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why packing light is better

December 21, 2012

traveling tips

As I began prepping for my trip to Europe, I thought back on my last trip to Greece. I was so excited to be going to a new country and as I started packing I made several mistakes that led to a bit more difficult travel than if I had packed lighter. Packing lighter allows you the freedom to move around quicker, organize faster and overall have fewer things to worry about. Here are some of the lessons I took away from my travels overseas:

• Start with a good base: Your pack should be meant for travel and suitable to the type of travel you will be doing. With my last trip, I had a hockey sized duffle bag. Obviously I couldn’t fill the whole thing if I’d wanted to, but because it was so big, I did pack more. Having a more compact bag forces you to pack more strategically and therefore bring less. I suggest either an easy to carry backpack or a lightweight carry-on suitcase.

• Pack much less than you want to: No, you do not need five pairs of heels for a trip, be it a weekend trip or a month. When I was in Greece, I had at least seven dresses and enough clothes to not do laundry for a month. It got annoying having to haul around all these clothes, a lot of which I didn’t wear. Simplify by only packing things you will wear multiple times and that travel well.

• Organize what you are bringing: rather than just throwing everything in a bag to go, be sure you have laid out and made sure you have anything you need, and have gotten rid of the things you don’t. I like referring to Rick Steve’s travel list.

• Leave room for things you buy: Let’s say you find a great shirt in Milan you want, or a set of custom made sandals in Athens. You want to have room for these things so try and leave your pack loose and with a bit of room for new things.

• Remember things can be washed: Whether staying at a hostel or a hotel, most places in Europe will have somewhere for you to wash your clothes. If you pack lighter fabrics, they will dry faster as well.

What are your travel tips?

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 21, 2012 1:40 am

    Good tips – it’s great that you learned from your experience too. I limit myself to one carry on bag and find I have plenty of room for everything I need. The shoes are key – one pair on and one in my bag is the limit (if its a resort trip I would take flip flops as well) otherwise you take too much space. My other key space saver tip is to leave the fancy sponge bag at home and take a no frills one from a camping shop – packs more, takes up far less space and will squash down better.

    Rick’s list is a good place to start for newbies trying to learn to pack light. Otherwise there are plenty of packing lists and tips for packing light on WordPress (including my own blog)

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