 pairs of shoes – 1 super comfortable pair and a 2nd pair that doubles as a dressier pair.
4. Keeping colors more neutral is usually the best option and trying to ensure that there’s the ability for lots of mixing and matching helps as well.
5. I usually also tend to actually outline what I plan to wear each and every day/evening as well and then make every attempt to abide by that planning – it sure works for me!
6. Being prepared to do a little laundry on a trip, whether doing it yourself, or paying for it helps as well, of course and there’s always the option to buy it if you end up needing it vs. taking it just in case you might need it….
Remember, in your travels, you’ll meet two kinds of tourists – those who pack light and those who wish they had!