One of the best packing tips I could give anyone is to pack light and take only what you need. While I follow this advice now, it certainly wasn’t always that way. There was a time (not all that long ago) that I chronically over-packed, kind of like this girl… In Europe, I packed a 65 liter frontloading hiking backpack to the brim. Dan had to help me put it on, I could never find anything I wanted to wear and there were things I never wore on our entire 3 week trip (gasp!). It took me forever to find an outfit and made the simple act of getting dressed every day a hassle.
I’ve found that less clothing options means less stress.
Stress isn’t the only reason to start packing light, it’s also a lot less of a pain in the ass to lug around less luggage. We once got dropped off in Chiang Mai in the middle of the Sunday Night Market (which is fabulous, you really must go). It was packed (pun, intended!), and if I had been using the same backpack I had been in Europe I might have had a breakdown.
Below are my strategies on how to pack light, plus a giveaway, but we’ll get to that – the suspense keeps it interesting, don’t ya think?
1. Bring versatile clothing
I NEVER bring a one off item. Everything has several matches. This means the combinations are endless and you don’t look like you’re wearing the same thing for your whole vacation. I bring one merino wool gray sweater for use over anything else.
2. Pack in advance
#1 doesn’t work without this one. I have to plan a lot more in advance for packing now, but it pays off in a big way in the long run.
3. Lay everything out and put half of it back
Part of planning is literally laying it all out and asking myself do I really need 65 t-shirts? How about I take 4… I look at the pants I plan on bringing and figure out which tops will be the most versatile. That’s why you’ll see me in a lot of plain tees.
4. Bring clothing that dries easily
A second criteria for packable clothing should be that it’s lightweight and dries easily. Merino wool is fantastic (although expensive) magic fabric. It somehow keeps you cool in the heat and warm in the cold and doesn’t wrinkle. It also doesn’t hold odors, so after you’ve spent a hot, sweaty day in Thailand you have.
5. Bring coconut oil
This is like the swiss army knife of toiletries. I use it as a face/body lotion, makeup remover and very mild sunscreen. I LOVE this stuff.
6. Bring castile Soap
Ok, so I guess there are two swiss army knives of travel here… I take one little tube of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and use it as a toothpaste, face/body wash and laundry detergent.
7. Use packing cubes
I don’t know what I did without these packing must-have travel accessory. They help me stay organized and compress my clothes, allowing me to squeeze in just a little more.
Now for the GIVEAWAY from Yahoo! One of the newest editions in my packing repertoire is an e-Reader, a perfect gift for the traveler on your list.
Here’s how you enter to win a fantastic Kindle e-Reader:
- Visit Yahoo! and come back and leave a comment here telling me something that caught your eye or an article you found interesting. What inspired you to travel?
- For bonus entries, share the giveaway on social media and via email.
- The contest is open through December 3, and is open to US readers.
- Click the blue button below, good luck!
For a peek inside my bag, check out my full packing list! What are your packing tips?
Paste directly into the bottom of posts:
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I may make a few dollars at no extra cost to you. As always, these opinions are my own and I have found these products/services useful and only recommend them because I think they will benefit you too. You can read more here.