Traveling is fun and relaxing, but it can also become a nightmare, especially when you decide to travel with huge and heavy suitcases, which you need to carry on your way home-airport-hotel. In addition, when checking your bags, you are at the mercy of airlines and the possibility of lost or delayed luggage.
If your trip is short, there is no need for so much stress. Traveling light can be a lot easier because it gives you more freedom and fewer worries. A carry-on or even a backpack are good options when traveling for a short time or in spring/summer (when the weather is warm).
But with freedom and practicality comes a new drama: is there room to take everything you need? Yes, there is. You’ll just need a little organization and a lot of self-control. Check out these three main steps to make sure you have everything ready for your next trip.
The Bare Essentials
First of all, “pack light” means to cut down on your luxuries. Do you really need things like a complete makeup kit or a tripod for your camera? On the other hand, you absolutely cannot forget to put things in your carry-on: your passport or travel documents, a money stash (never carry everything in your wallet), your phone with its battery charger, etc.
In addition to clothes included in the next item, what else counts as essential during a trip?
If you take any medication, you must find some room for it. After all, you may not find it in the pharmacies of the place you are traveling to. Depending on your destination, it’s also good to have a small first-aid kit with medication for unexpected headaches and stomach upsets – maybe even some insect repellent and sunscreen.
Are you going to be long without access to a full bathroom with a shower? Don’t forget a pack of wet wipes for a minimum of personal hygiene and a kit with brush and toothpaste in compact formats.
Finally, make room for at least one reusable water bottle because it’s important to stay hydrated — especially if your trip involves long walks.
Pack Clothes Based on Your Activities
One of the most difficult steps for travelers is choosing only the bare minimum of clothes. The essential tip is to pick multifunctional clothes and adapt to sudden changes in temperature.
For a week-long trip, having a different outfit for each day is not mandatory. Two pants, shirts, a blazer or jacket, socks and underwear will do the trick and even allow for different combinations. If you roll your clothes instead of folding them, you can save a lot of space in your backpack/carry-on to add more items.
Pack your clothes a few days in advance to evaluate your options and needs according to your activities and the latest weather reports. If you need to bring heavier items, like sweaters or coats, get on the plane wearing these pieces.
While it may seem painful to leave certain clothes at home so you can travel light, remember that having few options will also eliminate the guesswork for dressing, allowing you to enjoy your trip longer instead of spending hours in front of the mirror.
All Accessories Together
The concept of traveling light doesn’t mean you have to be lazy and disorganized. Instead of tossing things into your backpack or carry-on, organize everything meticulously so you can easily find and grab any essential items and still free up space to pack more stuff.
There are models of suitcases or backpacks made especially for those who prefer to travel light. They have a variety of pockets and dividers where you can organize your belongings to avoid stress later on. Put medicines and makeup inside a small travel-size container so they don’t get lost in the middle of the clothes.
In the case of accessories (such as jewelry, sunglasses, etc.), keep it all together in the same carry-on compartment. To save space, choose only what is really essential and aim for smaller sizes. Round glasses, for example, take up less space than other shapes.
Have a Nice and Light Trip
These tips will help you better organize your carry-on luggage on your next trip. But it is always good to point out that “traveling light” is not suitable for all occasions. A holiday trip with children doesn’t allow you the same freedom. If you’re going to a cold place, it will also be impossible not to take warmer, heavier clothes, which naturally take up more space in your luggage.
But for a short vacation or a business trip, try to reduce the size of your luggage as much as possible. That way, you save time (by avoiding picking up your checked luggage at the airport), gain peace of mind and also avoid a lot of stress.
WRITTEN BYClara Rose