For many women, packing to go away is the most stressful part of a trip. Giving into the fear of not packing enough means we end up stuffing our bags for every possible contingency only to return and realize we wore only a quarter of what we packed.
I’ve traveled a lot and have learned a lot of things the hard way. So here’s my advice to you on travelling light. Oh and, for it to really work you’ll need to start at least 2 weeks before your trip.
1. Plan every outfit
- Aim for maximum outfits from a minimum number of items. If an item does not work with at least 3 outfits, maybe it’s not worth including
- By ‘plan’, I mean:
- It’s best to opt for tried and tested outfits. Your vacation is not the time to experiment. If you feel the need to take a new outfit be sure to have worn it once to make sure it works
- Comfort is essential, especially when it comes to the shoes
- Pack non-iron items whenever possible
- Choose garments that can be layered for changing temperatures
- Pack lightweight lingerie, sleep and gym wear – the type that’s easy to handwash and dries quickly
2. Go travel-sized
- From skincare to shampoo, these products are best decanted into small containers. These are available at most pharmacies. If under 100ml (3.3.oz), they can be placed in your carry-on
- Place them into a sealed, plastic bag in case they leak
3. Get accessory smart
- Accessories are an excellent way to change up your look and unify separates. However, like your clothes, they need to work with several outfits and not weigh more than your pants
- Pack jewelry into a pouch in separate small zip-lock bags
- Pack no more than four pairs of shoes. If you plan out your outfits, I promise you, this is achievable. If you need a dressy shoe, limit yourself to one pair. Black patent leather pumps are often the ideal choice
- Take only two handbags – one you’ll use as your carry-on and one you’ll pack. Your carry-on bag is most useful when it is soft, spacious, and functional and will fit under your seat. When selecting a bag to pack, it’s best not to choose a heavy bag. Bags which can fold flat are best. If it’s a hard-sided bag, be sure to firmly pack soft items into it to ensure it does not get crushed
4. Stuff and roll
- Place the heaviest items in the base of your bag
- Fill all gaps with accessories and small items
- Stuff your shoes and handbags with small items
- Place all potentially leakable items in plactic ziploc bags.
- Roll/fold your clothes. This saves space and prevents wrinkling. I’d read this suggestion many times but only recently tried it and it worked like a gem. Check out the video below
- Place the things you’ll need first on top
- If where you are headed is cool, save luggage weight by wearing your coat and heaviest shoes on the plane
5. Use your carry-on wisely
Few things are more distressing than lost luggage but it happens to travellers every day, so it’s best to be prepared.
Pack your carry-on with all the essentials you’ll need to get you through the first 24 hours, including medication and anything you may need for a presentation. From experience, I can tell you that arriving at your destination with only a few hours until a presentation, only to discover all your materials are in a lost bag, is not funny.
Now that you’ve read these tips you’re ready to pack light so you can bring back the spoils of your travels.
great tips Ann! Thank you.
Thank you Julie
I look forward always to receiving Ann’s e-mails. They’re always timely with excellent photographic examples of exactly what she’s suggesting. Her article on packing helped me realize how scattered I am in this area (I want to but can’t) take every outfit in my closet, which makes me dread packing. I hope you’ll do an article on cruise packing, Ann. We do a fair amount of that and it requires formal to beach, lunch and touring, plus “country club smart for dinner. Bring out the 30” suitcases- yikes. Thank you so much Ann!