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Clever Tips for Packing Light

By September 11, 2014Travel Blog

As we come to the end of the summer and approach fall, we’re all trying to get that last few days of vacationing in or looking forward to an early fall trip. Whether its business or pleasure, air travel or the open road, space will always be at a premium. This is especially true if you’re flying where every additional pound in luggage has an associated price. For those traveling for business or pleasure, here are a few clever tips for packing light.


On trips of less than a week, try to stick to one shirt per day, a single layering jacket or sweater and a bottom (slacks, jeans shorts or skirt) for every two days. Stick to no more than two pairs of shoes and wear the heavier pair on the flight to save space.

For most business trips a single neutral-colored suit that can be mixed and matched with different shirts, ties and/or accessories will suffice. Always choose items that are color coordinated with everything else that you bring so it works for multiple outfits. Depending on your itinerary, wear the suit jacket or blazer on the plane if it’s possible in order to save more luggage space.

Before packing a single thing, write down a list of every item you intend to pack, and then stick to the list. Before packing the clothes, stack them on the bed so that you can review them and cut out anything that you don’t need. If you pull the items from the drawer and pack them immediately, you’re sure to bring more than you need. Once you have made the final cut, pack only what is in front of you.

While some advocate rolling or bundling your clothes to save space, others are advocates of space saving bags. In reality it pays to use both as both methods cut down on wrinkles and maximize space. As a general rule, roll or bundle the items that are less important (jeans, underwear, socks etc.) and use space saving bags for everything else and pack those on top after you have removed the air.

If the trip is longer than a week, make laundry part of your plan while you are away to cut down on items. You can check the costs of having the hotel do your laundry to see if it’s affordable. Otherwise, check online for a close Laundromat or do as many of the items as is feasible in the hotel sink. Be sure to bring travel packets of laundry-safe detergent or pick some up when you reach your destination. If you’re staying with friends or family, you should have no problem doing laundry where they do theirs.

The return trip provides opportunities for repacking light as well. Depending on the nature of the trip you can pack items that are at the end of their life and just don’t bring them back (socks, underwear t-shirts etc.). If the trip is business and there is a tradeshow involved, be sure to go through all of the freebies that you get back at your hotel and only take those that you absolutely need.

Traveling light means packing light and thinking ahead. For those that utilize a CPAP machine, space is always at a premium, which is why the smaller the CPAP machine the better. In any case, everyone can benefit from these packing tips to make their trip light, carefree and in many cases, less expensive.

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