Longer trips and smaller bags
It appears that there’s a clear evolution when it comes to travel. As the years go by, my trips get longer and my luggage gets smaller. After much learning, and many packing fails (picture going down like a sack of bricks in the middle of the road because my bag overbalanced), I’ve finally got my packing pretty much sorted.
So, here’s some of the tips I’ve learnt over the years.
My Top Tips for Packing Light
Use Smaller Luggage
Embrace the Laundry
You don’t need that many clothes. There will be water where you are going… you can wash.
Versatility is the word
Pack clothes that are versatile. For example, take a top that can be worn bush walking or out to dinner (eg black singlet tops can be dressed up or down with a simple necklace).
The same goes for shoes – pick your shoes carefully as they take up a lot of space. I like a more dressy pair of Havaianas and black smaller-style runners as they can be worn out to dinner with pants and no one bats an eyelid.
Roll your clothes… roll roll roll
Rolling your clothes not only saves space in your luggage, butit makes it easier to find particular items, and it also reduces creasing. Win win win!
Don’t pack the “just in case” items
Anything you don’t use every day at home, or plan to use every day on the trip, should be left at home. You did realise they sell things like panadol just about everywhere right?
Compression Packing Cells
I was introduced to Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cells recently. These babies can turn your oversized pack into carry-on. See the pic below from when I tested the packing cells out with the contents of my Cambodia trip pack, and it literally halved the space used. If people are doing ‘carry on only’, I can almost guarantee they are using these (or something similar).
Liquids and Toiletries
Liquids aren’t just a problem for carry-on flight luggage, they are also really heavy. There’s two alternatives. Firstly, if you are on a short trip, only take as much as you need (not the whole shampoo bottle). I use GoToobs for any liquids because I’ve never had a problem with them leaking. Secondly, if you are travelling for a longer time, basically do the same. Take a small amount, and just refill on the road.
Travel Towels are the best!
Linen takes up loads of space and is quite heavy. Get yourself a good travel towel – a really good one. I have the Packtowl Ultralight XL, which is just brilliant (rolls down to nothing and dries in about 10 minutes).
So, take the challenge. Next time you travel, make a note of the things that you actually used on the trip. Then the following time, don’t take the rest. Challenge on people!