Whether you’re traveling for several weeks, or even just a weekend, there’s one thing you don’t want to do: over-pack. It’s a pain to schlep around an oversized bag, and carrying around stuff you don’t actually need is unnecessary! Use these proven tips to travel light (and cheaply) during your next trip.
One of the best ways to prevent over-packing (and overspending) is by planning ahead. Specifically, when it comes to what you’re going to be putting in your suitcase, put in some thought ahead of time and make an actual packing list that will help guide you. A great way to do this is by having a standard list, loaded up with all the basics you’ll need for every trip, saved on your computer that you can use as a reference every time you need to pack for a trip.
When you make a list, you put in the extra thought and attention to put together thoughtful well-planned outfits and outfit combinations. This prevents over-packing and throwing last-minute items that you won’t actually need in your suitcase. Another great secret is to pack garments that can easily be color coordinated (try a capsule wardrobe), so you’re maximizing outfit combinations and minimizing the number of packed items.
Think about the last trip you took where you packed more than two pairs of pants. Could you have gotten away with one pair? Chances are, you probably could have! When in doubt, one pair of jeans may be all you need for your trip. Jeans can be dressed up or dressed down, and go through several wears before needing to be washed.
Same thing with shoes – how can you minimize the number of pairs of shoes you plan to pack for your trip? Depending on what your travels have in store for you, you may be able to get away with one pair of sneakers or casual shoes. Although flip-flops or sandals don’t take up that much room in your suitcase either. If you travel in your primary shoes, you may not have to worry about packing shoes in your suitcase at all! As a rule of thumb, you should always wear your heavier shoes on the plane (or in the car).
An easy way to lighten some of your load when packing is by paying close attention to the fabric and materials of the clothes you're packing. Lighter materials will translate to a lighter total weight in your suitcases. When in doubt, opt for cotton, linen, and lightweight athletic gear that’s easy to transport and won’t weigh you down.
You should also take into account fabric when you’re packing your suitcase. Certain materials pack better than others. For example, spandex-based dresses can easily be rolled (without wrinkling easily), which will save space.
If you’re traveling for over a week, it’s in your best interest to plan to do laundry. That way you won’t have to pack over a week’s worth of clothes, which can be heavy and cumbersome. When you plan to do laundry, you take away some of the pressure of making sure you “packed enough clothes.”
Even if you’re traveling to Europe or somewhere else abroad, it’s pretty easy to find either a Laundromat or a laundry service to assist you with doing laundry. Especially if you choose to stay in a hostel, you’ll be able to save a lot of money on lodging, and most hostels come with laundry facilities that you can use as part of your stay. Plus, your body and peace of mind will thank you for not having to lug around two weeks (or more) worth of clothes.
A lighter suitcase will always be less of a hassle when traveling. Plus, it will prevent you from having to check a bag. Or you could avoid that worry completely by opting for a road trip – you can even check out new Hyundai specials.
Armed with these secrets, you’ll be able to travel lightly and cheaply for your next trip, no matter where you happen to be heading. Who knows? With these tips you may even be able to get away with taking just a carry-on suitcase on your next trip overseas!